Verfasst: 12. Oktober 2014
Rain Blood Chronicles: Mirage is best described as a 2D Devil May Cry with co-op capabilities (although its kind of wasted). It features a very solid combat system and some good ways for stylish play. The two characters play like Dante and Vergil with unique movesets and combo capabilities and can be switched between, ammounting to something akin to "styles". For a company that never did an action game before Rain Blood is a really solid game and better than any other recent offering in this genre
Unfortunately it has issues and is held back by some little annoyances like wonky hit-/hurtboxes and physics that can make you drop combos sometimes. Additionally being able to "merge" your sprite with the enemy (the players sprite occupying the same space as the enemy) creates problems in positioning, especially in the air where the enemy can just float through your barrage of attacks that start their hitbox far in front of the player.
The style meter has also this anoying tendency to be weighted towards parries, ultras and air combos and not towards actual variety of moves. It compounds the problem of upgrading your characters abilities and items since the rewards for defeating enemies are proportionally based on the style meter. Once you hit S rank (which is hard in of itself without hitting an ultra or parry) every hit you land is converted into gold currency which can be used to buy upgrade items. However sustaining or reaching S rank is hard without constant air combos, no matter how cool you think your ground combo-streak actually is or was.
After you beat the game's story on normal or hard your characters will potentially not even have all their skills unlocked. The unlocked Endless Tower mode helps to grind out the currency to upgrade but its kind of a waste that the player is potentially not allowed to use all their moves in Story Mode.
Another flaw are a few relatively boring bosses with very predictable move-sets with annoying stun-locks thatbreak the flow of a battle if you get caught. Especially the first boss you encounter Sword Addict has some annoying launcher move that goes on for at least 15 seconds. It doesnt do much damage, even on Hard or Very Hard, its just a very long and boring animation to watch.
The game also has a few problems in that regard on higher difficulties and higher floors of Endless Tower where you fight multiple boss-type enemies at the same time. The coding does not take into account that depending on RNG attack patterns even the basic enemies can infinitely stunlock you without recourse (until you unlock an expensive accessory which makes switched characters invulnerable for a very brief moment).
Other bad design decision are buff-enemies that produce an invulnerability-shield after a certain amount of damage has been done to them, probably to prevent the player from ending a fight too quickly. This makes for boring encounters where the player is forced into a cycle of waiting and attacking instead of being stylish and skillful.
I would wager that the only "proper" and interesting boss in the entire game is the endboss which has three separate phases and a very large variety of moves that requires you to pay close attention to positioning and timing.
Unfortunately I did not encounter this boss once in Endless Tower, even after Floor 30.
On another note Endless Tower does not let you save your progress even if you do not get killed on a floor, making reaching higher floors very time-consuming and exhausting as you always start at Floor 1. Or if there are Floor checkpoints I did not find them even after 30+ floors which took close to an hour.
In conclusion Rain Blood Chronicles is highly recomended for fans of the cuhrayze even if it is flawed in some regards. I hope the company will make a sequel (as the game does end on a cliffhanger) and continues to improve on the concept.