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Review Knights Contract (xbox 360): It has more to offer than you think!

genre:action/adventure, hack and slash
year: 2011

Chances are that like me you forgot about it or even never heard of it before. Imagine my reaction when I came across this title and saw some of the images on the cover. It reminded me of a genre I very much liked, the hack and slash. And it was quite cheap also. I thought it through. (Which is a funny sight because I will pace up and down and look around and even ask around if anyone can tell me something useful about the title. Then I addressed the sales clerk and he told me enough to go for it.) And bought it. Was this a bad decision? No,not at all. While this game is heavily flawed and annoying at times it is one of those games that does remain fun for the most part. The few reviews and articles that have been written about this game have been brutal. Name every bad thing you can think of and they have named it. After just having finished and played the game I can honestly say that most of them haven't gotten far into the game..They probably played some of the earlier levels and left it at that. And while game play wise the changes might not be significant. It does help to get familiar with the controls and the special powers. 

Here is the thing. From the start Knights Contract starts very generic. You really don't get to know the characters and the story is told with the help of cut scenes that do take their sweet time to unfold it. When sometimes it is perfectly understandable already which direction it is heading. However the story although somewhat simplistic does become very interesting. 

But it is the game play elements that will win the most over (if they prepared to take the chance that is), Only most of the instructions are minimal at best and it will take you some time to know what to do exactly. But when you do, you will start to love the game if you did not do before. When used correctly the combos between Heinrich and Gretchen are quite powerful that look amazing and relatively easy to pull off. Now that being said the game can be cheap at times. Most of that is the case in the boss battles. Where one boss uses a spell that makes you control the character the opposite of how you normally would control him. Or that some enemies need to damaged by magic first before you can strike with the scythe. Since you are required to keep an eye on Gretchen because she is not that strong and can die on you very quickly you are forced to be more strategic when you fight and actually take your time to heal up which you can do by picking Gretchen up. And believe me you will be picking her up quite often. On top of that Heinrich who can't be killed technically can be stopped or cut into pieces to which you have to put him together again by pressing the A button repeatedly. Which you will get used to eventually but can be a tad annoying especially when you aren't aware because of camera problems that you were struck in the first place. Still you are given a shot to recover and continue the fight which brings a fun dynamic to the table that you can abuse if you know how to. 

But I shall be honest it also can be very aggravating. For me it was the boss battles that won me over. For a budget title (assuming that it is) this game is packed with the most interesting and intense boss battles you can imagine. Sadly some of them are extremely cheap but how satisfying it is to beat them. Ok, there are QTE's (half of my readers just stopped reading) that aren't very forgiving. Mess up and you will have to fight the boss again from the start with his energy bar replenished. But you can change the difficulty (which will make it easier) to do them. As for beating the enemies or bosses it will be very challenging from the start. Although the first part might let you think the game will be a cake walk. No it will not. The difficulty spikes in this games are enormous. Which for this game worked in it's favour. 

Maybe this game lacks the style or flair of a Devil May Cry title. Still it is so very much Japanese that there is more than enough to like it as not to like it. After having read some devastating reviews I simply have to disagree with them because I had fun playing this game and even think about replaying it because of the challenge it will offer. And I rarely replay games. Also it made me interested in other titles the developer has made like Majin and The Forsaken Kingdom or Genji Days of the Blade. (The original Genji Dawn of the Samurai was an excellent title and had I known this before I purchased the game I would have no doubts at all). So what can I say more. Ignore the bad ratings and the awful reviews. And try out the game since it has more to offer than you would think. People who love the genre certainly will have to check this out.

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