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11/12

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

2:46 pm by admin. Filed under: Uncategorized

Earlier last week, the Games Convention capped with a sweet, sweet preview of the much anticipated (possibly the most anticipated) game of the year – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. It’s vacillated between near completion to utter cancellation – yes, we we’re referring to that release on the Windows platform.

The previews are in and the entire gaming world is shaken in utter ruins or pure excitement. But is the game any good?

In this post, we’ll look at the game’s salient features, how it steps up in the grandeur that has become of Hideo Kojima’s brainchild and the possible release dates for console game addicts the world over.

 

The Gun and the Blade

We wish this could well have been a simple reference to the eponymous weapon of another fond childhood myth, but it isn’t. It’s the direction that Konami, alongside game developer Platinum Games are taking the latest iteration of what has possibly become the most sophisticated game series of the last twenty years.

Initially billeted as Metal Gear 5, where we follow the exploits and bravado of The Boss and her allies, instead, in Revengeance, we play as Raiden. Fans of the series will remember him best as the white cyborg who’d slain a Metal Gear Ray using nothing but his blade.

In this game, he’s been badly dinged up by an army of similar cyborgs. Snatched from the jaws of certain death, he’s now shrouded in black armor that (annoyingly) needs constant charging in order to unleash his inner demons.

Hideo Kojima narrated that this game is set a few years after Guns of the Patriot and nearly a decade after Solid 2. From there, Raiden picks up the pace as the shadow that he was, the briefly playable ninja a few games ago.

 

Classic is the New Sexy

            What caught us by surprise was the game’s rather strong departure from its roots. Admittedly, the series forced us to think outside the box in terms of balancing speed, accuracy and secrecy; the game publishers are adamant that the same elements are there. It’s just the flavor that’s changed.

While the rest of the series was a careful study in stealth and agility, this one elevates (or denigrates) stealth into hunting. Raiden uses his speed and stealth to close in on his enemies and attempts to disable them long before he’s been detected.

After each mission, there’s still the same S ranking but the entire physics of the game have changed, according to Platinum Games. Everything; and they do mean everything can be cut down (except of course, pillars and entire walls).

New features also include bullet time (Max Payne much?) and the ability to parry and counter in a blink of an eye. These will hopefully set the game apart from similar hack and slash titles (like Devil May Cry).

 

As the Crow Flies

            If we’re honest – we like MGS so much – that all the seemingly niggling doubts and quibbles become just that: little flaws we can easily embrace and forgive. When the botched co-op mode from Peace Walker made it to the shelves, the sheer intensity of the game was its saving grace.

With this hack and slash stealth game – slated to be released by Christmas for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 – we don’t get it. We see no point in the departure; we see no reason for the game’s so-called revolution.

Platinum maintains that this game is aimed for the younger, newer generations of console gamers. If the rest of us MGS fans are consigned into history books or left to rot in the dust bins – there’s always the Hugh Jackman and Metal Gear movie waiting for us.

20

11/12

On Freud, Steroids and Red Bull: Borderlands 2 Reviewed

12:11 pm by admin. Filed under: Uncategorized

While we sit in anguish and wait for (possibly the last) iteration of the Call of Duty franchise on the console (at least for this generation’s models), we find what is arguably the most intelligent, most compelling first-person-shooter on the console today.

Yes, dear reader. Everyone’s favorite first-person-shooter role-playing game returns once again; in all its cell-shaded blood and gore is back. But is it any good? We find out.

 

One More Run at Pandora

            Borderlands 2, one of the season’s most anticipated games comes back to the PS3 and the X-box 360. The game is set about five years from the events of the last game. We wake up to find our slew of Vault Hunters surviving a massive train crash, elegantly orchestrated by Handsome Jack.

From there, the story moves on to the consequent destruction of the rest of Pandora and the eminent rise of the archetypal rebel force called the Crimson Raiders. While the graphics has retained the graphic novel look, the storyline and the characterization (the two weakest links of the 2009 cult classic) have been much improved. There’s an actual story here and the sarcastic catch-phrases (even from the Bandits) are worth more than the price of admission.

In this game, we still play as any of the four Vault Hunters (with a fifth one available only through exclusive downloads). The, uh, handsome brute that was once Brick is replaced by the steroid-pumping, Freudian-cliché berserker, called Salvador who has the ability to wield any two guns in a haze of bloodlust and drugs.

Roland assumes command of the Crimson Raiders and is replaced by Axton, somewhat a cross between Metal Gear’s Solid Snake and that midget from Metal Slug. Another siren, Maya is still up for grabs. Mordecai, the elite sniper from the original now appears as a non-playable character. In his place stands Zer0, billeted as “The Number” whose action skill causes massive imbalance on the battlefield.

 

Gunslingers’ Galore

            The game still uses an intelligent system to constantly spawn a wide number of guns taken from any number of possible combinations of attributes such as weapons damage, reload speed and recoil. Gearbox even had to invent a whole new number to describe the number of shotguns, rifles, pistols and SMGs available from the six gun-running companies (from our early testing, we find anywhere between 17 to 35 million possible guns).

As in the original, the genius of the game lies on the sheer number of possible character builds. Gearbox also introduced various elemental weapons that can help even the worst blokes make short work of the tougher boss battles.

 

Plan a Weekend

            Borderlands 2 is a solid contender for game of the year in our books (and a lot of gaming sites seem to agree on this one). Plan an entire weekend of play just for this title as a few quick bursts of play are never nearly enough for the addictive story missions. Call over your mates; break out the Red Bull and start shooting.

While you’re at it, try not to tug on your controllers or spill a few drinks on your PS3. Overheating game consoles can be a real bummer, you know.

If you grew up humming Billy Joel or Queen; if Clint Eastwood’s movies speak to you (in a way you’d be too embarrassed to admit now); if rock and roll ever meant a thing to you – then Borderlands 2 is the perfect game for you.