Sup! Whether you're hunting those glorious S-ranks on Revengeance difficulty, or just want to jazz up your fighting style, I’m going to lay down some of the techniques discovered so far that may lend a hand.
As with Bayonetta, Platinum Games’ previous entry in the action genre, the combat system at work in Metal Gear Rising is approachable from a casual perspective, but conceals a greater depth for those who seek it out. MGR isn’t Bayonetta, though. While that game placed itself firmly among titles like DMC, MGR bears more of a resemblance to Ninja Gaiden. The focus is less on flashy combos and weapon switching as it is maintaining effective pressure. The game basically has two mantras:
'Defense through Offense’; and
'Always be attacking'.
At higher difficulties especially, Raiden is made of glass and will dizzy very quickly. You don’t want to get hit often, so abide by these phrases.
With that in mind:
This is your basic cancel. It can cancel both attack and dodge animations (more on this later), and allows extended attack strings.
Where a combo usually ends and Raiden follows through with the rest of the animation (after it has finished causing damage), the enemy will recover. Tapping LT/2, however, will cancel those further frames and allow Raiden to continue keeping up pressure.
You cannot BMC a parry, unfortunately, but you can BMC into a parry (this isn’t as useful as what’s coming up, though).
It's as simple as that, but bear it in mind, because blade-mode cancelling is fundamental to the next technique.
As far as I'm concerned, getting through the game unscathed hinges on this principle. Like BMC, dodge-cancelling will cut short the frames of animation on certain moves (most normal attacks are cancellable, some special moves are; experiment to find out). Remember the mantras? Yeah, this is where they come into play.
Performed by pushing the left stick in the direction of the attacking enemy and pressing X+A (with reference to the 360 controller), this tool is both incredibly powerful and versatile.
Most importantly, you can BMC a DC (in the B!), but only the forward dodge (it has magical properties). What this means in practical terms is that, while performing an attack string, Raiden can cut it short in order to protect himself (or purely to extend the string) by forward dodging. Then, at any point during the forward dodge, tapping LT/2 will also cancel that animation.
This allows Raiden to continually press the opposition, defend himself and dispatch enemies quickly.
I mentioned above that a parry cannot be BMCed... Well, they can be DCed. By dodging in any direction, the lengthy animation after a successful parry can be cut short. Factor in the DC>BMC and you have yet another strong tool at your disposal.
This technique is carried over directly from Bayonetta and allows a dodge to be performed mid-combo, with the combo being completed post-dodge.
Because MGR’s attacks do not correspond to the button pressed, but rather the sequence in which they were pressed (ie. different animations come out depending on the input combination), interrupting a combo mid-way through would cause any animation/move specific to that combo to be lost.
However, by holding the last input and pressing dodge, the following move in the combo sequence will continue to come out after the dodge (assuming you press the input after).
In terms of practical uses, much like the above, it allows constant pressure to be maintained, while protecting yourself from incoming attacks (the difference here being that the combo is preserved).
So, those are the fundamentals. My list is far from exhaustive, and the applications of those techniques go beyond the basics I’ve outlined above. Hopefully there will be more tech developed and discovered in the near future. I’m already playing around with Raidens Ninja Run>heavy attack as a possible OTG (on-the-groung) attack, but we’ll see what comes of that…
In the meantime, here's a video showcasing some of these techniques.
(Please excuse the absolute dog quality of that last video).
Feel free to discuss the techniques I’ve explained, or any other tips/tricks you feel are useful.