Friday, February 22, 2013

Cut and Take this Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Review

The Rise

Metal Gear Rising was first hinted after the release of Metal Gear Solid 4. It was originally meant to be a interquel that showed Raiden's transformation between MGS2 and MGS4. It was finally announced at the Xbox conference at E3 in 2010, but later was "quietly" cancelled because Kojima Productions could not successfully design this particularly new "cut at will" gameplay mechanic. They did however, fully develop the stories and in-game scenarios. Kojima later met up with a producer of Platinum Games and requested them to work on it. The new current version was then revealed with an actual trailer. After development began, they discarded stealth as a main element and included high speed hack and slash. They stating the original game as being very "dull",  much unlike the High Frequency Blade weapon. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance became the Lighting Bolt Action game we see now.

Enough of the history, Metal Gear Rising is not Metal Gear Solid, it's a spin off time. The gameplay, as we all know, is a huge leap away from the stealth Metal Gear is known for. No more emphasis on guns and silence, rather now it's sword play and slicing. Speed and reflex is key now, not slow and steady. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may create a great spin off a successful different gameplay of the ninja we saw first as a kid that has been through the worst imaginable. It could also unfortunately be another stereotyped sub-par Japanese video game. Let me, take a slice at this reviewing thing.

Realistic vs Pretty

Many early gameplay demos of Revegeance showed the world as being very clear and colorful. The current game looks nice, but many of the levels at the beginning of the game have a very brown and grey tone to them, with little more vibrance as the game progresses. The environment does break into some neat looking scenery, but it's not gorgeous. It's more realistic than pretty, but is that bad thing? Standing from the slightly lower end Xbox 360 console perspective, the rendered characters and cut scenes look very nice, seeing as how they are at least half the game. Hey it's Metal Gear, it has it's large emphasis on story, which will be discussed soon. Most of the objects in this game are "slice-able" and when you deiced to just start slicing everything up like lettuce, you'll know how cool it looks. All of those sliced objects will disappear quite fast, but I can understand with this generation of consoles. You cut into an object enough, the game starts to lag a bit. Along with just cutting the world up, this game sure is violent! Not as much as Prototype, but even slicing up these red blooded cyborgs gets a little gruesome, but oh so satisfying. Lastly, all of the city environments seem to be magically empty except three hostages during the entire game. At two points in the game, the characters mention an evacuation, but the cities just seem too dead and not very modern. Overall, Metal Gear Rising visually appears alright, not as good as I wanted to think.

Metal Gear Solid always have some grand beautiful and hectic musical scores. Metal Gear Rising also takes a leap in terms of this, to more of making it sound like some bad copyrighted music that was made for a game. The music sounds exactly like the rising in popularity, metalcore music. I mean, I love metal, but I am not a fan of that kind of metal. Although the instrumentals are really decent, I really wish the vocals could be turned off. I feel that lyrical music fits best with driving games and shooting games or just at the credits. I will say, it is good for this game to have fast chaotic music, but oust with the vocals please.

Stories from Kabuki Theater

Now don't quote me on this, but I've read that Metal Gear-ish games had a large influence from Japanese Kabuki theater. That must be why the Metal Gear games have always felt a little odd with the characters. It could also just be influence from Japanese Anime. I do love this series, but I am not into the Anime stuff at all. Metal Gear Rising is no different in this aspect. Some of the actual American characters act, let's say more realistically American than others. An American senator acts like a Sumo, fat Yakuza boss. An American senator, from Colorado! Many of antagonistic characters like to do the point and then dramatically clench their fist action. To put it plainly, all the enemy characters act ridiculous and way over-the-top. I wont criticize that, but I will take into account the addition of a lot of profanity. I am in no way adverted to it, but it is just so out of place. If characters act ridiculous and start swearing, it makes their madness seem so fake. It only works for Raiden who has been through the worst in life and does not act so insane, until his "Jack the Ripper" persona emerges. Even in that act, the profanity is still feels more in place. Over the top characters, even more so than the Metal Gear other games.

As for the story line, it is sub-par at the least. The main concept is about Raiden trying to prevent this corporation that is taking 3rd world children's brains and training in advanced VR to become super genocidal cyborgs. These brains would be trained to kill and cause war to break out, reviving the dead war economy from the previous game. It's about cyborg bodies, there, see, it's a little out there. The one thing this story does do well, is it vividly keeps you interest even though the ridiculous characters are present. Metal Gear Rising even makes references to Raiden's past along with many tongue-in-check recalls of the main series. The game still contains the codec sequences that drag on a bit, but most of the characters do have something interesting to say both for the game and even our our reality, how interpreted is up to the player. Metal Gear Rising has decent writing, with over dramatic characters, but it manages to make you think about the real world. Metal Gear games have always been very aware and smart in philosophical ways. This game does another, okay job in terms of narrative.

Hard and Short... uh, the game...

The gameplay of Metal Gear Rising is not stealth, but more of a button mashy hack and slash. The general game feels like a mix of Devil May Cry and God Of War. For a Metal Gear game, it still contains very intense action sequences, but like times 10 more chaotic.  It also has... those... quick time events. Don't worry, they're present like any other hack and slash game, but not an overabundance. Unfortunately, there is still a sliver of stealth, and it just does not work at all. The game offers moments to be stealthy, but it asks for too much and when you fail, your punished. Also, there is no need for the alert counter either, it's unnecessary and detracting. There was no need to keep any amount of stealth you guys! Usually after the BRIING!, two larger enemies than the one you startled get called to kick your ass, which leads me to the difficultly. It's a hard game, it's really hard. It is almost impossible to not get hit during any fighting scene, not to mention boss battles. Okay, well to top that off, the game is about 8 hours in gameplay time, not counting the cut scenes. The challenge of the game is beatable, which is probably what the developers wanted to do to make the game's playablity last longer. It may sound bad, but for this game it works because it's just hard enough to want to get that 100% completion. For a short story, you will spend many hours on the full completion along with VR mission too. Timing and timing alone will keep you alive in this world. There is no forever blocking system like most games; rather a wait for the right parry to stirke. You cannot dodge, which is really bad seeing as not every enemy attack is blockable. It's hard, but oh so rewarding, especially to slice the enemies into a million pieces.

True Hack and Slash

That is correct! Even a Star Wars game has not been developed with the ability to cut almost anything down, apart, in the middle, and what have you. Now, to precisely cut anything, you need to go into what is called "Blade Mode", which is only available when your meter under the health is blue. You can then hold the mode down until the bar is empty. To coincide with the difficulty of this game, you can't just willy nilly hack every guy up you see. Most enemies take a number of hits in certain areas that will turn blue and allow the blade to cut through. When this mode is activated on a damaged or weak enemy, you can cut for a target that will allow Raiden to snatch the cyborg's energy source to regain full power. This is known as Zan-Datsu or "cut and take", as the game refer's to. Adding even more to this great risk and reward system are the challenging and blade wearying boss battles. One is based on speed, one can split off segments of his body to avoid your blade, and you just have to play it. The boss variety and challenge of your sword is really quite aggravating and, yet again so rewarding to beat. Here's another thing, you can save a whopping three different hostages, okay, yeah. They don't matter, you just get pitied for not saving them, WHOOPS! The game also has running system that is very much like in Mirrors Edge, called Ninja run. You can run with great speed and vault over any short object or obstacle, which adds to the intensity with exhilarating running sequences. The game also has a small upgrading system that will allow extension Raiden’s cyborg body and usage of boss weapons.  The overall gameplay is very fresh, very hard, and very rewarding. It is, by far, the strongest aspect of the game and saved it for me in so many ways... besides the length.


Yeah, yeah it's an Egoraptor reference when you can't think of an original caption. Metal Gear Rising Revengeance is only part of Metal Gear by name and story, with only a touch of useless stealth. By it's self, it's a God of War action game with amazingly fresh and fun gameplay. It also has a bountiful amount of references and undertones with bizarre characters. Set in bland and not so realistic settings, this game keeps the interest through and past the game's entire story to warrant a replay. It is a very challenging game, but if you enjoy it enough and develop the motivation for major risk and reward, you will have many hours of the game to earn a 100% completion. If you want to try it, just get a 2 night rental, you'll beat it on easy for sure. If you want to feel good about defeating such a hard game like every other Metal Gear, you should buy it. I do suggest waiting for a price drop though. Everything about this game, except the side story interest and the gameplay, are just okay. It's Short, difficult, dramatic, frustrating, reflex stimulating and; however you cut the cake, it's earns a 4 and a half out of 6 eggs.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Yep, got announced, dup. No real info, just saying stuff that may or may not be on it when it ships. I might make a video talking about it. Dunno what game to play while talking though...

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Rating System

Basically I review based of three criteria that I rate the quality of. That includes, the overall Gameplay, Story (Narrative/Characters), and Art (Sound/Graphics/Visual Style). Depending on what each criteria should be it will get between zero and two Ostrich Eggs. 6 Eggs would be the highest rating for a game. The reason I chose out of six is because it's a good even number, but not as simple as a 10. A game that would get a 6, is a game that's mind blowing and innovative. A 5 is just a really great, game except for a few minor flaws. A 4 would be a game that's decent to good and could use changes that could make it much better. A 3 is a game that is not very good or it's okay, but suffered from many problems that may or may not be able to be corrected. A 2 is not at all, a good game. It is being killed by bugs and terrible mechanics. 1 is hell, a game that tortures you in every way, the worst of the worst. 0 is not a game, it's something that is so broken, it can't be completed. In that case, it cannot be not reviewed. If this rating system starts to fall on it's head, I will change it.

In the case of Dead Space 3, I really enjoyed the game, but a few little things did get to me, that will take some time to get used to. It's a very good game, but it is not as 'great' as I wanted it to be. I will be spending many more hours on it. I enjoy it.

This might make things easier, my approval rating out of 100:
0 eggs= 0-15
1 egg= 16-24
2 eggs= 25-42
3 eggs= 43-59
4 eggs= 60-80
5 eggs= 81-91
6 eggs= 92-100

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I think we all know how "well" Aliens: Colonial Marines did... That's what happens when a game is forced through development and, for some reason, can't wait until summer for launch. I don't understand,  maybe I don't know yet, but it's like there is a phobia for releasing full title games in the summer time. School is over, what better way spend on, than games that were better than if they were crunched like the real nightmare we are seeing in the gaming industry. To add to that, I won't be doing a legit review of Aliens, but when I do get a break from school, I will put together a comedic style review of it, you'll have to wait and see. That will be same with how these next big games to come out this month and next month fair. I are really scurrd friends!

No Space For Fear... Dead Space 3 Review

Visceral Minds

The beginning of the Dead Space franchise will turn into a five year demented child this October. A King Diamond's 'Abigail', if you will. Another cult following to AAA EA title, the original Dead Space was a huge Sci-Fi scare, at least, to most. To me, it was beyond any scary, horrific game or experience in comparison, at the time. Sure, it was and is no Slender, but as a full length game, it combined the perfect blend of action, horror and, even a bit of puzzle elements in a creepy narrative with a real humanistic undertone in the grand story arch.

Here is the thing, ha ha, like the movie. If you couldn't already tell or your're just too young to want to see it; the movie, "The Thing" was the largest creature style influence on Dead Space. Fortunately, in Dead Space, you can actually kill these things. The real 'thing' I want to skim over is the sick, twisted, and even friendly game developer, Visceral Games. When the company was born, it was basically another company name under EA, where, based on their location, was cleverly named EA Redwood Shores. Under that name, they would go to make two 007 and LOTR games, The Godfather I&II, and the first Dead Space. I would only guess that the company's name change was to be eponymous with one word that could best describe their most original game, visceral. Then, a Dead Space Wii game was soon to come, along with Dante's Inferno. Now it's been only Dead Space games up yours truly and soon, Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel. To think, it has already been 2 years since the launch of Dead Space 2; makes you feel old... Was this break and long awaited return of my favorite horror series worth to see a Cabin in the Woods or is this another game horrorbly morphed into the action genre?

Is More Really Less?

F**K NO! Let's get to the new stuff right away. From pointless competitive multiplayer in the second game, EA-uh-I mean Visceral Games, decided to put co-op in this iteration. I will say at first thought, like most others, was this game just got less scary. Let me tell you, the horror within the story is amplified in the co-op missions, as John Carver enters the same violent dementia Isaac did last time. Be sure to prepare Isaac to be helpless and Carver to be horrified as he battles his own "Nicole". Dead Space 3 also adds a few optional missions that give more insight on the game's story. Some of the missions do have very similar level designs, but still are interesting to have. Something that sure horrified some other gamers, t-t-the word, of the devil! Micro-transactions... What's the big deal? People that have time to play the game, such as the fans and even some newcomers will really have no problem here. You don't need to pay to get a great advantage. I'm sorry that some people want a game to spend no time and effort in completing. Remember that Mass Effect 3 multiplayer has micro-transactions and there is no problem if you just play the damn game! Find those glitches that EA won't fix while you're at it and stop crying. I will say though, what really aggravates me is EA forcing out these Day-One DLCs, shame on them for that garbage. Now that we finished with the complained additions to Dead Space 3, can we please get to something good?

I Got Some Duck Tape!

Resource management is what makes a horror game, survival; and the previous games did have some of this with limited slots, random unwanted item pickups, and a store system. I realized during Dead Space 2, after 3 playthroughs, I had so many items, it didn't feel like survival anymore. The original Dead Space had slow movement, clunky controls, and less item drops that still makes it terrifying today. Dead Space 3 doesn't feature credits anymore, but different resource materials you can gather with new Scavenger Bots. These new friends can sense very feasible "scavenging" areas. With the 1 plus robots, they will gather materials for crafting items. It is quite tedious to find the points and drop the bot and then go to the crafting bench, but it's worth it. Craft-able items are everything! You can craft Health Packs, universal ammo. and even weapon parts! Weapon crafting was a huge deal, because we could now play Dead Space the way we want to. You can literally build any weapon combo in this game: Carbine/Ripper Blade, SMG/Plasma Cutter, ect. You can even add attachments that can help you and your co-op partner as well. Materials can also be used to upgrade your RIG. One gripe I have, is with picking up the resource boxes, weapon attachments, and upgrades when you are running out of space. You cannot drop any of those items! It would be neat if you could drop the Scavenger Bot, that could carry your newly found items to the bench. At least update it to let us drop them!

Thinking With Stasis!

As an engineer, Isaac needs to stay in practice! The main Dead Space games always wanted you to think to figure out quasi-puzzles and do other certain hack jobs to get around those Necros. Each new game seemed to add a couple new mechanisms in the world. Dead Space 3 includes all the same, plus many more. Most of the puzzles at the beginning seemed to be too easy and even babyish in completion. I will say that this game does have slightly annoying tutorials that seem to go away later in the game, which is only good for the noobs. After all that hand-holding, some of the later puzzles begin to get a little cryptic and soon you just keep trying random ideas until the light changes to blue. Makes you think 'til rage, I'd say. This is another thing that makes me rage, there are no save stations anymore! I really enjoyed that futuristic Resident Evil typewriter and now you have to wait an unknown amount of time until a save hits. It is also aggravating when it does not tell you when a checkpoint is reached. There were many times I died and I assumed a checkpoint was reached, but NNOOOOPE! What adds to that is the difficulty. It's overall a harder game now. It's good, I mean I wanted that, but I think asked for a bit too much. I love these games, so just more time to play it!

'Til We Die

I always enjoyed the story-line of Dead Space, to say the least. Original? Not really, but it took quite a few elements from already creepy horror stories and made it something special. To me, this game is a horrific metaphor for all the troubles us humans and our sick natural thoughts go through all the bad times life and how if we don't get past those times, we could die. Not trying to be melancholic and philosophical or anything, just what this game has kinda meant to me. It can really make it a good experience to add your own life to and immerse in as well. The final story is fair to say the most, but it's not bad to say at all. The story does what it can to slowly wrap up such a awesome and chaotic strung up narrative. I want to take this time to explain why a series ending story can be a question of quality. With Mass Effect 3, there was so much crap happening  someone had to go. The "perfect ending" is a cliche and it does not make you reflect on your own life and world we're all stuck in. If you want a happy game, your shallow, and not really a legit gamer. I give Bioware credit for a ending like that. How could a game as crazy and messed up as this have a "good" ending? Once I knew another Dead Space was coming I knew this was a series that our protagonist would not finish it out alive. Don't worry, I have not completed the game yet; I got the last chapter to go. Let's see how the characters deal with this epitaph.

To Save Humanity

The characters have always had a large part of the Dead Space series. Even when Isaac didn't speak, Nicole, Hammond, Kendra, Dr. Kyne, Mercer, and various logs kept the motivation and momentum of the game. Then Isaac finally spoke, and he added more to the life of Dead Space. Dead Space 3 if you have not guessed, is all the same and it's never better. I've have snooped about to find that some people refrain from calling these characters 'memorable'. If realistic is not memorable, then take a look in the mirror. How would you like to go through this scenario? Depressed, angry, and argumentative is something out of The Walking Dead and it's what you would see in a game like this. It makes you feel better that you are not there, with a bit of extremely dark humor tacked on to give some life. Everyone in this game is a  reluctant participant and Isaac is the one who will not stop until he dies or it's all over. We cannot forget the crazy religious character that is ignorant beyond comparison  He is less inspired, but the others make it up. I enjoyed the characters and will remember them as pretty decent 'last ones' to end a great series.

Cold As Ice

The first two Dead Space games always held the player in tight corridors with the slight potential for a jump scare. Dead Space also had very disturbing moments to try and make the player cringe. At so many times, moments in the original game gave me nightmares for nights. I could not even play it for certain extended periods of time. Then Dead Space 2 came out and still gave me a similar effect, but maybe I was too desensitized by the first one. After playing this, I can safely say that Dead Space 2 just a bit scarier, but doesn't contain the amount of anticipation and intensity that the current game has. It's mainly due to it losing the dementia sequences and some of the unpredictably. Do not fret, Dead Space 3 stills has it's creepy and jumpy moments that we've come to enjoy. At the beginning of Dead Space 3, Isaac revisits the cold ship corridors that gave this franchise it's Alien-like quality. Then following a very nicely rendered crash sequence, you wake up in a winter hell. Right out of the bag, having low visibility, immediately made me think of Silent Hill. Dead Space 3 retains that feeling of claustrophobia, while somehow adding kenophobia with a solid black fog wall. This game takes the environment horror of Silent Hill and The Thing, and conveys them together really well. The setting does break into familiar corridors occasionally.  I will say that it is nice to get a break from the unknown cold, once in a while. Then you go inside to find what lurks in the dark.

Who Goes There?

The first question you ask before running for your life in first time you see and hear the scariest creatures in video game history, the Necromorphs. The design and sound of these creatures is terrifying in every way imaginable and gave me blood curdling nightmares, until I learned to destroy them with ease. The fear still lingers on, even in Dead Space 3. At first, I saw that the Necromorphs appeared less bloody and more dirty color, I thought they really toned down the fleshy-ness and therefore less scary. I soon realized the fact that they could pop out from the snow from anywhere and charged faster. The glowing eyes always get me though. Regardless of how they appear, they sound more horrific than before. The new "Feeders" might sound silly at first, but you will feel them rip you to pieces. You will fear that noise and they won't stop until you die! The music added to this game kinda sounded like Batman and Bladerunner combined, it's good, but too odd. When that cliche epic Sci-Fi music picks up, the game's intensity really ramp's up and can knock you around. There are also many moments when you get hit by some "Shining-like" chiller sound effects that makes it feel like this horror has been experienced before, but Dead Space 3 holds it's own just below the original game.

It's Dead For Now

Another trilogy has ended, and only time will tell when EA will force more out. Until that time, Dead Space has ended, at least I think. Dead Space 3 adds some neat, new gameplay features that have a fresh impact on the game. It also has had taken away some familiar features that can make the game a bit aggravating from time to time. The story grabs you to wrap up as neatly as possible with characters I could tolerate. The scare factor is a little less present than the last game, and that might be because of the intense action. This is really expected, but not praised in this period of gaming. Visceral Games also borrows horror elements from other stories and can still freak the hell out of people. Dead Space 3 may not live up to already, very high expectations or even compete with the first title, but it holds up just a bit higher than the previous game. It ends as good as it can, and what more could you ask for? If your a fan, you'll need it and if your new, just rent the game or buy the first one for cheap. If you like horror games, but never played this, then try the Demo. Looking back, I did really overrated Dead Space 2 by some, but Dead Space 3 earns 4 1/2 rich eggs out of 6.