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Demos Decide. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Demos Decide. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
its 2013 and that means that the game industry is moving away from games that tickle the critical thinking membrane in order to make room for standard hack and slash video games… but that's just my bias opinion as a disabled gamer.
From the developers of the Metal Gear Solid games comes a sort of new spin on the Metal Gear franchise, and by spin I mean a complete swivel. I will give Kojima Productions credit for their understanding of the video game market in this day and age of digital violence. Kojima Productions has produced a demo that is totally set in the Action/Adventure realm of the video game spectrum. It should appeal to all gamers because of its violence alone. Games like this that also involve a cyborg with a dry sense of humor are very popular so it's no surprise that this demo is in the most popular demos section of the Xbox 360 marketplace. It's also no huge surprise that people of the action adventure generation have forgotten how to play chutes and ladders and or even hopscotch.
The story in this demo is nothing special. You play as cyborg ninja, Raiden, in a fight against a private military company known as Desperado Enterprises. Whole amperage accompanies you in this demo, known members from Maverick Security including a Russian point man named Boris Vyacheslavovich Popov who communicates with you through Codec and gives you hints and things that you have to do. He is accompanied by Kevin Washington, a military advisor, Courtney Collins, a data analyst, and Wilhelm "Doktor" Voigt.
Your supporting cast of characters doesn’t help you in this demo but their voices are incredible. They are not flat and they actually sound like individual personalities. Humor’s tossed in there like a flashy grenade trying to bang up the plot a bit with jokes that are filled with puns and subtle messages about human morals and tries to muse the player into cathartic ponderings about the human race but I was too clever for that and just enjoyed the talented voice acting. I was so clever; in fact, that I even caught the irony of the hacking and slashing of machines, vampirically stealing important items from their corps.
It's as if the demo is so eager to display its masculine appeal that it drops you off in the front of a big factory with no other way but to go in and investigate, thrusting you into a heated battle just after you walk up a huge flight of steps... I felt at one with the video game. It knew just how to make me feel like I was the Terminator. It definitely had me sucked into the action, ready to dive in and start slashing.
Having limited vision in one eye, I found that the atmosphere and lighting were at just the right touch to where I didn't have to adjust brightness levels or even sharpness levels but there was one huge aspect of the game that made me very aware of my vision problem. Upon starting the game I was given some very helpful information on using the mini map at the top right corner of the screen to travel to my next objective. The map, very useful ,I'm sure, couldn't be blown up so thus I was left to stare longingly at a navigational device that was blue… and rotating. In a total panic my fingers mashed the Xbox controller until I arrived at the controller map screen in the options menu. If I pressed the up arrow my vision would change, possibly guiding me. I didn't have anything to loose so I enabled the alternate vision mode. It's the same concept as Bat Vision in the Batman games for the Xbox and the Ps3. The player sees the world through a slight blue tint. Spinning like a whizzing top I spotted a yellow marker, to which I gleefully followed. Luckily it guided me to the next objective.
The combat, the core key factor of the gameplay is very forgiving to someone with a physical disability. X is to do a regular attack and Y is to perform a strong attack. Not possessing the ability to press more than two buttons at once, and not having the ability to will the buttons down on the controller telepathically this actually helped me a great deal in combat. My left thumb manipulated the analog stick that makes Raiden move while my right finger mashed X like it was a get-gold-for-free button, making Raiden swing his sword like a teenaged Jedi Knight.
A unique mode has been added to the demo’s gameplay called sword mode, literally. In sword mode, time stopped, allowing me to hack up an enemy as if he were a tax collector. This is a great way to maximize a kill, and players even get extra points added if they do a swift move using sword mode, using the collected points to purchase upgrades. Since none flew into my player or were even offered to me I'm guessing that this is a feature that only full game owners will be able to enjoy
Sword mode has one downside that actually discouraged me from using it. I couldn't toggle this mode. I had to hold down the left trigger and then move with the left analog stick while swinging with the right analog stick. With my fingers in such a strain to even perform such a basic action I decided to use my wits against the core game mechanics and pretend that every enemy was Elijah Minnelli and just use that image to mash X and Y until everyone crumbled at my feet. I hacked and slashed my way, also using Ninja Dash, designated by right trigger, to evade attacks.
In between the copious fight scenes there's some exploration. For these sections I wasn't even going to try and look at that discriminating mini map. Switching the objective vision, as I call it on, I had no trouble zipping through the light and darkened areas.
There's one thing to note about two aspects. Looking at the control map in the options menu I didn't see a counter option. Wikipedia, and IGN, say there is one. This wasn't apparent to me so the only way I was able to evade attacks was using Ninja Dash and that was like switching hats to stay in disguise at a frat party.
On a positive pivot though this game makes it easy to adapt if you can't play the custom way. The alternative vision will even highlight enemies in red so someone could spot enemies easier if they're unable to see them in the usual setting.
The level designs are not confusing at all in the demo. Mostly it's navigating inside a house, on the street, outside in the beginning, and the boss fight at the end of the demo. The demo won’t make you want to start reading excel spreadsheets in order to get rid of an endured migraine. Instead it's like a tour guide who just absently dispatches heads every once in a while, making sure to point out all the shiny things and tossing in a little fun here and there… with stealth still intact in some parts.
Sadly this is where the game tosses my disabilities right back in my face and even blows them up big enough to where I wouldn't miss the inaccessibility. The part that makes it so challenging is the control system. A disabled person with a severe physical disability wouldn't be able to press the required buttons and hold them down, and move, on top of that. I found myself crouched behind a pillar, ready to Ninja Dash up on a guy, and take him out with my sword. I had to hold down two buttons. Unable to do this, I walked up to him, practically whistling my presence, and he turned around and battle mode began where I was ambushed. I tried to Ninja Dash away, screaming like a little girl but the AI were actually smarter than I was and they cornered me off, hacking at me until I crumpled in a shower of sparks. Thankfully, stealth isn't needed so I just went in the second time jamming to American idiot by Green Day as I hacked my way through metal bits.
The boss fight is the hardest, due to the fact that he doesn't telegraph his attacks. Having not been able to figure out how to effectively dodge and counter attack I stood there like melted cheese as the dog cyborg hacked up my inner workings and then taunted me while he was doing it. Finally I started hopping around the battle area like I was trying to catch a flying fish, attacking him when he would try and attack me. The various quick time events during this fight, as well, also made it unnecessarily difficult as well. It was as if I had sat in an accessible class only to have the final test be in Chinese. The fuel to destroy this mutant dog because he spouted off lines that made me quiver drove me to just keep trying until, I finally, finished him to a soundtrack of Earl Had to Die by the Dicksy Chicks.
This demo is a great demo all in all, patched with some workarounds for disabled gamers. Sure, some of the dialogue sounds like melted chocolate reading an obituary but the modish performance mechanic accompanied with the lavish story and overall fun are what make this demo a must get. It's a little on the short side but it's supposed to want to make you buy the full game. If all of the work around and forgiving statures have been added to the entirety of the full game as they were in the demo the game would be worth getting. Otherwise, disabled gamers, particular ones with physical disabilities will have a hard enough time with the host of button combinations they would need to perform a simple action.
Despite this small hurtle, with enough practice, physically disabled gamers will have no trouble with this game. It’s a fun time that can't even rival a soothing slushy.