Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Metal Gear Rising Solid: The Trailers

So over the last few years, I have been following the development of one "Metal Gear Solid:  Rising".  Or is it "Metal Rising Solid:  Revenge"?  Or was it actually "Vengeance Gear Rising:  Metal"?  "Rising Revenge Metal:  Solid State Society"?  No no, it was "Transformers:  Revenge of the Rising".  Or maybe, "Batman & Metal:  Rise of Cobra"?  "Metal Gear of the Caribbean:  Dead Man's Revegence".  "Star Wars:  Episode Gear:  The Phantom Solid".  ...Uch.  I give up.  The game had a title, that's all you need to know.

Anyway, even though "Setal Mear Golid:  Rising Sun" was first revealed in 2009 or 2010, its been completely silent on the media front.  A total no-show at E3 this year.  However, recently a new trailer popped up for the game, and I couldn't help but notice a few differences have occurred in the last few years.  Let's watch them both and compare:

Well, I have things to say about this.

First off, in case you haven't noticed, I've never played a Metal Gear game.  This is partially because I simply do not like games where you shoot instead of use swords, partially because I never owned a PlayStation system until 2006, and mostly because I once tried to play "Metal Gear Solid 4" only to be scared away by a frightening hurricane of jargon, unexplained plotlines, and a weird uncommented-upon plot point that Snake and some Japanese doctor are married and have a kid.  Twenty minutes of cutscenes later, I turned the game off and instead went outside.  So I haven't the slightest idea what a regular Metal Gear game is supposed to be, and really don't care.  The only reason why I was really interested in "Wooden Pully Liquid:  Ascending" was because it looked like no other game ever made.

The concept was amazingly simple:  you have a sword, it can cut through anything.  So in the trailer, you see that robot dude, Raiden, cutting down supports to crush enemies on a building, cutting enemies to pieces, and most impressively, cutting watermelons.  There has never been a game like this, and the blade-cutting concept seemed to offer almost limitless opportunities for fun and gameplay.  I did notice that there seemed to almost be zero challenge from the trailer, because if you can cut directly through an enemy, that means they all basically die in one shot.  But I was sure that a video game personality as grandiose as Hideo Kojima, director of dozens of classic video games that I've never played and have no interest in playing, could make it work.  Turns out... no.

Apparently behind the scenes, Kojima's company realized that they had no idea at all how to make this game work.  None.  So a year into development, they canceled the game, and like the sons of bitches they apparently are, didn't bother to tell anybody.  So, I, a completely regular person, thought this game was still coming at E3 this year, not knowing that Kojima had pulled the plug.  That's called "asshole behavior", children.  Kojima is an asshole.  To continue the story, Platinum Games walked into the office, asking Kojima:  "hey, what happened to that awesome 'Pedal Steer Rising' game?"  They heard the whole sad story, and somehow walked out of the office with the game rights.  So then Platinum Games started work, discovered that they had absolutely no originality or vision or genius of any kind, so they abandoned the entire game idea, and instead went to work making "Bayonetta With a Robot".  Enemies take damage from the sword and eventually just "break" after they run out of HP, totally basic.  The cutting mechanic only seems to come in as a finishing move.  I don't see any environmental effects from your sword, so there's no strategies to develop like the first trailer promised.  Just cut cut cut.

And I don't see a single goddamn watermelon.  What the Hell?

I reviewed "Bayonetta" a while back, and looking at this trailer, I am completely not surprised that Platinum Games actually made "Bayonetta".  The action is virtually identical, the trailer is full of preposterous high-flying action and truly awful dialog, and their misguided sense of stylistic suck lead them to give this game the unfortunate subtitle of "Revengence".  Get it?  Once upon a time, the Platinum Games people made "Okami", one of the very fews games I'd actually call true art.  Their "Okami" days are clearly way past them, instead its now all about loud stupidity.  Yeah, "Bayonetta" wasn't a bad game and I was appreciating its ironic B-movie style, but I had no idea Platinum Games was actually playing it straight.  I thought it was a joke, turns out they really do want to make games like this.

So, I can't help but be a little disappointed.  In the original build, they were offering a game style that allowed you to go through the whole game without killing anybody (presumably excluding the bosses as people).  So it would be a different experience for everybody.  You could be creative, and sit around and have fun - with watermelons.  In this game its "fun to cut things".  Just walk forward and kill whatever attacks you.  Yeah, the combat sure looks fun and the game might offer a fun experience... but its all so played.  I've played games like this before!  The developer interviews are all over the place claiming that Platinum Games succeeded where Kojima failed.  Actually, they both gave up, and we have a different game.

Its "Final Fantasy XIII" all over again!  The developers release a trailer years before the game is anywhere near finished, they aren't even sure they can make gameplay like the trailer promises, and instead they make a far smaller, less exciting game with totally generic gameplay.  Damn.

If "Lemon Gear Rising" had been released in its original style and Kojima still hadn't figured out a way to make a full game out of it, I would have respected the attempt.  It could have been a basic tech demo, maybe even only two hours long like "Portal", but still, it would have been new and exciting and revolutionary.  "Revengence", however, is not exciting, despite all the guitar strings and fast cuts in the trailer.  Do you really mean to tell me that they couldn't find a single thing to do with the cutting mechanic?  There was not a single application in any way?  Fuck, just make a watermelon cutting game.  That's all I really wanted.

Maybe "Metal Gear Solid:  I've Run out of Puns" will be a great game.  Maybe it will even be better than "Bayonetta", but I feel like the whole experience has been poisoned for me.  I can see myself renting this game or borrowing it from a friend, but I don't want to own it.

It would also help if the trailer had watermelons.  And less awful dialog.  But all the terrible dialog in the world would be worth it for watermelons.  I WANT FUCKING WATERMELONS.

Update:  In a rare example of direct honesty from a developer, Konami released a short documentary on Youtube basically apologizing for Kojima's failure.  And it has a lot of blurred out Japanese people on the street for some reason.  It doesn't make like this new game better, but I do feel really bad for the Japanese executives who have been roped in front of the camera to talk about their utter failure.  Honestly, I still want to see the unfinished product that Kojima canceled, because even if the "pacing wasn't right", it was at least an honest attempt to make something new.  Platinum Games is just making an action game.  They also explain that the game switched graphics engine to a Platinum Games build, which is why the new trailer looks horrible in comparison.  And still no watermelons as far as I can see.


  1. Why is it that the biggest trolls in the world are video game companies?!

  2. HBM: Because Trolls rule the world

    But yeah that whole "sword that can cut anything" thing wasn't going to work from the start. I could see it better as a ultimate weapon you receive after you do a crap load of tasks in the game. Poor solid Snake, maybe he'll do better in the next Smash Brother game.

    -The 1 & only Uzuki

    Blue: And to your current thought. Doesn't it make you angrey for being human when you see it?

  3. Kojima himself took almost no part in Risings development. By giving it to Platinum Games, he saved it. He had no time to work on it himself because of his new FOX Engine and the new game he's been teasing on Twitter.

    Of course, by saving it, he also might have doomed it to being shit.

  4. By Kojima I'm equating him with his production company, Kojima Productions. Since he is the man in charge, he is ultimately responsible for all successes and failures. Maybe instead of canceling the game, he could have tried to personally step in, did he ever think about that?

    Instead he worked on the fully generic and forgettable Peace Walker. A game that looks like every other Metal Gear game ever made. Priorities.