Review – Jetstream Sam DLC, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

What’s good, everyone? Joshua Evo here (yes, I’m totally still around) with a quick review for you guys. Let me just start by reiterating that amidst some of the criticisms of rapid tonal inconsistencies,  seemingly “shalllow” game play and bizarre story in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, I still enjoyed this game, except that I felt it was a bit on the short sid.. Thankfully, this past Tuesday, April 9, 2013, Konami released a DLC add-on that traced some of the backstory of my personal favorite character in the the game, Jetstream Sam.

The add-on puts players into control of Samuel Rodrigues, dashing swordsman,administrator of justice and man of MANY monikers (Jetstream Sam and the awesome sounding “Cool Brazilian Wind). After cutting down drug cartels and other underground criminals across Latin America, he arrives in Denver at the World Marshal headquarters to  further test his skills. For me, Sam was an incredibly compelling character just based off of his appearances and role in the rest of the game, so assuming control of him in any form was a tantalizing concept, as was checking out the differences between him and Raiden. To avoid spoilers, I’ll be focusing more on the game play rather than going too into detail with the story points.

How dare you, sir! My story DEMANDS to be told!

How dare you, sir! My story DEMANDS to be told!

While a lot of the core game play mechanics like Zandatsu, parrying, Blade Mode, Ninja Run, counterattacking and stringing attacks together are all still intact, there are some pretty notable differences between the two characters. For starters, playing as Sam feels MUCH less emphatic on stealth. Raiden’s Enhanced AR is replaced by Sam’s Taunt, which serves to attract attention to himself and enrage his attackers. What does this do other than turn you into a moving bulls-eye? Well, it makes affected units take more damage and more prone to blade mode destruction. Considering that Sam is much more flashy than Raiden, his attack swings are a little bit slower and more deliberate feeling. Virtually ALL of Sam’s Hard attacks can be charged for a few seconds to unleash much stronger versions of themselves with differing effects. While some of these are stagegeringly powerful, they can leave Sam vulnerable. Luckily, he is also very maneuverable; as he has an air dash and is granted a dodge roll/somersault move to get himself out of trouble spots. 

Pictured: Trouble spot.

Pictured: Trouble spot.

While also a bit short, the add-on also includes several familiar faces and additional collectibles of its own. The interaction with LQ-84i is particularly interesting and fleshes the two characters out a bit more. The Sam-specific VR Missions are very challenging and the differences in styles between Sam and Raiden, while subtle, are enough to need to modify your approach and attack patterns to get in and do what needs to be done progress. The familiar locations look as good as they ever did and Sam is a great character to control and watching his story unfold and seeing the chain of events that lead him to his place in the main story of Revengeance is satisfying and fun. The DLC is available now on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live for $9.99. Definitely give it a look if you’re a big fan of the game, though it might seem a little steep for casual fans.

By the way, if you check out the trailer above, keep an eye out at the very end for a teaser regarding the next bit of DLC.

— Evo out.

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