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The Gaming Review - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Release Date: 
Game Platform: 
Xbox, PlayStation 3
Star Rating: 
8 out of 10

Giving a cyborg samurai a sword...because cyborg samurais love swords.

The Pitch: An offshoot story from the Metal Gear Solid series, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an exercise in cyborg death-dealing, surgical swordplay, and silly subtitles.

What It Really Is: Revengeance was initially a project of Metal Gear master Hideo Kojima, and was supposed to fit into the main canon of the Metal Gear Solid series. However, after Kojima’s studios struggled to make the swordplay dynamic work, the game got shelved. Months later, Platinum Games took up the mantle and, with Kojima himself helping out with the plot, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance took shape as a game dedicated to the series’ supporting character, Raiden. The story oozes with Kojima’s involvement and the familiar cast of supporting allies and colorful enemies complement the gorgeously cut scenes perfectly. Though Revengeance does channel its Metal Gear roots often, Platinum Games has carved out a niche in the series with Raiden’s sword and the system you use to control it. Approaching MGR:R’s combat with anything but precision is a mistake. Button-mashers need not apply because crazy thumbs are gonna get you killed, fast. Instead, the game rewards purposeful movement, combos, and parrying. If you have an inner samurai to summon, we’re gonna need you to go ahead and do that now, mmmkay? Ready-Made Press Blurb: “We’re so impressed with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance that we’re going to start using the word ‘revengeance’ in our daily conversations with our bosses.”

Fun Fact: Metal Gear Rising completely ditches the need for stealth that was so important to Metal Gear Solid games, going to the opposite extreme by setting off every alarm in the vicinity with a swipe of your sword. This is not a bad thing, as you quickly realize it’s more fun to take on a screen full of baddies than getting involved in mano a mano swordfights.

Special Edition: Like most special editions, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’s special edition comes with a copy of the game (duh), the game’s soundtrack, a steelbook collector’s case, and a statue of Raiden’s sword. Unlike most special edition statues, which serve no purpose other than broadcasting the fact that you spend more money on video games than on your social life, Raiden’s sword statue is a freaking plasma lamp and has added a soft blue glow to our nightly routine of crying until we fall asleep.

Who It’s For: Patience is a requirement for gamers looking to dig into Raiden’s story. There’s a fairly steep learning curve to getting the most out of the swordplay here and ignoring that curve is gonna get you spanked and put to bed. If you’re willing to put in the time to master the sword, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is infinitely more thoughtful than the brainless Ninja Gaiden 3, as much fun to play as Bayonetta and an absolute must for longtime fans of Kojima’s storytelling.

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