You know that feeling from the “retrofag” era in which mashing the attack button would produce the same attack animation with no delay in frames and you could continue using the same attack over and over with little to no risk?

That’s how Metal Gear Rising felt. Though the attack animations are not repeated, they aren’t some factory made combos.

Metal Gear Rising is a beast. I don’t care how many MGS fanboys hate it. One of the few action games this past generation that have been damned satisfying in almost every aspect. No silly fetch quests, rarely any silly “missions” where you have to find so and so often, and most of all, combat that doesn’t revolve around any silly mandated “techniques/arts“. Just straight up going in and using w/e means necessary. Sure there were the occasional QTEs from time to time which keeps it from getting a perfect label, but they don’t get in the way of the fun of dicin bitches up with ease.

There was always something that bugged me about modern day action games/beat em ups/hack n slash titles that had these sometimes convoluted combos and weird counter/guard break systems that rarely made sense to include in the first place. It’s like everything had to incorporate some bullshit from Tekken or Virtua Fighter to be considered a beat em up. What it does it create a game that feels more like a psuedo-fighting game than a standard action title. Granted, they’re not something that takes away from the fun of crushing shit, but sometimes you just want something that doesn’t necessitate memorizing specific combos for different situations. Like in Xmen Legends 2, certain enemies need specific combos to kill them. Like a pop up needing 2 normals and 1 strong attack. Why? They have some weird armor that protects them, and it’s only weak to a certain combo attack. Or in Devil May Cry series, the need to delay your button inputs for different attacks was NEVER a good idea. Though no combos are necessary to combot different enemies, it’s still annoying.

Then there’s also the Tecmo-Koei games like Dymurai Warriors or Ninja Gaiden, especially when you have moves that activate depending on how many times you hit the normal attack. It becomes a little more obnoxious then when you have combos that are useless when the enemies can counter everything you’ve got. Or NG3 is just that poorly balanced.

In general, just the very nature of a factory-made combo system is dull and boring as you spend more time learning combos than just going in and kicking some ass. I understand people can get into shit like that, but taking control of Raiden and just pressing away a “square” and seeing a flurry of continuous slashes is damned exhilarating. MGR has a similar setup as most action games, but goes about it as if it were a game from the 90s. One attack animation and that was your main attack with a couple of secondaries at your disposal.

The combat in MGR is pretty loose and unrestrictive. There’s no real delay between any attack you have, and you can cancel out of one attack right into the beginning of another seamlessly without any penalty. And you can still get your ass beat if you’re not paying attention (bosses mostly). I like this no-holds-barred style of combat where you’re not spending so much time analyzing every individual enemy to see what fucking combo, technique, or counter attack is necessary to defeat said enemy. Anything goes.

As much shit as I give Platinum Games for not making appealing games, they know the fundamentals of making ENJOYABLE games without the bloated nonsense of todays action titles (with the exception of Vanquish and Bayonetta). MGR is probably their best game hands down. It’s almost bullshit free. If they took out those fucking QTEs, it’d be perfect.