Deception IV: Blood Ties review
Tecmo Koei released the very first Deception game, Tecmo’s Deception on the original PlayStation. Since then they continued working on the unique series, bringing us Deception II, Trapt, and now Blood Ties, which available as a cross-buy title for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3.
In the latest game you take on the role of Laegrinna, the devil’s daughter. Your father had been defeated by 12 warriors known as the Saints 3,000 years ago. They utilized items known as Holy Verses in order to seal your father away and it is now your mission to gather these 12 Holy Verses in order to break the devil free of his prison.
Helping you along your mission are three daemons. The first is Caela, the daemon of Elaborate punishments. Next up is the daemon of Sadistic torture, Veruza. Finally we have the daemon of Humiliation, Lillia.
As you advance through the story you gain Warl, which is the game’s currency used to unbind/unlock more traps, abilities, and costumes. The game offers quite a few traps for you to lure your unwary foes onto and your daemon helpers typically have requests for you to fulfill as well. One example is to finish off an enemy with an in-stage trap known as the “Justice Bringer”, a statue wielding a sword. Once you press a switch it will cleave the sword downward, hitting anything up to 2 squares in front of it.
Many enemies tend to have resistances and even immunities to your traps. If they are simply resistant then they will be able to avoid your trap if you activate it normally. You can, however, hit them with a different type of trap and proceed to hit them with the type they’re resistant to. If the enemy is immune, however, you cannot hit them with that type of trap no matter what you do.
If you get tired of the story you can try out one of the other modes. Mission mode, which tasks you with achieving a certain objective, can be quite challenging at times (such as “Kill 10 enemies in 60 seconds”), but can gain you some needed Warl to unlock better and more damaging traps for the other modes.
Free Battle won’t let you gain any Warl, but will let you choose both the stage you want to play on as well as the enemies you wish to challenge. This mode is mainly useful for testing out new traps and combinations to see what works best for you.
The third mode available outside of the Story mode is known as the Cross-quest mode. This is similar to Free Battle, except it allows you to set conditions as well. You can make a simple condition, such as “Defeat all enemies”, or a challenging one, such as “Earn 10,000 Ark” (Ark is the score in the game that you earn from utilizing your traps and combos).
These modes can provide an almost limitless amount of content, ensuring that you’ll almost always have something new to do when you play the game.
Unfortunately, however, the game does tend to get repetitive. Even though you have a wide arsenal of traps available (as you unlock them), you may find yourself sticking to a select few traps/combos that you know work out quite well. For example, in one stage I set five traps: A rake, a trap that spins the enemy around and moves him forward one square, a springboard, a giant yoyo, and a pendulum scythe. These traps, combined with a giant swing that was already in the stage, let me take out several waves without ever having to leave the room.
Overall the game is fun, but it definitely isn’t for everybody. If you want a game that lets you free your inner sadist or you’re just a fan of the series, then you’ll most likely enjoy the game. If you haven’t yet played a Deception game then you may want to try out one of the older ones to see if it’s something you’d enjoy.