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Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (PlayStation 2) artwork

Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (PlayStation 2) review


"Attempting to do something unique, EA ships its players out to the Pacific to battle the Japanese in Rising Sun. Fighting on Japanese soil is a nice change of pace, but Rising Sun smacks you with brain dead AI, blocky environments, and flat out boring gameplay. Instead of shooting through some of the most intense battles from World War II, you are placed in a peaceful and exotic location to do extremely dull objectives. Rising Sun also fails to deliver a good plot with characters that you care a..."



Attempting to do something unique, EA ships its players out to the Pacific to battle the Japanese in Rising Sun. Fighting on Japanese soil is a nice change of pace, but Rising Sun smacks you with brain dead AI, blocky environments, and flat out boring gameplay. Instead of shooting through some of the most intense battles from World War II, you are placed in a peaceful and exotic location to do extremely dull objectives. Rising Sun also fails to deliver a good plot with characters that you care about.

In this painful adventure you play as Joe Griffin who is unfortunately onboard a navy vessel during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In the beginning you are given a fun little tutorial that involves extinguishing and leaping fires, as well as dodging deadly gas. Although, the rest of your time aboard the ship wonít be very enjoyable thanks to a lifeless turret segment. During this mindless killing spree, you shoot down countless planes with kamikaze pilots who apparently donít want to sink the ship, they just want to die. Eventually, you will be blown out of the ship and find yourself submerged and helpless against the attacking planes. When you reach ground you have to suffer through another rail shooting mission. During this segment you need to protect your boat while it goes on a rescue mission, but if you just keep your finger on the trigger button you will succeed. The lengthy missions offer many hours of gameplay, but considering its dull gameplay, that isnít necessarily a good thing. It will take you around 10-15 hours to finish this mess, if you havenít already returned it to spend your money elsewhere. After completing a level, EA knocks you over the head with a terrible cutscene that has horrible lip synching. These cutscenes are meant to develop a story, but since you feel no connection with a living soul, the plot wonít compel you to complete more levels. You will get letters from home which try to make you feel sympathy for the soldiers by showing a cutscene of him reading the letters from his family. In reality, after mashing your controller through a couple of levels, you arenít going to be interested in your characters family.

On a positive note, the game is quite varied. In one level you find yourself in a small rowboat with just a rifle, and in another you will fire freely upon multiple enemies on a large aircraft carrier. Although, throughout the ten missions, you will be going through a shooting gallery stuffed with secret papers to acquire, and objects to obliterate. There are some interesting sequences such as where your taking out enemies using a turret atop an elephant. These try to add a bit more flavor to the watered down gameplay, but only serve as a disguise from the obvious lack of originality. Rising Sun tries to branch out from its roots by adding extra paths that were supposed to open up new opportunities, but it doesnít quite reach its goal. There are only a few extra trails in the whole game, and most of them ended up leading to a place further away from the objective. One of the most noticeable flaws is the enemy AI that seems to have no intent on hurting you. The melee attacks that opposing soldiers perform are pretty dangerous, but they are totally in-effective if they are more than three feet away from you. Your enemies will usually wait for you to reload, and shoot at you with laughable accuracy. Luckily, Rising Sun gives you permission to use many of the famous firearms of World War II, and some that arenít that well known. All weapons can be used to easily take down any opposition that gets in your way. This is a great feeling that you get while holding these authentic weapons, but it soon dies down after you have mindlessly blasted your way through a few levels. Towards the end of the game, you will probably begin to get irritated by the fact that you canít even get your hands on a gun that an enemy drops. With all the crumpled aspects of this game, the one thing that keeps this game standing is the music.

While the gameplay is the games weakness, the game still manages to sound terrific. The soundtrack is composed of all Japanese songs, which all match the setting of Rising Sun perfectly. The music is more calm than youíd expect from a shooter, but it manages to fit right in. Pulling the trigger on a gun creates the same explosive or silent sound that you would hear in real life. Sadly, the voice acting isnít as top-notch as the sound effects. Itís not terrible, but it definitely wonít win any awards. The voices donít express any emotion, which pulls you out of the game and back into your living room. Because this is a World War II game, people should feel sadness, fear, and anger, but none of it is achieved by the average voice acting. Even with some flaws, the sound still shines over the mediocre visuals in this game.

Rising Sun sends you off to picturesque areas that would be beautiful, if it werenít for the poor amount of detail put into them. You wonít notice any lag while playing, but thatís because Rising Sun isnít too demanding. The games graphics are uninviting due to the blocky nature of practically every object in the game. The weapon models look a bit more polished, but they are still nothing pretty. The character models arenít too pleasing to look at either and they donít look too much better in the cutscenes. The co-op that will split the screen will make the game look even murkier.

Playing through a campaign mission with a friend makes the gameplay twice as excruciating, because you only have half the screen to experience the flat shootouts. Although, some neat ideas are featured in the co-op, like in the third level where one player can man the turret on the tank, while the other protects the tank from the outside, it still feels half-baked. Rising Sun also offers competitive multiplayer that ends up feeling tacked on. With ten uninteresting maps and only two game modes, the multiplayer wonít keep you hooked. The maps are fairly small and are in need of some tweaking to become entertaining. The two modes include standard death match and team death match, but that wonít hold your friendís attention for too long. Rising Sun also throws in the option to put bots in a multiplayer game. These bots are actually much wiser than those in the single player, but they have an annoying tendency to run away from you.

Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, doesnít push the genre forward in any way, and its average shooting gallery style gameplay is bogged down. There are many better WWII shooters on the market, so try staying away from this faulty entry into the popular Medal of Honor franchise.


Rating: 5/10

madskillet's avatar
Community review by madskillet (July 17, 2006)

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