‘Blade mode is amazing’

Nevin P. Jones | writer

“Metal Gear Rising: Revegeance” should have been called “Violent Cyborg: Mature Fruit Ninja.” Kojima Production fans, you are forewarned; the “Metal Gear” you know has vanished. This is a product of Platinum Games, so action heavily overrides the stealth associated with the series. What you get with “Revengeance” is a crazy, action-filled romp, which entertains throughout, but ultimately feels imperfect.

Metal Gear Rising

Metal Gear Rising

Like most action games, the plot features absurd scenarios present only for awesome gameplay. You play as Raiden after he becomes a full cyborg, working for a private military company (PMC) called Maverick Security. Raiden’s employers might need to re-evaluate their company following the prologue because they fail to protect their target from a rival PMC involved with terrorists, called Desperado Enterprises. The rest of the game overflows with burning revenge against Desperado Enterprises, while preaching about politics and war philosophy. It all comes off as confusing, hilarious and in no way the main focus.
One thing appears abundantly clear while playing “Rising”: Raiden is a sexy surgeon of death. He dominates everything with his high-frequency blade, and controlling him is a blast. The game launches Raiden recklessly into hordes of enemies, while filleting anything and everything with light and heavy attacks. Cyborgs, helicopters and skyscraper-tall robots all transform into dismembered piles if they dare to oppose. Dancing Raiden’s blade between enemies creates a non-stop massacre, but endless fun erupts from the game’s signature mechanic called blade mode.
When enemies sustains enough damage, a prompt will appear next to their bodies communicating the proper time for them to be sliced and diced with gleeful violence. If the meter appears high enough, Raiden can enter blade mode, where action slows and precise cuts can be made. Using surgical precision to sever limbs and convert enemies into cubes of bloody flesh conjures feelings of sadistic pleasure. Blade mode also allows Raiden the chance to perform “zandatsu.” By entering blade mode and cutting a small red box located on an enemy, he can yank out the enemy’s spine and crush it. This kills the enemy and replenishes all of Raiden’s health and energy, while looking achingly stylish.
Some major flaws eventually become prevalent in the gameplay. The lack of an actual dodge button forces the use of a wonky parry or an awkward sidestep parry, and enemy encounters delve into repetition too quickly. Battle boils down to smash the attack buttons, parry and repeat until blade mode. A good number of secondary weapons eases the monotony, but to access them you must pause the game. This clashes with everything “Rising” stands for because it kills the action. The ability to switch weapons on the fly should have been a no-brainer.

‘Good Day?’ Try just alright

Logan Qualls | writer

If it ain’t dead, don’t kill it.
The latest installment of the Die Hard series does nothing to evolve or change the shoot ‘em up action strategy the series has relied upon in the past. That being said, this film is still an explosive amount of fun. In this fifth installment, John McClane (Bruce Willis) leaves for Russia after hearing that his estranged son, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney, “Jack Reacher”), is on trial for a plethora of offenses.
Upon arrival at the courthouse, John is greeted by mobs of angry Russian protesters. Unbeknown to John, his son is on trial with an infamous Russian political prisoner, Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch).
Pandemonium ensues as an explosion tears through the courthouse. A team of Russian mercenaries moves in to capture Komarov, but finds him missing along with Jack. The audience soon learns that Jack McClane is actually an agent for the C.I.A. and his mission is to extract Yuri Komarov from Moscow.
Father and son reconnect unexpectedly, but emotions are put on hold as the two try to escape the pursuit of the mercenary team, all the while keeping Komarov alive.
Doggedly pursued to a safe house in Moscow, the duo take a brief respite. The audience begins to learn more about Yuri and why he’s being pursued.
Once again, calamity erupts as bullets fly through the windows and the chase is renewed. Working together to stay one step ahead, the similarities of the McClane men become apparent as they spring into action.
Through numerous twists and turns, father and son find themselves in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The film finishes in a spectacular fashion befitting this action-packed series.
As most audiences would expect, the film’s special effects are visually visceral. The use of slow motion is used well in several scenes to fully capture the overwhelming amount of destruction taking place. The music succeeds in escalating the already suspense-filled action.
Willis shines yet again as the cantankerous John McClane. Audiences witness a new side of Willis’ character as he struggles to find common ground with his son, Jack. Willis interjects his smartaleck humor throughout the film to punctuate the ongoing action.
Whether you are a die-hard fan or a newcomer to the series, this film is sure to please action junkies.
“A Good Day to Die Hard” continues the success of prior entries in the “Die Hard” series with ease. With intense action and a riveting plot, audiences are sure to enjoy this action-packed flick.

The production values both amaze and frustrate. The graphics feature gorgeous visuals. Watching a blade slowly dismember a man is beautiful in a sick way and the frame rate stays consistent even when chaos explodes on screen. Cheesy voice acting plagues most of the game, especially in the case of Raiden, and metal music blares for the entirety of the game’s absurdly short running time. Five to six hours of campaign never justifies a $60 purchase even with unlockable virtual reality missions and outfits.
After the dust settles and the blood pools beneath the tiny pieces of Raiden’s enemies, a fun, albeit flawed, experience comes into focus. I enjoyed my short time with “Metal Gear Rising Revengeance,” but the need to pick it up again won’t hit me any time soon unless I want to dismember something. Seriously, blade mode is amazing.

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