Average User Score: 5.8Mar 13, 2011Before I begin, full disclosure: There is a boss fight, Chapter 7, which is the cheapest fight I have ever encountered. I have not finishedBefore I begin, full disclosure: There is a boss fight, Chapter 7, which is the cheapest fight I have ever encountered. I have not finished the game, nor will I, as this boss is absurd. The basic idea of this game is actually not bad, and the story is unique at least. You play as Heinrich, an immortal executioner looking to be mortal, and protecting a witch named Gretchen. Heinrich is basically the ultimate warrior, heavy armor, uses a giant scythe. Gretchen is your typical caster, squishy, yet capable of screen filling attacks that simply shred enemies. While playing, you mix and match these abilities to decimate enemies. And when you are doing that, the game is quite fun. The difficulty is a little uneven, as some monsters are absolute pushovers while other (non-boss) monsters are actually tougher than bosses. The game's take on life and death is pretty unique as well. As stated above, Heinrich is an immortal and thus cannot die. He can, however, be horrifically dismembered. This then prompts the player to mash the A button to regenerate him. Alone, its a rather neat idea, but the problem comes in the form of Gretchen and her terrible AI. Yes, she can destroy enemies with ease... As long as Heinrich is alive and the player is babysitting her. As soon as Heinrich is down, Gretchen shuts down, her brain turns off and she becomes a damage sponge. So you better mash that A button as fast as humanly possible, because she'll just stand there, taking a beating. It also seems like she takes more damage when Heinrich is down. The healing mechanic is unique as well, as to heal Gretchen quickly, you must scoop her up and carry her. It works rather well, though it can be irritating to try to get her when the screen is filled with death.
And here we come to the major issue this game faces: cheap, ridiculous difficulty and cheap deaths. I say this having played Bayonetta on the hardest setting, wearing out two controllers in the process. I've beaten Ninja Gaiden Black on Hard, and all the God of Wars on their hardest settings, and this is easily the second most cheaply frustrating game i have ever played. If you get hacked apart as Heinrich, expect Gretchen to die, which means you reload the checkpoint and have to face the same enemies, loosing any experience you may have gained so you can't power up your spells. So you die again... and again... and again. Or Gretchen, being the moron she is, stands in lava, or gets knocked off a cliff, or you get knocked off a cliff, ad nauseum. The entire game is filled with cheap deaths like these, highlighted by that boss fight i mentioned at the very beginning. You get surrounded by lava, the boss likes to charge across the arena, and likes to jump and create shockwaves that knock you over..And Gretchen into the lava where she is content to burn to death. After two hours of playing this one boss battle, I have thrown in the towel. Which is unfortunate, as the story had potential and the gameplay could be fun, the game just didn't receive the proper tuning.
I can't honestly recommend this game unless you either like frustration or breezed through Ninja Gaiden 2 (which is the number one cheapest game) on the hardest setting. And I wish i could recommend the game, because does have those unique elements that made it worth looking into. Its just sad the developers couldn't make the unique aspects shine, instead contenting themselves with creating an unforgiving gauntlet of frustration.… Expand