Sunday, June 18, 2017

Severed (PS Vita) Review

Awhile ago, Severed was a free Playstation Plus game.  I downloaded it, but finally got the chance to boot it up and try it out recently.  I played a bit of Guacamelee, and figured the game would be kind of like that.  It isn't.  Had I remembered their previous game Mutant Blobs Attack!, I probably should have realized they can make different kinds of games.

Combat is very reliant on the touchscreen.  You use it to slash enemies, and it will do so in the direction and length of you finger swipes on the screen.  Most enemies require you to attack certain directions and angles to actually hit them.  To avoid damage, you have to parry the enemies' attacks.  This is probably the hardest part of combat.  The timing and angle have to be very precise, and even more so for charged parries.  Most enemies are open after being parried, and you will have to learn when you can attack.  Thankfully most of them have big enough openings that you can go ham on the slashes to rack up the damage.  Going ham on them is fun.

At first I didn't really like the combat.  Figuring out how to block, when to attack, getting the timing down, and accurately hitting the severs took a bit.  After about 20 minutes, I felt much more comfortable, and did much better in fights.  That isn't to say they were easy.  Some were, but fights against multiple enemies can be a crap shoot.  Usually you have to figure out which enemy to take out first, or which spell to use, and how to fight each enemy for it all to fall in to place.  Since the game autosaves so often, you can quickly return to the last fight and try it again.  Later in the game, you can fight in the clouds.  These have a time limit, which is really just there to be annoying.  It makes one fight notoriously hard.

When not fighting, you will be moving around the different areas of the game in first person.  The d-pad or face buttons (for left handed people, I presume) will walk you forward or turn you either direction as you make your way through the different rooms.  There is some light puzzle solving, mostly consisting of finding the right levels to open doors, and sometimes running through them before they close.  There are plenty of secrets to find, like health and magic upgrades.  Some of them are obscenely well hidden (stupid levers).  There's no teleport option, so you are stuck walking everywhere.  It's kind of a pain when you are searching for the last few collectibles.  However, the game still isn't very long.  It easily clocks in under 10 hours, even if you find everything and get the platinum trophy.  If you exclusively use a guide, it would be even shorter, but isn't necessary until getting the last few items.

At the start, I didn't like Severed, but at the end, I thought it was a pretty fun game (except that crazy hard fight for one of the mementos).  It has a unique style, creepy enemies, and won't take you very long to complete it.  It's definitely worth trying if you got it from Playstation Plus, but I don't know if it's worth the default price.  I would recommend picking it up on sale, though.

The Good:
Unique game that gets fun once the combat clicks.

The Bad:
Combat is very unforgiving until it does, and even then there are a few very hard fights.

The SaHD:
The story is either too mysterious for its own good, or happens exactly as it appears.

(Severed was obtained as part of the Playstation Plus program)

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