Time to leave all behind.
That’s (partly) a lyric from the OST of Platinum Games and Konami’s new love child. It’s slightly cheesy, incredibly catchy, and fits the mood of the battle as Raiden with a robotic dog with a chainsaw tail. The fight consists of me desperately parrying as much as possible while trying to sneak in some damage.
It’s intense. Deep. Most importantly, it’s fun.
Rising’s demo had the same boss fight, so after practicing by feverishly playing that particular part over and over again, I’m wise to robodog’s techniques. Before, he would call out some soldiers to help out, and then the large-legged Gekkos to assist.
Not this time. I kill him before the Gekkos come out. I broke the game sequence and it doesn’t even matter.
That’s just how Rising is. It’s an action game that is all about slicing stuff on the surface, but has a wonderfully deep core that’ll keep fans of the genre craving more. Even before that, in the intro act, I’m shown a few ways to complete my mission.
In the intro, I was given two options. Do I go in with reckless abandonment, or do I stealth my way through? Wait, I can kill a few guards here and there under the guise of stealth, and then go all out.
I went with the first option, and had a blast. The combat allows for quick combos, and a very easy to learn but hard to master parry system. It didn’t take long before I could cancel attacks one into another. But then, I found Blade Mode. Ohh, Blade Mode.
When Raiden has enough meter (gained by grabbing the spines of enemies once you cut them in a very non-specific way), hitting L1 activates a bullet-time effect that let me cut the hapless cyborg enemies into human sushi.
Surprisingly enough, it’s not a gimmick. Blade Mode is integral to survival, cutting particular parts when highlighted in a dim blue color on a limb that couldn’t otherwise be harmed. Some later enemies take more than one limb to be subjugated, and a few try their best with what they have. It’s admirable. Back to the intro level, where, after slaying anyone who looks at me funny, I’m approached by a Metal Gear Ray.
He’s glowing red, and instead of water, he’s using fire. Missiles, flames, swing arms or wings or whatever he uses keep me on the edge of my bed. Literally. I gripped the controller and I think I squeezed my buttcheeks together.
Platinum Games knows how to do boss fights. Just look at the Jeanne Part 3 battle in Bayonetta. Or the exciting and difficult battles with Vergil in Devil May Cry 3.
It’s the same here. It took some deft dodging using the slide attack with Ninja Run and cutting missiles to pieces before they exploded in my character’s face. Eventually, a brief QTE appeared, with Raiden chucking the Ray into the air and…
Well, you’ll just have to play that part to find out what happens. See, spoiling those would ruin the surprises. Believe me, it’s worth the experience.
Presently, I’m half way through the game. I hate rushing, but I want to get to the next battle even faster. A buttery 60 fps with rare drops really help the milky smooth combat.
I’ve collected a few weapons here and there, an awesome “civilian” costume, and plenty of upgrades. I’ve been in boss fights that only get better with the next encounter. I’m blasting the soundtrack during my breaks with the game, to the dismay of my neighbors. Deal with it. Monsoon’s theme is godlike.
And so is this game. It’s everything I want in an action game and more. I know some people are saying that the game is short, and 4 hours in and possibly halfway through, I can see that. But I already see myself running right back to the levels to perfect my score, find all the hidden goodies, and getting more points to unlock more everything. Like Vanquish’s arcade-like structure. One of the game’s overall points is to get better at it.
Good luck, other games. You’ll need it.