Wednesday, January 23, 2013
How can you release a demo with a tutorial that does NOT tell you how to dodge?
How about not telling the player that the game contains very useful combos utilizing directional inputs?
How about the fact that you can heal (B (360) or Circle (PS3) when prompted during Blade Mode)? The demo never mentions that?
It might not have been so bad if perhaps the demo wasn't REALLY hard on Normal difficulty (compared to most games released these days). They throw you into a few REALLY intense fights in the demo and you get very little in the way of practise or instruction beforehand. This is a mistake that is going to cost PG and it's a shame because having spent some time with the demo (yes, I beat it, and yes, I died several times) I can say that the combat in this game is freaking brilliant. It's incredibly different than many other hack n slash games, with a myriad of complexities that are unfortunately not immediately apparent. It manages to be both very challenging and yet totally fair.....when you figure out how to properly play the damn thing. The demo really does not do a very good job letting you know much.
So, to any prospective players, remember these few things:
-You can heal (B (360) or Circle (PS3) when prompted during Blade Mode).
-Experiment with button input timing.
-It's hard. You will die. You learn by dying, so don't give up so easily; the game is worth it, trust me.
-You can dodge back with X+A (360) or X+S (PS3) and if you add in a direction you do a dodge slash.
-You can cancel the flying kick (Jump then strong attack when in Ninja Run mode) into a stealth attack.
-Towards, towards weak attack is a launcher
-There are also away, towards weak/strong moves as well as a towards, towards weak one (all powerful)
-Use the lock on during every fight. Forget trying to adjust the camera during fights.
-The game WANTS you to use Blade Mode, so USE it. Especially on large enemies.
There's more I am forgetting and there's also more I am sure I do not yet know. This is a game that requires effort, thought, practise and patience, just like all of the best hack n slash games. And, like those, I can guarantee that there is going to be a small community of extremely dedicated and adept players who will be putting out some incredible gameplay/combo videos over the coming years. And, just as true as that is, there will also be a large group of people who played the demo, got their ass kicked and shut the game off, forever writing it off as a bad game. I find that to be unfortunate. However, what I find to be even more unfortunate is that PlatinumGames is going to cause a lot of that themselves with a very underwhelming and insufficiently explanatory demo.
I really hope this incredibly talented development studio can iron out their issues and earn the sales I think they deserve.