Five years ago I asked Atsushi Inaba, one of Platinum Games' co-founders, about the dire prognostications many in the west made about the state of the Japanese industry. "I don't like it when people lump Japanese developers all together into one group," Inaba answered. "Frankly I think it's a joke. What do these people know? [...] There are tons of terrible western developers, just like there's tons of terrible Japanese developers. To lump studios together in great masses misses the point."
After 28 years Metal Gear Solid is finished. Or at least that's what the internet would have you believe. After all, the mastermind behind the series, Hideo Kojima, has unceremoniously parted ways with Konami, the publisher who owns the IP. Konami has been wishy-washy in its future plans since then; the publisher stated in March that it would continue to develop Metal Gear games after MGS5: The Phantom Pain, but then the company's worldwide technology director Julien Merceron left last month and reports indicated it was because Konami would be moving away from console games completely outside of its football series PES.
After little more than the odd, teasing tweet from Hideo Kojima to show for its vital signs, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance arrives as a competent, if not entirely awe-inspiring port to PC. It's been almost a year since the PS3 and 360 releases, and so expectations are high for the esteemed Platinum Games to deliver more than just a barebones port of its latest hack-and-slash success. However, the lack of previous PC releases from the company over the last generation makes this a daring first attempt at the practise - with a mixture of results that mostly point to the positive.
Cancelled by Konami and then resurrected via the coding talents of Platinum Games, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a title sure to court controversy. For a multi-million-selling franchise built around stealth, Platinum's redux pays only a passing regard to the series' heritage, instead focusing on what the team does best: phenomenal, borderline-insane, action. A playable demo - out today - allows you to judge whether Hideo Kojima made the right choice with this new approach to the title.
Every Sunday we haul an exciting article out of the Eurogamer archive so you can read it again or enjoy it for the first time if you missed it. Wesley's piece on Xbox's trials and tribulations in Japan was originally published on 14th December 2012.
Expoooooooo! There are now only 78 days to go until this year's epic Eurogamer Expo at Earls Court on 27th-30th September. Today we're announcing that Konami is bringing its biggest-ever playable line-up, allowing you to go hands-on with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, PES 2013, Zone of the Enders HD Collection and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate on 3DS.
They say the pen is mightier than the sword. In that case someone ought to write a really nasty letter to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance star, Raiden. Something like "Dear Raiden, you ruined Metal Gear Solid 2. I was glad to see your likeness shoved into a locker in MGS3, and I wish you died when you should have in MGS4. P.S. I finished MGS2 and your dick is so small I couldn't even see it. Do you even have one?" If that doesn't hurt him, I don't know what will, because that sword thing? He's got that covered.
But who am I kidding? I can't stay mad at Raiden. Not when he returned to the later part of the Metal Gear series a cyborg ninja with semi-robot voice and blades lining each of his limbs.
His first starring role since his metamorphosis begins shortly after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4 where he's attacked by a rival Private Military Corporation in an unnamed African country. After being critically wounded, he's rebuilt with an even more powerful body, which you'd think he'd be happy about, but he just can't bring himself to not kill everyone involved to get his titular "revengeance." It's just the principle of the thing, you know?
Tom's already offered you a rundown of this year's Actual New Games - the ones that are offering, in their own ways, something unique - and now here's the slightly less glamorous look at the other side of the coin.
They're big business, these blockbuster sequels, and for all that we lament the lack of innovation it's these big-budget series that inevitably garner the most attention and inspire the most devotion from the majority. That's nothing to be scorned - iteration's an important thing in games development and indeed the development of games - and a composite of evolved features designed to fulfil a particular desire, be that the needs of a sports fan or those wanting a fresh shooter fix, can be just as important to the progression of the medium as the advent of a new game mechanic or control concept.
Sequels take many forms and capture our attention for many reasons. Some build their features up year by year, like FIFA and Call of Duty, and will continue to be brilliant when we encounter them later in 2012. Others build on the storytelling or world-building of games a few years past, like Gearbox's brilliant-looking Borderlands 2 or the sure-to-be-spectacular finale to the Shepard's tale in Mass Effect 3. And some are interesting because of their circumstances - Halo 4, for example, is another big-budget sequel on the near horizon, and with a new and as-yet unproven developer filling Bungie's big boots, we're just interested in that out of morbid curiosity as devotion to the series.
With Hideo Kojima off with the fairies or something, it's up to others within his studio Kojima Productions to take up the Metal Gear mantle.
Whether you love or hate Metal Gear Solid, there's no denying that it's an exciting spectacle - in the game and on the internet, where more than a few people are properly crazy about it (2318 at the last count). But poor old Hideo Kojima just can't get shot of it. After so many last games, he's still at it, working directly on PSP title Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, overseeing development of Metal Gear Solid: Rising, and no doubt thinking hard about other ways to keep the wheels turning.