My first thought when playing the game was that it was pretty awesome. Combat system seemed pretty cool and the over-the-top-ness a la DMC3 really appealed to me.
But I hit a point, can't say when exactly, where I thought the game was very poorly designed. I have a number of issues with the game that prevent me from having a good time and they all seem like design flaws to me. Now, I've checked and this game is supposedly super easy. I've checked some more and people appreciate the combat system.
I'm willing to give the game the benefit of the doubt and assume I'm just sucking at it. But can someone explain to me how to play this game then? I love games like Ninja Gaiden and DMC and am fairly good at them, so I started Revengeance on Hard. I have to say this is by far the hardest game I've ever played. So I'm guessing I'm doing something really wrong.
These are my issues with it:
- The camera is terrible. Instead of not being able to keep up, it actually tries hard to make sure the action is not to be seen on screen (example: I'm knocked down, all enemies are onscreen, I get up, camera flips away to showcase Raiden and the wall behind him. Getting hit with invisible blows and die).
- Parrying doesn't work as it should. It only works from complete idle stance. I cannot flow into a parry during a combo, which is insane. I'll either have to not use combo's or not parry, which seems crazy in a game like this, which brings me to my next point...
- Combo's are useless. I'm doing a lot better button mashing light attack than I am actually doing combo's. Combo's often end with a respectively long flare animation (most notably YYXY) that cannot be interrupted to do anything. No new attack, no moving, no dodging and no parrying. It's actively promotes button mashing X until the enemy attacks.
- Some enemies have invisible, unblockable blows. That's... really fucking cheap. I forget what they are called, but robot looking dudes with thick arms jump off the screen and rain down on top of you and although Ninja Running until they are back again works sometimes, it also doesn't work a good deal of the time and they still hit you with high damage.
- Being stunned is frustrating. Especially because once they get one hit in, if you are fighting multiple dudes, you cannot do anything at all until they are done attacking you. If they land multiple blows, you will be stunned which requires way too much stick waggle to get out of before another attack lands. Getting hit once basically sets you up for death if you are fighting around 5 guys at once. Which would be fine but...
- Enemies are damage sponges and Raiden is easily the weakest fighter in the game. Even with a level 3 upgraded damage blade, the most basic enemies seem to take a lot of damage before I'm able to finish them off. They take about twice as many hits as Raiden could and those are the enemies I don't have a problem with.
- You need to break flow in order to be succesful. Having to run away when an enemy attacks is dumb in a game like this. I should be able to dodge, parry or block. But I have to get a few quick hits in, then run before they can retaliate. Close the distance, attack and get out again. Since they soak up a lot of damage it takes forever to clear a room with multiple enemies.
- Rockets are cheap and seem misplaced. I cannot parry rockets. I cannot block rockets. I cannot dodge rockets. Most of the time I even cannot outrun rockets to miss me (because I'm in close quarters). So, whenever the rocket laser sight lights up, I need to run my ass towards whoever wields it and slice his face. Seems like a sound enemy design, except every single enemy has a rocket launcher at some point. I'm running back and forth trying to cancel their launches, but that's just not doable. Mix that with other enemy types that hit heavy and unblockable and it sucks real bad.
The game is really great at it's high points for me. The entire level (I believe 03?) after the car scene was great. It had a lot of enemies, but you could handle them pretty much without taking damage. But after that it got bad for me.
What am I doing wrong? If people think this game is easy then clearly I'm doing something wrong. But it just seems too much like poor design to me. Perhaps I need some pointers playing this?