The Bestest Best Word Of 2014 – MGR: Revengeance

Raiden there, demonstrating how to spell 'Revengeance' in entrails.

Revengeance is a real word, you know. It’s an obsolete, and a mite ostentatious, form of ‘revenge’. But my, how ostentatious is Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance! The tutorial level’s mid-point is a fight with a robot dinosaur where you leap between its missiles in mid-air and ultimately cut it in half lengthwise, coolly sheathing your sword as it explodes behind you. The tutorial!

I’m glad that we’re awarding Revengeance a trophy for Bestest Best Word, because if it were Bestest Best Ridiculous Amazing Oh Gosh Wow Just The Best Fighting, I wouldn’t be equipped to write about it. That’s something I’ll never fully experience or understand, and more’s the pity.

Anyway, back to that Bestest Best Word and its ostentatiousness. Made by the wonderful Platinum Games, Revengeance is a big bouncy happy spectacle with cyborgs, set-pieces, robot dinosaurs, robot wolves, a ludicrous yet fun plot, heavy metal, and cutting everything into little pieces with cyberswords, cybersai, giant cyberscissors, and a polearm made of cyberarms.

Yes, she is covered in cyberarms and also swinging a polearm made from those same arms.

Dolts like me might happily cut our way through the game, enjoying how over-the-top it all is. We’ll mash buttons and spin around, chopping things up, and occasionally feel cool when we dodge an attack nicely or neatly finish enemies off with slow-motion spine-removing attacks. It’ll be fun and pleasant and gorgeous and exciting and silly and a pretty great ride.

Now, if we were to award Revengeance a prize for Bestest Best Ridiculous Amazing Oh Gosh Wow Just The Best Fighting, that’d be another matter. Revengeance teaches you to cut things well enough to finish the game and enjoy it, but that’s showing off what it can do. The Revengeance I long to play is the game Revengeance becomes once you’re good at it, the game that’s about what you can do.

Thanks for the screenshot, Rich.

Revengeance’s combat system is crammed full of bits skilled players can exploit – cancels, dodge offsets, parries, invincibility frames, timings, and tricks Platinum doesn’t even tell you about. These become crucial at higher difficulties, and mastering the combat is a game in itself.

Rich Stanton wrote for us about Revengeance and its replayability, “This is not about alternative story branches or new areas to discover, but a core system that is so flexible and large that it has to be gradually unfolded to new players.” I like the term Aztez combat designer Ben Ruiz uses in writing about Platinum’s comparable Bayonetta series, saying that Bayonetta has a “secret game” within it – trying to play it well. You can finish Revengeance barely noticing that game.

Got yer spine!

Alas, I’m all fingers and thumbs. I haven’t had the time (or, more realistically, dedication) to master it. I am bad at Revengeance. I have played the tourist’s version. I had a ball, but the real Revengeance is a game I’ve only seen others play. I hugely enjoyed watching the Let’s Play by Chip and Ironicus, being shown around a game which looks familiar but seems so massively different. I respect, appreciate, and am fascinated by that game I suspect I’ll never play.

But Revengeance didn’t win Bestest Best Ridiculous Amazing Oh Gosh Wow Just The Best Fighting, it won Bestest Best Word. It is a pretty good word, isn’t it? And one fitting for such a fine spectacle.

Back to the complete bestest best PC games of 2014.

28 Comments

  1. draglikepull says:

    I played Revengeance on PS3 last year and had a blast. I’m glad to see that PC gamers are enjoying it now too.

  2. Zyrusticae says:

    Fuckin’ YES.

    I LOVE this game so much. It’s crazy to think that they had such a short development cycle. The game is just incredibly high-quality. The mechanics are so tight and well-tuned, a testament to the genius of Platinum’s combat designers. The collaboration with Kojima resulted in a surprisingly good story (with some hammy elements to be sure, but that only added to the appeal in my case), with some really interesting and heavy subjects being covered during the codec conversations.

    And as was mentioned, the replay value is through the roof. It’s one of those games where I can actually feel myself getting better and stronger the more I play it, not because of stat number improvements, but because I, as a player, am getting better and better at utilizing its mechanics. The feeling I get when I successfully make my way through an entire level without taking damage, cutting my way through the opposition without a scratch, is simply unmatched.

    A full-length, high-budget sequel would be GLORIOUS. I can scarcely imagine what Platinum could accomplish with a full dev cycle and with current-generation hardware. In the meantime… I think I’m gonna keep plugging away at it. Mmm-mm, yes.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      The most hilarious part is that it’s actually one of the most grounded entry in the Metal Gear series. Most people will find any excuse to claim the others were more “serious” but i’m not sure they really remember what they actually played.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Alice, I love/hate you right now.

    When I listed, after much consideration, my 24 gueses for Advent Calendar Games, I made a special category for “Games That Should Win But Won’t,” which consisted entirely of The Yawhg and MGR: Revengeance. The logic here was that the person who reviewed it isn’t on RPS staff, and that the old guard weren’t gonna touch a metal gear game, no matter how cool.

    Foolish me! I forgot about how hip and awesome Alice is. I should have known better. Very happy to be wrong.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      Also – of the 14 people participating in the Advent Calender Guessing Game, not a single one guessed Revengeance. Thus, you have eliminated any chance for a sweep in SINGLE PICK.

    • Oakreef says:

      “and that the old guard weren’t gonna touch a metal gear game, no matter how cool”

      You say that as if Metal Gear has never been on PC before. Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 both had PC releases.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        I’m well aware – I own them! But that doesn’t change the fact that the PC crowd has traditionally viewed the franchise with disdain. And I say this not as a criticism of RPS staff, it’s just the way things have always been.

  4. Low Life says:

    Revengeance would be the best action game I played this year but unfortunately Platinum went and made Bayonetta 2. Sorry, PC :(

    • Vandelay says:

      I really need to get Bayonetta. And Revengence.

      Wonderful 101 was also a glorious Platinum Wii U game, although way above my skill level.

      • Low Life says:

        Yeah, in Bayonetta 2 I was getting platinum trophies at 3rd Climax difficulty (hardest of the three that are initially available) yet in W101 I kept dying even after dropping the difficulty to easy. I just can’t parse the game in the same way., it doesn’t make sense to me in the way most games do.

        And I think I’ve also come to the conclusion that while Kamiya can come up with absolutely wonderful (….) core gameplay he also puts way too much minigames and other filler in his games. Bayonetta 2 is a nice focused experience.

  5. Prolar Bear says:

    RUULES OF NAATUREEEE

    • Monggerel says:

      WHEN OUR GUARD IS DOWN
      I THINK WE’LL BOTH AGREE
      THAT VIOLENCE BREEDS VIOLENCE
      BUT IN THE END IT HAS TO BE THIS WAY

      • Gunsmith says:

        NANOMACHINES SON!

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        The unenlightened masses /
        they cannot make the judgement call /
        give up free will forever /
        their voices won’t be heard at all

        So surprised that none of the political parties have gone for this for their election campaign song…

  6. Geebs says:

    I love this game, and I extra double love the C&I LP because, even though I still suck at REVENGEANCE, I had infinitely more fun with it trying, and occasionally succeeding at, pulling off the tricks C&I taught me. Stuff I’d never known was even possible, and that I’d never have figured out by myself. Like the dodge move, for example.

    Platinum games are fun in direct proportion to how good you get at them, because as soon as you stop sucking they start making you look and feel like an utter badass, and it only gets better from there.

    • subedii says:

      What’s the difference between the cut and uncut versions? The first video appears to have the same play time either way.

      • Geebs says:

        They cut out the commentary over the cutscenes for the “cut” versions; I always watch the “uncut” versions because, for a Kojima game, that means removing 90% of the commentary :-P

  7. ffordesoon says:

    Nice writeup, Alice, but you forgot to mention that the final boss is a shirtless Donald Rumsfeld analogue made invincible by nanomachines who waxes Nietzschean and brags about his college football (American) record, or that you fight him in the wreckage of a giant robot you’ve just destroyed with a katana.

    That might be considered a spoiler, I suppose, but it’s also the first thing I would tell anyone on the fence about this game.

    • Monggerel says:

      Reckon it’s more Stirner and less Nietzsche.

      …correction: it’s all Kojima.

  8. Spacewalk says:

    You can’t hug your children with a polearm made of cyber arms.

    • Monggerel says:

      But they know that you use it to fight for a brighter tomorrow and… uh… like, think that’s hype as shit?

  9. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Sounds to me like you need to get your hands on some Devil May Cry 1 or 3.

  10. Arathain says:

    I’m delighted this one is here. Revengeance is a rarely generous game. It starts out giving delightful spectacle, but the more you give to learning its ways the more it gives back.

    The Chip and Ironicus LP you linked is a great companion to the game. I would play through a section, then go back and see everything I’d missed. And I usually have no interest in LPs.

    Special shout out to the fantastic boss fights, a rare thing indeed. Helped along by each boss having their own theme song, with lyrics that kick in when you hit the final stages of the fight. So, so good.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      I liked the boss fight songs so much I bought the soundtrack.

  11. subedii says:

    What surprised me when I was looking online for combo vids is that some of the PC players putting out videos are doing it with a mouse and keyboard.

    I always suspected it might be feasible (especially since the view is OTS 3rd person), but never gave it a try myself.

    EDIT: Also look up Nanosuit Ninja’s MGR videos.

  12. Synesthesia says:

    I think this one is my game of the year. Maybe it’s time for a rerun!

  13. wondermoth says:

    Necrodancer is clearly a better word than Revengeance.

    I suspect this won’t be the last time that CotN is robbed in these awards.

  14. Premium User Badge

    m-crabtree says:

    i am disappointed this did not win for “best slicing simulator”.