I wanted this game for a long time because I liked its style and presentation. When it went on sale I eargly grabbed it and...was just so disappointed. I was looking forward to a challenging plat-former with an interesting visual style. Well I certainly got something "Challenging" but for all the wrong reasons. The game is artificialy difficult. The whole thing is basically like those Super Mario hacks where the game is almost impossibly hard because the person put a lot of effort into making sure you get screwed over at every turn. I couldn't tell you how many times I died because something popped out at the last second from hiding, and would demand the reflexes of a coked up 8 year old to dodge on the first try. Which bassicaly turns large portions of the game into less of a plat-former and more of a memorization puzzle with the added difficulty of having to jump around.
The game employs a unique check point system, when you have absorbed enough blood you are allowed to drop down a check point which heals you and allows you to continue from that sport if you die. The only limiting factors are that you can't be moving, and can't be near a saw blade or an enemy. And because of those two factors a good portion of the time these check points were useless because the developers would place a random saw blade, or cover EVERYTHING in slippery goo to make sure you can't actually stop moving and drop a check point. Forcing you to do large portions of a level without being able to employ a system the developers put in. In some cases I wondered why the check point system existed because 80% of the level was created so I couldn't drop a check point at all. It's pretty frustrating to have that purple glow around you indicating you could place down a check point and take a breather, only to notice that there is NO where to drop it down.
Jumping is a big problem. Under normal circumstance the jump and double jump work fine but when you attempt to double jump off a wall, if you do it wrong, the double jump fails. As far as I can tell its a timing issue, you need to cling to the wall for the right period of time to be able to jump off it an then perform a second jump. It's only a fraction of a second difference between getting your double jump and not. Normally this isn’t a big deal but it you're getting into a groove, or you NEED to go fast to get past a part this becomes a huge problem. It turns some parts of the game into an annoying game of timing the wall jumps juuuuuuuust right so you're still moving quickly, but cling to the wall long enough to perform the second jump you need.
Combat can be fun at times; kicking an enemy into a saw blade is immensely satisfying. However this part of the game also is greatly flawed. the developers like to throw lots of flying enemies at you while you're performing difficult jumps. Which make sense in a game with combat, only they don’t give you any way to dispatch these enemies, forcing you to try and complete already difficult platforming while also dodign enemy attacks. Usually I had to get part way through a tricky jump situation, then double back so I could dispatch the flying enemy who followed me. It made difficult jumps tedious and frustrating. As for normal combat, everything gets the kick. Really, there isn't much more complexity to the game than that. Kick an enemy into a trap or kick them into the air and air juggle them. That's as complex as the game gets. Even when fighting multiple enemies just kick them all into a corner, kick them all into the air, and air juggle them all. At first combat was fun but after a while the lack of variety became really boring. Most of the time if I didn’t need a check point I avoided combat because despite how easy it can be sometimes to dispatch enemies, other times its really hard because of the broken controls.
The game has no invisibility frames so its not only possible you can get killed in a few seconds by one enemy who got in a bunch of hits or a trap you bumped into, its a guarantee its going to happen. And the knock back from taking damage is ridiculous. Its not so bad for enemies, but for traps it makes no sense and is extremely frustrating. If you land on spikes you jump up and way from them by about 3 pixels, meaning you will die on those spikes because the odds of being able to jump away are slim. Its pretty pathetic dying on a single set of spikes because being damaged by them doesn throw you far enough away from them to actually do anything about it. Saw blades are the total opposite, one of those babies touches you you go FLYING! and its pretty much a guarantee that if the blade doesn’t kill you, where ever it sends you will.
The game is challenging, yes, but because of bad design. The entire game is just a test of how perfect you are able to play the game, because yes, you HAVE to be perfect in what you do for many parts of the game. No room for error, or creativity. You have to do it exactly as the developer intended. It makes for a frustrating and boring experience. I’m glad I got it on sale and didn't waste more money on it.