Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Jetstream Sam one of the main enemies of “Metal Gear Rising Revengeance.”
In “Metal Gear Rising Revengeance”, Raiden is a cyborg warrior who works for a private military company called Maverick. While protecting a convoy with an African president in it, Raiden and the group are attacked. One of the main attackers is Jetstream Sam. Sam quickly murders several of the men defending the president and takes down armored vehicles with ease. The president is captured and Raiden is chasing after Jetstream Sam and another attacker later revealed to be called Sundowner. After Sundowner kills the president, Raiden goes on the attack and Sam beats him quickly. After being defeated, Raiden vows to chase down Sam and get his revenge as well as stopping the corporation Sam works for, Desperado.
In the base game you don’t see a huge amount of Sam. You see him early on and it is clear he is a far more trained and disciplined swordsman. He doesn’t have any augmentations that make him any more powerful like Raiden and yet as no trouble with defeating Raiden. He says that Raiden is not allowing his sword to do what it is intended to do. It’s clear Sam is truly as a swordsman where as Raiden is basically a self taught sword wielder. After such a swift defeat, Raiden quickly gets a vendetta on Sam and immediately assumes he is evil. When you speak with Sam again though it is clear there is a bit more to him then Raiden assumes.
When you comes across Sam in the city he is being projected on huge screens all around. Being large and imposing above you, he taunts Raiden saying he is a heartless killer. Raiden tries to defend himself by saying the men he was killing chose the path they were on but Sam’s corporation was capturing kids. Sam starts to say that really these men didn’t have to choose, they were forced into this by circumstance. After getting verbally shot down, Raiden loses his cool and falls apart. Sam, then smirking with his victory, simply leaves. I thought this was going to lead into some sort of interesting fight or a one on one dialogue between Sam and Raiden, but nothing really happens. I was thinking there was gonna be some more information on Sam here, but there wasn’t that either. When you get to the big showdown with Sam, though, it is pretty epic.
The battle between Sam and Raiden is incredible and Sam throws out some good insults, but you still get no backstory on Sam. Sam is a really cool badass samurai sword wielding beast as well as resembling someone of Spanish heritage, leading me to be curious how he ended up where he was. The game doesn’t bring any of this stuff up though. Where did he learn to sword fight? No clue. Where did he get the strange outfit he has going on? Also no idea. Why is his sword so awesome and powerful? Still no clue. All of the things that make Sam really cool are not explained to you. He is a really cool character but none of his story is told. It is really a sad little set up. Now to be fair there is a DLC that gives some story to why Sam is with the company you are fighting but it doesn’t add that much sadly.
You play as Jetstream Sam in the DLC on his journey into how he became part of the company Desperado. Sam was chasing down members of Desperado telling them they are horrible people and that he was going to stop. They send soldiers and a Metal Gear Ray at you and you dispatch them all and work your way until you fight the boss. After having an epic battle with the boss, the villain Armstrong says he should join them. Armstrong feeds Sam some political nonsense saying he was gonna fix everything and stop wars and Sam agreed after hearing that. That’s it. No backstory or development just a little mini story on how Sam joined Desperado. Pretty disappointing. I really wanted something on Sam because he seemed like a pretty cool character and in the main game he seemed to have some interesting morals. He even seemed to be pretty friendly with your robot dog Bladewolf but again they didn’t go into it much.
The verdict for Sam is What The? He seemed like a character where they kinda had an idea as to where they were going like they had a good character in mind but didn’t really follow up. I didn’t hate him cause he was pretty awesome but I wanted more out of him. Much like Hei from “Darker Than Black” he didn’t feel fleshed out enough and that was kind of annoying. I guess sometimes they just don’t know where to go with characters.