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Metal Gear Rising: The Masterful Role of Platinum Games
By now, everyone’s played enough Metal Gear Rising to come up with a whole plethora of criticisms regarding the game – some justified; some not so much – however, I think many people get a little too wrapped up in emotion when doing so.
This isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to the launch of Metal Gear Rising. It happens with just about any release with a decent amount of hype or speculation pre-release, which Metal Gear Rising definitely had plenty of. It is the way of the industry we know and love.
Metal Gear Rising was justified in its hype. It’s hard for any Metal Gear Solid fan to overlook a game with so much Metal Gear crammed in it.
Therein lies one of the main problems regarding the reception of the game: expectations.
There are a large number of fans dying for unending amounts of Metal Gear games. I’d even put myself in this category. This die-hard attitude is fantastic and if any series deserves such fans it’s Hideo’s epic saga. Sadly, this attitude also sets one up for a whole lot of disappointment.
It’s important to go into Rising with an open-mind and see it as the stand-alone piece of work it is.
Firstly, there seems to be a general misinformed viewpoint among people that Hideo Kojima is solely responsible for everything that is Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. This is simply not the case. While it is true that Hideo is responsible for the majority of what makes up the game, it’d be shallow-minded and disrespectful to overlook Platinum’s involvement in the project.
For those who don’t know: Platinum Games is composed of a great deal of influential creative-powerhouses, responsible for games like Bayonetta, Anarchy Reigns and Vanquish. The latter two games were generally overlooked and under-appreciated. All of them, however, have two things in common: a distinctly unique aesthetic and an emphasis on ridiculous, fast-paced fun. These things are ever-present in Metal Gear Rising, and it seems a lot of people failed to really appreciate what Platinum brought to the table.
Personally, I’ve loved everything Platinum has ever released. In stopping for a moment to consider why this was, the honest answer would be this: their unending originality and lack of inhibition. Platinum has always been about producing ridiculous, fun games, and they do it well. There’s always a whimsical absurdity about their games. That is not to say that there’s a lack of anything remotely deep or meaningful about Platinum releases, and I think this has now been well-established with the release of Metal Gear Rising. It’s all very much a testament to creative freedom and expression, and goes to show that pure grit and no fun makes for a dull gaming experience. After all, isn’t gaming all about fun?
It seems that fun has taken a backseat in far too many development studios as of late, so I find it incredibly refreshing anytime Platinum releases something.
For a studio with such an open and rambunctious attitude to work with Hideo Kojima signifies to me that the chemistry between the two parties was – and had to be – absolutely perfect.
There were definitely hitches in the development process, with Hideo placing the project on hiatus at one stage because he wasn’t happy with how it was coming along, expressing displeasure over the lack of depth the gameplay possessed.
Even so, everything eventually came into alignment and the beautiful final product was conceived.
Hideo has since expressed his satisfaction in working with Platinum and when asked of possible sequels, flat-out said that if any were to come about, Platinum is the only studio capable of handling the task.
As a fan of both Platinum Games and everything Hideo has created, it’s easy for me to understand Metal Gear Rising as a combination of two wonderful, yet completely different things.
It’s become far too apparent that there are many people who are too caught up with just one side of the coin, so to speak, whether it’s because they haven’t experienced what a typical Platinum Game offers, or because they have far too many expectations about what they think a Metal Gear Solid game should be.
The amount of fanservice in Metal Gear Rising is plentiful if you look out for it, and is just the right amount so as not to overshadow the great gameplay and mechanics.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to acceptance and appreciation. It’s easy to take for granted the development process of a game and impose misinformed expectations. It’s even easier to subsequently curse the parties involved when these expectations aren’t met.
It’s important to try and experience the game for what it is, and appreciate it for the strengths it has, as opposed to the ones you hoped it had.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have my gripes about Metal Gear Rising. However, I also have faith in both Hideo and Platinum Games, and I know that their work is always meaningful, proud, emotional and, most of all, fun. For that, they each have my respect.