I had this game on my list for a long time now. I added it because I thought its gameplay looked good and heard it was challenging. BUT no one ever told me it would be THIS MUCH HARD!!
Gameplay: Being a hack n slash game, the combat is superb. Very fluid, responsive and diverse. In fact, I'll say it is one of the best hack n slash game combat that I have experienced. You have multiple weapons and most of them are useful. All of them are different with different styles and combos and feel and can suit to specific needs. This game encourages you to use different weapons at different stages. The variety of enemies is also large. You don't get bored with killing a single type of enemy as they game constantly introduces and shifts new enemies. The boss fights are, for the most part, great too.
Now the difficulty, well there is no difficulty setting, the game just throws you in the fight with normal difficulty and I can safely say it was the most HARDEST hack n slash game I have ever played. Seriously, I got so raged at times that I almost broke my remote. It is an extremely challenging game. But there are some cheap/unfair stuff in it too which makes it a lot more difficult, like ridiculously long checkpoints at some places and no shops. Also, some enemy placement and enemy spawning also feels too cheap.
But a lot of the game is fairly tough and really does makes you work hard to reach the next level and the next one and so on. The feeling of accomplishment is unbelievably immense. Defeating an extremely tough boss will never probably satisfy you as much as in this game. And there are A LOT of tough bosses in it. You get so trained in dodging and blocking and using combos etc that by the time you are near the final chapters, you stop and think that how in the hell were that boss hard and that area frustrating and etc. I myself found the last two chapters and boss fights to be easy, mostly because by that time, I was well trained by that time.
The camera sucks in it though. Most areas are in doors and camera just blocks your view a lot, very annoying. Also, those areas where you have to find things and put them somewhere to progress were very annoying too. Got lost often.
Story: Story, characters, cutscenes etc is pretty much MEH. It is just there for a reason to progress and introduce new enemies and areas, nothing more.
Graphics and sound: Being a previous generation game, the graphics were meh. But don't let it bother you. You'll get used to it. It runs at smooth 60 FPS. Soundtrack is pretty sweet in some areas, makes you pump up and not give up. And believe me you will want to give up at many places during this game.
Concluding remarks: If you want a real challenge, something to test your Hack n slash game skills, then this is the perfect game for you. And don't pussy out by abandoning the ninja way (it gives you an option when you die too much :p ). I seriously would have never thought I would give it a high rating when I was in the initial stages, I was hating this game. BUT you really have to beat it to understand it and admire it.
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