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Full Dynasty Warriors 8 Review

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Dynasty Warriors 8/Shin Sangoku Musuo 7

dq8

Background on the opinion you are about to read:

I got into Dynasty Warriors from DW3 onwards. I absolutely LOVE DW3 and every DW afterwards has not been as good but still quite fun. I've yet to play a terrible DW game but I do wish Koei would provide some more innovation.

Overview:

DW8 is a map based hack and slash game made by Koei, the king of map based hack and slash games. This game is set in ancient China around the time of the Three Kingdoms/Romance of the Three Kingdoms. A tumultuous time where several kingdoms are vying for power and wrap the country in battles. This is probably the best next gen iteration of the DW series. There are various gameplay changes that really mix things up which are a welcome addition. There are still some areas that are lacking though so this is far from a perfect DW game.

Graphics:

DW8 is based on the same graphics engine used for DW7 so the game looks very similar BUT Koei has quite obviously polished certain things. Many textures in the environment, the art design of stages, the number of enemies on screen at once and the cloaks/hair/dresses of the characters all look much better than in DW7. This is a welcome improvement and these little tweaks do impress me, particularly the art design of the all new stages which are more natural and thoughtfully made and not just the same few walls and huts dotted all over a large map.

7/10

Gameplay:

This is a game that lends itself to many many hours of gameplay. There are 77 characters that all play differently and all possess their own special attacks. In this game every character has a special EX attack, 3 types of musuos (an invincible and powerful special attack) and also a new rage musou mechanic which harkens back to old school DW musous where you hold down the button as the combos rack up. This rage musuo becomes a true rage musuo if you KO enough enemies during it, which is very powerful. I found that I rarely used the rage mode but I enjoyed having several musuos to play with and really liked having every character be unique.

I must clarify something though, there are 77 characters and 77 weapons you can choose from. Any character can equip any weapon but any one character can only use one weapon particularly well enough to do an EX attack with it, which gives you an incentive to give certain characters certain moves. Also, despite being able to wield every weapon any particular character can only wield a few weapons with high efficiency, a few with medium efficiency and the rest with poor efficiency. Again, this makes the characters more unique which is quite welcome.

Another new aspect of gameplay is the weapon type system. It is basically a rock ,paper, scissors system where if you have a weapon type that beats whatever the enemy is carrying you will be able to launch a special flurry attack against them and if you have something that loses to their weapon you can do a special parry that auto switches your weapon and bumps up your rage gauge. I have to say that I like this system and am glad it was introduced, it definitely encourages you to use the weapon switching mechanic which I neglected in the previous title.

There are about 40 stages in this game, they are all quite different and very well designed compared to past installments. I have to give Koei props here. I enjoyed these stages. Koei has also seemed to bump up the number of enemies you can slaughter per stage too; you will easily KO 1000 every stage.

Hard and Chaos mode are still just not that fun; the typical enemies with huge health bars and crazy damage and no change in AI. I wish Koei would improve on this.

There are two main modes in this game to play. Story, which is as you would imagine so I will not go into it much (i.e. it is a cheesy and passable affair that gives you a background on most of the characters plus a few liberties that I won't spoil for you) and the ambition mode. The ambition mode is a new feature which basically involves you fighting in tweaked maps from story mode doing missions and collecting officers, weapons, steeds and parts for a tower that you are making that will attract the emperor to your city. This is a very mundane and unimaginative game mode that I found added very little to the game. The money spent on this part of the game was wasted in my opinion. A versus mode, empire mode or damn near anything else from previous DW games would have been better. I was hoping for a create a warrior mode but surprisngly there is none, despite Koei adding it in an expansion for DW7. This game does have a free mode though, which lets you use any character in any stage.

8/10

Music:

The music in this game is a mix of new and old. The old tracks are tracks from games dating back to DW3 and they tend to be put on certain stages of story mode that I won't spoil for you. The new tracks are quite decent but not the best I have ever heard.....but don't worry! This is the first DW game that lets you use your own music! (although I found that my own music is played waaaay too loudly and overpowers that game's voice and SFX sounds which is a real shame)

8/10

Odds and ends for the DW fan:

There are several new characters. I personally found all of them quite fun. My favourite would be Wang Yi (who is technically new). 5th weapons return in this game but they are completely outclassed by custom 4th weapons (there are also special 1st, 2nd and third weapons but these are also quite terrible). The encyclopedia is probably the best featured since they introduced the encyclopedia. It now lets you jump to related pages when looking at a battle/character page. The online is hit and miss, mostly miss. It doesn't really add anything in my opinion. Alternate costumes you bought in DW7 do NOT carry over. This game includes alternate costumes from DW7 for everyone who was in that game or it's expansions but nothing else which is a shame seeing as how they have those ready already, Koei really dropped the ball here. Koei will be releasing a JP voice over pack soon, this not only turns the English to Japanese but also provides voice overs for parts of the game that have no voice overs in the English version (namely talking in the camp before battles in story mode and the narration during story mode).

Summary:

If you have never played a DW game this is the best time to jump aboard. If you played DW7 and liked it, this is more of the same but different enough to justify buying the game. If you are a DW fanatic, I probably just reaffirmed your purchase decision. This is a very solid game and the best of the current gen DW games. Koei has dropped the ball on certain things but they managed to deliver on the main areas, namely characters, weapons and fun stages.

Overall score: 8/10

Games I am interested in from E3 2013

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Oh, and just to get the obvious out of the way: I'll be getting the PS4 for sure.

 

NOW! Onto the games!

 

Battlefield 4 (for PS4)

This game is looking very nice and I love the destructible environments. There will also be 64 players TDM.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (for PC)

This game and Lords of Shadow 1 will be coming out on PC too with upgraded graphics etc. SO, I will be getting them just so I can use mods to play as characters from past series =D. The game itself looks great too.

Dark Souls II (for PS3)

This game is looking great. I loved the first game, one of the few games I actually platinumed on my PS3. Not sure whether to get it for PS3 or PC but will see when the time comes

Destiny (for PS4)

This game looks quite impressive. Next gen seems to be all about the online aspect and this game seems to be heading that charge. I'm not the biggest FPS fan but the lore and detail of the world is intriguing. Also, Peter Dinklage voices a character!

Final Fantasy XV (for PS4)

So, this was obviously going to be on my list. The graphics look great, the gameplay looks very tight and responsive and there seems to be an interesting Romeo and Juliet but with mafia and magic story going on. This game is a must buy for me.

Infamous: Second Son

Infamous 1 was great. One of the few games I have platinumed. I have yet to play the second but I hear only good things about it. This game seems to build on all the made those games great but adds in cutting edge graphics, stellar motion capture and a slew of new abilities. Looks like a very interesting title that I will certainly keep an eye out for.

Metal Gear Solid V

Of course. This game blew me away. The grahics looked amazing and the scale of the game is unprecendented in the series. Like far cry mixed with MGS. There has been a lot of talk about dropping the original voice of snake but I think the new voice is excellent. This is a must buy for me.

Watchdogs

This game has been wowing people for a while now. Great graphics, interesting story that resonates very strongly with current events and unique take on multiplayer.

 

Honourable mention to the new Tom Clancy game. It looks promising! I know of friends who have loved older installments so I may give this game a try.

My Review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

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Brief: I'm a huge MGS fan. I know most of the little details, played all the games (except portable ops) and I went crazy for the multiplayer in MGS4/PW too. MGS is in my blood. I also adore hack and slash games like DMC, Godhand and Onimusha.

 

Graphics

The graphics certainly push the ps3 to it's limits. It is running close to 60fps and without ugly graphics. Quite a feat. It reminds me a bit of DMC4's graphics, just better. Which is a great thing! The cutscenes seem to be pre-rendered and look a bit better than that actual in game graphics, but just slightly. The game will undergo slowdown now and then if you excessively cut up an enemy in zandatsu mode. However, if you cut less than 60-70 pieces then the game seems to run just fine. I'm amazed at this feat to be honest and the way in which soooo many things are cuttable.


Overall: Excellent graphics. Not to the level of uncharted or GoW or killzone but understandably so because of the free cutting.

 

Aesthetics/Design:

In this game you go through quite a few varied environment and they all look unique and great. I won't spoil them but they are clearly researched and faithfully reproduced. For example, in one area they use signs native to the place Raiden is in. Another great great great thing is that there are no obnoxious glowy things that tell you where to go next! You have the MGS style map, yes, but things like chain fences do not stand glowing, doorways that must be cut do not glow and gratings that can be cut and traversed through are not highlighted. It makes you turn back into a curious gamer again. Love it!

The enemy design is interesting but there is not much variety. There are the peon soldiers and then stronger variations of them of which there are about 3 or so and they all look quite similar but with some changges. There are basically one or two flying enemies and then finally 4-5 miniboss type enemies. It's a decent number but not impressive. Certainly better variety than a game like DmC but less so than games like GoW, DMC or Onimusha.

The design of the bosses, Raiden, costumes and alternate weapons is allllll excellent. No complaints at all.

I am going to mention the music as well. It is absolutely amazing! One of the best parts of the game. It REALLY fits the scenes/battles/stages. Platinum outdid their selves with this sound track. Bravo!

Overall: Great design. The only minor issue is that a bigger variety of peon enemies would have been nice to have.

 

Weapons and combos:

The game has a very flowing combo system. It is something in between batman arkham asylum and DMC. A great medium! Love the idea. You can infinitely hit the square button to do a continuous combo and also use the direction button to change the enemy you are attacking, ala batman arkham asylum. However, there are also strong attacks that are activated with triangle which are not infinite and are quite DMC/bayonettaesque. You also have special moves ala DMC (e.g. like a stinger type move).

There are a handful of unlockable weapons but their movesets are very very limited. A real shame as there was great potential there to expand on them. One weapon in particular is relegated to a niche role against certain enemies. But, saying that it still is really fun fighting with what you have.

In addition to the secondary weapons you can get, you can replace your primary sword in an aesthetic/power sense (i.e. your move set stays the same) with quite a variety of swords in the game.

The free cutting mode may seem repetitive to an onlooker but wow, I just CAN'T get bored of it. It is just so fun to use! Love it! The only awkward thing is that it is difficult to move while in this mode because of the controller layout but thankfully you rarely if EVER need to use that feature.

Overall: Free cutting is excellent, combo system is an excellent idea but the one caveat is the lack of moves for the secondary weapons you can pick up.

 

Enemies:

I already mentioned the design of enemies above. This section deals with what it is like fighting them. In my opinion, this is one of the best aspects of the game. Fighting the enemies in this game is just plain fun. You can approach every enemy in a different way and you can defeat every enemy in multiple ways. It really encourages creativity, a staple of MGS games. I won't spoil any of them to let you find out on your own. There is also the ninja kill aspect which further enhances this.

I played the game on hard mode and found it to be a decent challenge but not completely overwhelming, I suggest you start on that mode too. Normal is a bit too tame in my eyes. Hard mode encourages you to find simple strategies to beat enemies and really makes the game shine.

One minor issue I have is that some enemies can grab you and put you into a "wiggle the stick to break free!" state which is frustrating because wiggling the stick is such an unintuitive thing to do. I wish they would allow us to mash a button instead in a future patch.

Overall:Fighting the enemies in this game is extremely fun. A massive plus in any hack and slash game!

 

Bosses:

Bosses are some of the best I have ever fought in any game I have played. Even more so than many MGS bosses! I really don't want to spoil the fights but you essentially go through several phases and each boss fight is gripping and action packed. The cutscenes mid boss battle really give you the feeling of this being a fight between you and the boss rather than you, the player, just beating some random enemy in a game. It draws you in. I was happy with the final boss too. It was quite a challenging but epic fight, despite the person you fight being someone who is kind of thrown into the story haphazardly later in the game.

Overall: excellent boss battles!

 

Story:

The story is an interesting one. It starts off with the namesake angle of revenge, as you can imagine but quickly changes into the typical MGS style politically charged debate. This one is particularly interesting because of how anti american it comes across. I loved the story and I commend KojiPro for penning such a controversial story (don't think that controversy is it's only merit btw). Sure there are cheesy interactions and dialogue (not THAT much though) but that is just the style of MGS. I welcomed it. My only issue is that there is a point where the game suddenly throws these ulterior ideas at you together with new characters. I wished the story was a little more fleshed out....which leads me onto the next section nicely.

Overall: Great story, bit rushed towards the end but ultimately interesting and enjoyable.

 

Replayability:

Longevity of this game has been a bit controversial. Let me say categorically that the first time you play it, especially if it is on hard mode, you will not finish it before 7-8 hours of actual gaming and more like 10 if you actually play and enjoy the game, just like MGS4.

Saying that though, the game's last few chapters do feel rushed and quite short compared to the first 4-5 chapters. It is quite a stark contrast actually with the first few chapters being quite considerable in length. I wish Konami could have spent more time on development and fleshed that latter half of the game out a bit more. But saying that, what you get is still quite sizeable and very fun. perhaps kojipro even cut off the fat and made the game just a tour de force? Which it really is. There is never a dull moment.

There are a whole bunch of unlockables in this game including VR missions (DLC missions and bonus characters incoming!), costumes, special "cheat" items and weapons. There is a ton of replayability. An excellent sign of replayablitly is when you finish the game you instantly start a new game. I haven't done this for a game in quite a while, I did it for this game though!

Codec conversations are gold too. I love listening to them now and again.They are a great reason to come back and play again to hear them all. BTW, the voice acting in this game is very solid.....but the lip syncing in codec calls is quite off =[

Overall: great replayability but my only gripe is that the latter half of the game seems a bit rushed. Do note though that the length of the game is average at the very least, it's not ridiculously short or anything.

 

Final opinion:

This is an excellent game. If you enjoy hack and slash games you will love this. It  allows you to play in many different ways: cheating, combo maniac, ninja killer and tactician for example. The graphics and design are excellent, the replayability and enemies are also great which leads me to give it a 9/10 There are only a couple of niggles (mentioned above) in this otherwise AAA title.

Wonzan

X

Pros vs Cons: PlayStation 4

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I'm also going to rate each of the points I put down on a score scale out of 5 depending on how significant I think each point is and how much weight it carries.

Pros:

-Graphics are powerful, very powerful. And you cannot buy a PC this powerful for this money (rumoured prices) and probably won't be able to for a few years (+5)
-The controller looks nice and has improved ergonomics (the dpad, sticks and triggers). It also has built in PSMove, audio jack and touch pad (I'm doubtful as to what benefit the touch pad will bring though, it is so awkwardly place and right now seems to be a waste of resources but I can't class it as a negative since it is just an addition we may or may not use) (+4)
-PS4 has support from a very wide array of developers already and already has some AAA titles in development for it (+5)
-The console is apparently much easier to develop for. Considering the PS3 was so hard to develop for but still had a market share the size of the X360 this could mean that we will be seeing many more PS3 exclusives and multi platform games...perhaps. (+4)
-Gaikai allows game streaming which means you do not have to actually have the game, saving on hard disk space. It will also allow you to play while you download a game too. However, this obviously requires a fast internet connection and inevitable lag may make some games, like street fighter, difficult to play. (+3)
-Share functionality allow you to "share" the last 10 minutes of your gameplay straight away via ustream. It also allow you to share photos and other video too. It is unclear whether you can save gameplay or video to hard drive and export them/edit them so I will ignore that aspect for now. I also don't really see many casual gamers using this function at all (+2)
-PS4 comes with a headset. This will mean many more people chatting in games, which is a pro and a con but mostly a pro. (+3)
-PS4 comes with stereo playstation eye (+3)
-PS4 can output 4k but only with videos and pictures, not games. Not a con in my eyes since I don't see many people jumping on the 4k bandwagon. HD is good enough until 8K eventually comes around (+1)
-PSvita game play that allows you to stream games to your PSvita so that it acts like a WiiU controller (+1)
-PSInstantON; this allows you to instantly start your PS4 right from where you left off after starting up your PS4. (+1)
-Old PS titles will be available via gaikai in a very limited backwards compatibility attempt from sony, but at least it is something (+2)

overall pros score: +34


Cons
-No real backwards compatibility (-5)
-No ability to keep your purchased games from PSN (-5)
-The addition of PSMove and PSeye may mean many more games with gimmicky last minute gameplay mechanics (-2)
-Cannot transfer PS3/PSN game saves to PS4 (-4)
-Cannot use DS3 controllers with PS4 (-2)

overall cons score: -18


Things that are still missing are the official price, the appearance of the console, details on the next PSN, a final release date and launch lineup.

total score = +16
Overall, a good outing by sony. They could make the PS4 amazing by simply addressing this issue with backwards compatibility. Without doing that they are encouraging players to stick to the PS3 which already does have great graphics and a huge library of games. Sony should seriously consider backwards compatibility, even at the expense of something like touch controls, bundled headsets or even the PSeye. The jump in graphics isn't as significant as previous generations so I think players will be hard to convert. But again, despite saying that, the PS4 is looking very good and is something I will certainly be getting.

what do you think?

My review of DmC

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dmc

Before I start let me tell you about myself so you get an idea of where I am coming from.

I am a huge DMC fan. Have fully completed every DMC game to date, including the Vergil expansion of dmc 3. I love the genre. Have completed many games in the same vein. I like other genres too though, RPGs, shooters, stealth,  strategy, fps games etc. I can play most any genre as long as the game itself is an excellent representation of it's genre.

I will review DMC according to whether it is an excellent representation of the genre of action hack and slash games. I'll break the review down to sections for easy following.



Graphics


The game is using the unreal engine, a dated engine that has been around since the ps3 was born. It shows. Graphics look quite blocky at times and the frame rate will frequently dip, particularly during cut scenes. These will bother you at first because it's predecessor, dmc4, and many other modern action games are quite beautiful in comparison but you will get used to it. I have also played the PC version, it can output 60fps instead of the 30fps that consoles do. It also has better graphics in terms of textures. Go for the PC version. If you can.

Overall, graphics wise, this game is passable and on PC the game can be said to have solid graphics.


Aesthetics


This refers to the design of the game. The design of the main characters is controversial but ultimately you get used to it and move on. Would I like to see these characters return? No. But I can bear them for this excursion.

The environments are quite well designed for the most part, in fact the are mostly excellent. You traverse quite a few locals and rarely do you visit any cliche gaming environments; there is no ice stage, no underwater stage, no jungle stage etc. The environments are unique and varied. I won't spoil them.

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As for enemy design, wow.....terrible. Absolutely terrible. Completely forgettable and uninteresting. There are also very little few enemy varieties, easily the smallest enemy variety of all the DMC games and too few for any decent action title. This game uses the 'tweak the colour and look slightly to pass them off as a new enemy type' trick that poorer action titles love to abuse. Very disappointing.

Weapon design is great, they all look interesting and I believe you would agree. Not much more to say.

Overall, aesthetics wise, the game is above average.


Weapons and combos


There are a decent number of weapons to use. A manageable amount. All the weapons seem to have their own use too. Which is great. However, comboing seems just uninspired to me. Anything cancels to anything so combo discovery is not really that fun and the combos themselves look extremely jarring. There is very little skill involved which makes comboing less fun. On top of this, it is far too easy to get an S rank, especially with the glaive weapons. Another thing that makes comboing less fun.

Weapon upgrading is no fun either. When I upgrade a weapon to unlock a new move i don't feel like I am improving my weapon much at all. Only some weapon upgrades are useful and increase my repertoire, for example the ability to drag up enemies into the air with osiris or to charge you gauntlet weapons for longer. Most weapon upgrades you purchase purely increase damage or area of effect, which is disappointing. I would have liked to see more unique (and serviceable) moves and different combos unlocked as you progress (every weapon in this game only has two base combo strings or less).

Overall I think the game gets a 'good' from me on this section, I was hoping for a very solid or excellent though, given its pedigree.


Enemies


I already mentioned how there is little variety in enemies and that they are aesthetically displeasing well there are more issues..... but starting with the good: for the most part, enemies are fun to fight. This is a combo game that let's you fight the way you want but quite often you will come across enemies who can only be damaged by certain weapons. This is an extremely poor effort at adding variety to the enemies and ultimately takes away player freedom in choosing how to proceed. But, like I said, apart from that, the other enemies can all be tackled in a variety of ways which is something I'm glad for.

All in all, this is a very solid section of the game.


Bosses


No idea why capcom put the worst boss in the demo but it did. The bosses in this game are very fun to fight in general. They aren't really challenging but they are fun to fight. Each boss goes through several stages as you fight them and they change their pattern as you do. Apart from the succubus and the mundus boss fights, all the boss fights are quite unique and fun. My favourite being the bob barbas fight.

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Overall this section of the game is very solid.


Story


Now, the press rave about the story, about how deep and enthralling it is. BS! Are they seeing the same thing I am?! This is certainly no rewriting of the typical action game story and certainly doesn't have  a more in depth story element than the previous 2 DMC games. The story is serviceable. Nothing special at all and unfortunately it doesn't leave you with any characters you are rooting for unlike most action games. The ending has everyone jump to illogical conclusions and assumptions without talking things through. Had this been something that was addressed through the story it may have made sense but it makes no logical sense and shatters the character relationships built through the game. They tried to show Vergil as a more ends justifies the means kind of guy but that doesn't explain the ending at all. It leaves you thinking (BTW spoiler coming up!!!) "wait, why are they fighting? This makes no sense, they just went through all of that and now they're going to do this??? I don't even know what to think or who to root for.....". A shame.

The story, overall, is serviceable. Average. Even with the odd ending.


Replayability


There are many difficulty levels and lots of collectibles for you to get. To upgrade weapons to max will probably take 2-3 replays. It took me under 8 hours to complete the game and I completed the game on normal and hard mode. I don't see many people loving the game enough to replay it so many times to complete all the difficulties though....

...overall, replayability is solid.


Final opinion


This is a solid game. Not amazing. Not terrible. Just solid. This is another dmc2 of the DMC series in other words, although perhaps a bit better than dmc2. Would I recommend you play this? Sure, it is fun. But I would suggest you rent it or borrow it rather than buy it. I would give this game a 6.5/10 I would suggest buying metal gear rising revengeance for your action game fix, I have yet to play it but from the ogling I have done and trying the demo it it is looking like a great game. Look forward to my review of it ;D

Wonzan x

:D

NEW METALGEAR SOLID! (caps!)

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a

Today in Tokyo, Konami showed off its brand new Fox Engine with a demonstration. The engine's demo ran footage of something called Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.

The thing is, this is not just a tech demo. This is an upcoming, new, open-world Metal Gear Solid game.

"This announcement is a challenge from Kojima Productions to the world," said Hideo Kojima.

The footage showed off how the engine can handle weather (like rain) as well as clothing textures and lighting.

In the demo, Snake crawled to avoid some searchlights. After a quick stealth kill, he hopped in a jeep and called in a helicopter for evac. The concept behind Ground Zeroes is that this is a "Game without Game Over".

So even if a player is discovered in this stealth title, the game isn't about to end. Instead, it's just getting started. Here, it sounds like Kojima Productions is adding a new spin to the sneaking genrea genre the developer is a master ofby making more of a game out of the escape itself and allowing players to do things like radio in for support. The demo seemed to indicate that Ground Zeroes wants players to do much more than simply run and hide.

"Sounds like MG, but the scale & atmosphere... Wow," tweeted game localizer Mark MacDonald of 8-4.

The demo was running on a PC at current-gen specs, and its wow-factor seemed to impress those in attendance. It's also been designed with the Xbox 360 and PS3 in mind.

The Fox Engine, however, isn't only for current gen. Konami is positioning the Fox Engine for both Cloud gaming and next gen consoles.

Konami prohibited photography of the demo during this event, but you can see the first images below.

(source: kotaku)

[Personally, I really can't wait! Sounds awesome! Never have I been disappointed by Hideo so I have the highest hopes!]

Happy 2012!

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Hope you guys have a great year ahead.........and hope we don't all cease to exist lol

An early happy new year to those of you on different calendars too (chinese, Islamic etc etc).

peaaace

Metal gear rising.....revengeance???

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Apart from the silly subtitle name, this game looks very good. It is being co-developed by the people that made vanquish and bayonetta so you know it is going to be awesome gameplay wise.

trailer:

edited the link for a higher quality video