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Conan is a missed opportunity. The game has the right ingredients but they just weren't developed the right way. The truth is Conan is very entertaining. You have numerous combos which have devastating results on the enemies, resulting in decapitations, severed arms and numerous other "fun" deaths. Conan can flip a guy in the air and cut him in half and as he falls to the floor, his intestine falls out as blood gushes like a fountain. It's this kind of extreme violence we're talking about. This makes Conan a fun Hack'n'Slash. However, as you advance in the game, the number of enemies increases dramatically as does their quality. None of them is extremely hard to kill, however they gang up on you and any kind of combo becomes close to impossible. You just use the strong/light combo, mashing triangle or square and trying to roll away when surrounded. It takes a lot out of the game. There are also a lot of bosses. This is where things start to get messy. I like bosses and these are old school. They're big and mean. They are not impossible to kill but they take a long time and can become frustrating and annoying. You fight them in rounds. After you deplete their energy once, you go to the next round where they have a new combo or a new attack. They're about three rounds each. They also require that you push certain buttons, as they flash in the screen at the end of each round which can be hard if you don't have good reflexes and don't pay close attention. This brings us to the worst part of the game. The final boss is just awful. I dare you not to lose your temper while fighting him. On normal difficulty it took me 48 minutes to beat him. You cannot save during the fight so you must go through all the rounds at once or start from the beginning, the next time. I cannot stress enough how infuriating this boss is. He's hard but he's mostly annoying. He's cheap and dull and really, and I mean really, takes away most of the fun you've had until that point. Also frustrating are the platform sections. Conan's movements and jumps are clumsy and the camera is a mess. You can easily miss jumps. They're awkward and the fixed camera doesn't help. The camera is also a problem in the final boss battle. Many times I couldn't see Graven, which is essential to predict his moves and know when to attack. There is no excuse for this. There are also puzzles but they are so easy, they are hardly worth mentioning. The graphics are also fairly uninspired. After you've seen games like Uncharted or Ratchet and Clank: TOD, Conan really looks bad. The water is laughable; the cut scenes are stiff and the voice acting bellow par. Even Ron Pearlman who is an actor I highly appreciate seems to be phoning it in. The game could also be longer. It took me 8:30 hours to finish and I'm a slow gamer. Still it's not all bad. The music is perfect for the atmosphere. There are a lot of maidens with their bare breasts who need rescue and of course there's carnage, a lot of carnage. Imaginative carnage. Conan is an entertaining game even with all its problems. I'll play it again, when I want a mindless, gory, fun game. If you can get pass the PS2 graphics and like bosses or are a patient gamer who loves a challenge, give it a try. If you want or expect an unforgettable experience, play God of War. Conan is a testosterone filled, violent, crude, game. A guilty pleasure that I enjoyed and am glad to have in my collection even with all its flaws.
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