Knight's Contract (360/PS3)

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Knight's Contract (360/PS3)

Post  B-rad on Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:38 am

Picked this one up a few weeks ago. It seemed like a bland game at first glance, very under-the-radar. I picked it up because it was priced at only $35.00. Me, being the sucker I am for cheap games that look like a bit of fun for even a minute, took it as a means to entertain myself for a few hours. Little did I know, it would turn out to be one of the better games I've played in a long time. It is what I would call "Namco's attempt at a DMC game".

You assume control of Heinrich, an older-looking, scythe-wielding, armour-clad man. Game starts off and you get your first help screen:
-"Press X and Y to preform weak and strong attacks respectively. Oh yeah...and you can't die... >_>"
That's right, you're immortal. Enemies can hack and slash at you all day long, and all they will manage to do is eventually break you into pieces. After about 20 seconds of mashing the A button, you'll be back on your feet swinging again. One may ask "what's the point of a game where you can't die?", well, about 3-5 minutes into the game, you'll find your second help screen:
-"Meet Gretchen the Witch. You can hold the right-trigger/R2 to activate her magical powers and press the corresponding button to cast specific spells. Unlike you, Gretchen is very much mortal, and too much damage will kill her and end the game."
That's right, the entire game is one gigantic escort mission!

"But Braaaaaad! I HATE escort missions!"
Well, let me tell you this: You won't if you play this game. Unlike other partner-based games where your ally is a complete dip-shit or incapable of defending themselves, Gretchen seems to be the perfect compliment to Heinrich's power-houseness. By pressing the right bumper/R1, you can call Gretchen to you, and if she's not following close enough, you can hold the bumper down to pick her up and carry her yourself without losing any speed. Not only that, but while carrying her, and effect called "Mutual Healing" takes place where Heinrich restores his wounds so he won't be crippled from future attacks, and Gretchen's health recovers rather quickly. If you feel like dealing with enemies and not messing around with worrying about Gretchen, about 80% of the time, you can. Why? Because Gretchen, hippie as she may be, can fight! She generally keeps just enough distance between most enemies so that they miss with their attack and she punishes them with her own. Though it's not very destructive, her basic attacks will keep most enemies away from her.

I found myself highly interested in this story, especially when I noted alot of fairy-tale references in the gameplay (such as Heinrich and Gretchen being similar to Hanzel and Gretel. There are others, but you'll have to find them yourself).

There are unlockable costumes for your viewing pleasure, spot-on voice acting, multiple hidden spells in the game to acquire and upgrade, accessories which augment different abilities for both Heinrich and Gretchen, as well as collectible gallery entries for you to find scattered all over the maps. I give this game a 9/10. Considering they added in a few levels where you could play as Gretchen yourself, it would make sense that the game employ atleast some sense of multiplayer. That's about all I feel this game was missing. That and the ability to jump without needing to be 3+ swings into a combo. Waiting for some sort of DLC...

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