You guys remember Raiden right? The whiny, naive albino girl from Metal Gear Solid 2 that you were forced to play as for over half the game and then her entire reality ended up being a sham and her girlfriend was the save point? You remember how she had the potential to have a sword and be cool at the end but you only got to use it for like, 10 minutes?

Well hey guysss we made a game about that, after the Patriots or whoever were mean to him and destroyed all of his body except half of his head. Now he’s a cool looking cyborg and stuff.

Okay, I’m in – hack and slash Metal Gear game where I get to do the only thing Raiden ever should have done in that entire game, finally? I’ll buy the game, I says to myself. Then I bought a PS3 and learned there was a demo. I played this demo. Read below at your own risk.

The demo was perfectly fine up until the boss. The graphics are nice (not great), the voice acting and animations are about as acceptably terrible as you can expect from the Japanese or really any video game developer, and Raiden is back with a shitty new no-exceptions attitude and less bitching. I guess he has a right to bitch, and to be pissed off, considering that they cut off his head and turned him into a cyborg, then he lost half of his human eyes. Oh and how Meryl’s dad stole his fiance. If I was Raiden I’d just use my nano-tech to kill everyone. Including the innocents. Maybe.

The game distinctly lacks a stealth element – there is no creeping around or distraction making or hiding in boxes, obviously, because this is an action game in the style of Ninja Gaiden or God of War or Bayonetta, whatever. That’s alright with me, I’ve honestly been playing MGS HD collection and at this point in time, 12 years after I beat the original game, I am having a shit of a time trying to do so again. I don’t get it. The top down shitty camera angles and horrible controls do not compute to me anymore; I’ve moved past that era. Obviously it’s a good game and i like it or I wouldn’t have bought the original and an HD update. It’s just unplayable for me now. I’m ready for a new playstyle (This does not indicate that I accept the same changes for a franchise like Resident  Evil, I do not).

Despite the lack of stealth, you can still sneak up on people and gut them with your blade, which is wonderful. The enemies don’t seem too intelligent though, you can impale a guy right in front of them on a roof and they won’t notice. Fine with me, again, all I’m looking for here is Raiden Gaiden.

Here’s why I hate the game though. The boss. Blade Wolf. Blade Wolf can rot in hell, and it’s not his fault; it’s Kojima/Platinum’s fault for making a demo (potentially the whole game) which showcases, 3 weeks before release, how incredibly god awful the combat game mechanics are when facing a boss. I guess I should take that into account – it’s a boss, not a normal enemy, so maybe their way of making it challenging is to remove you from the illusion of the game having a cohesive feel (i.e having the systems actually work) and forcibly let a wolf with a chainsaw tail assrape you.

You cannot block his attacks. There is no way to do it. If there is a way to do it, it is entirely inexplicable and the woefully inadequate ” Stick + Square to parry” hint does not tell you what to do in the slightest bit. Do I move the stick towards the attack and press square? Do I hold Square? What the fuck do I do, Japo’s? No? You’re not going to give any indication how to parry? Alright.

So because of this you die a few times for no reason before you finally beat him. That’s ok, maybe I needed a warmup. As a sidenote let me say this: I’ve beaten all the Ninja Gaiden and Prince of Persia games on super hard mode, as well as Dante’s Inferno and Darksiders. I am exceedingly good at hack and slash games. These problems are the game, not me. At one point Blade Wolf was literally facing away from me, he had just done a charge attack and was in his 1 second cool-down phase where he was vulnerable. I drop-kicked him. WHILE I was in the air, he pounced me, without ever turning around or jumping. This is where I get pissed off. There is absolutely NO WAY to break out of his grapple. You have to just eat the damage. FUCK that, Kojima. That’s completely unacceptable for an action game like this.

I will say I like the active slash mode, though it makes you immobile and it has a delay so you cant use it very effectively on the go. I also like (sarcasm) how Raiden can swing a Metal Gear by its tail effortlessly, but the same metal gear barely prods him with a leg and it rapes his health bar.

So I’m pretty sure I won’t be purchasing this game, if they aren’t going to fix the broken game mechanics. Not keeping it, at least. Who knows.