This game is difficult in a fun way. This game is not for those who like having "the victory" given to them. And is a bit nostalgic, it reminds me off the arcade machines you'd find in some laundromats. A gamepad is highly recommended.
Each enemy requires a bit of studying (both bosses and normal enemies).
Each level has a unique set up, so the game never feels stale.
The animations are well done.The staff wielding enemies are a prime example of nice animation.
Attacking an enemy is very satisfying because of the way they react to it.
The game has local co op (the entire campaign) that supports both Xinput and Direct Input gamepads (you have to configure it through the buggy config.exe). The game is difficult enough for you to "take turns" with 2 or more friends around.
The combat is not broken as some say and the game does not break it's own rules; the only attacks that are unblockable are ones with exclamation marks, it does not depend on the enemy turning red (I do not recall the game ever saying that red attacks are unblockable), you have to use common sense when fighting some enemies. You can generally tell if an attack will cause you to stagger if you attempt to guard against it. Some enemies will try to land successive hits. Your first block requires less precision, but if an enemy attempts to combo you, your second block will require greater precision. You can also dodge roll out of combos etc and block out of combos even if you fail to block the first hit, but this is hard to pull off.
The games graphics remind me of the newer street fighter games and another game called Power Stone 2
All in all the game is fun if you like difficult games, you'll have fun retrying over and over again by yourself or with friends.