Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Review: Malicious (Ps3)
You can choose to be "male" as the gender, the vessel will assume the name Valeria, or Erica if player chooses "female". The main character of the game is a "Spirit Vessel" who is sent by the great prophets to subdue the Malicious. The meat of the story though seems to be packed into about 40 pages worth of text for you to seek out and read. All optional, of course. There's barely a cinematic on show though. I don't mind reading for a games story, I play a lot of Jrpg's that have a visual novel aspect, but in truth the story still came across a little convoluted even from this. Not one for the faint of heart. A few cutscenes explaining the story here & there would have been better for all I believe. The Malicious though is an entity that is intent on destroying the world and you have to defeat Its 5 underlings before getting a shot at the head honcho itself. As You defeat each boss you acquire more abilities which all build to give you the tools to defeat the Malicious. Its here where the first problem lies. The game has no clear indication of progression. While the idea of being able to tackle the levels in any order that the game has for its structure is a novel one, without any explanation of the boss within that level being offered makes it feel like your stepping into a dark room. The great prophet that inhabits the central hub with you offers some tips, but nothing that will help with your understanding of how to attack each boss character. While the new abilities you unlock can help with other battles, if you don't choose wisely it could cost you. For example I defeated my first boss in under 10 minutes, but then the second I took on took nearly the full 30 minute allotted time to complete as my new abilities didn't help whatsoever causing the battle to degrade into a monotonous slog fest. It must also be mentioned that upon defeating a boss, all other bosses become more powerful which again negates any indication of progress. As you've no doubt guessed, the games structure is both a blessing & a curse at the same time. Being a downloadable title means the game will not last too long, a 30 minute time limit is placed on each boss encounter, and can be finished within 2 hours by those skilled enough. A challenging trophy list and a Free Play Mode will unlock when you defeat all of the bosses, and further unlockables, like Time Attack and Score Attack modes, and even an online leaderboard are there for you once the dust has settled on your battles. The insane trophy list & unlocked content do make for a good reward.
While the gameplays foundations are solid and the world beautifully stylised, every other facet of the games design works at making sure none of the potential is realised. The camera in particular ensures cheap deaths & frustration sap the enjoyment from what is a solid Hack & Slash title, while the lack of indicated progression and convoluted story do little to keep you engaged. Whether you stick around at the end to make the most of your plentiful rewards depends entirely upon how tolerable you are. A promising title that no doubt fails to deliver.
一 二 三 四/000000
Review Copy provided by Playstation+
Footnote: I played this using the latest v1.01 patch. There is a remastered Vita version available but with how the original here has turned out, Im not sure about risking a purchase to see if any improvements have been done for a follow up review.