Can we create a beat’em all just around fighting and scoring in 2010? This is the challenge that launched the Japanese studio Alvion with Malicious.
From Double Dragon to God Of War through Streets of Rage, Golden Ax or Devil May Cry, the best beat’em all were distinguished by very fun fights to play while trying to have more and more depth of gameplay. The universe, the sets and the story seemed to be luxury alongside a gameplay prepared for the little ones. That’s what the Japanese of Alvion think when they prepare Malicious on PS3. An unknown studio at home that has produced some confidential works since the late 1990s and which is often used to help larger companies like Platinum Games on Bayonetta in particular. A game really focused on combat with a classy aesthetic leaving aside the history and the classic progression that we know the genre: this is what the developers want to propose.
Well, Malicious has a story but it is very little developed if it is not written that can be seen in the menu … Nothing very sexy so … What we understand, c is that we embody a fighter, a sort of receptacle, charged by great elders to recover powers for his weapon, the Coat of Ashes, to defeat a monster threatening all humanity: Malicious. To recover these abilities, it will be necessary to defeat the former champion of the Ancients having decided to keep its powers and impose its law on the world. His special abilities delivered have become so many powerful bosses at his service. The player will have to go from level to level in order to recover the powers and undo his predecessor.
A scenario that only serves to set the stage for your silent hero (a man or a woman of your choice) who will be able to let all his enthusiasm speak to hundreds of enemies. The graphic style of the game is quite interesting with a mix of epure in the main menu and an effective cel-shading for the battle arenas. The character design is correct and has the merit of making our class hero endowed with a successful animation doing justice to the power and speed of our hero. The bosses are impressive and are just as animated. As for the small fry, it effectively fulfills its role because we can knock down waves of enemies who can also hurt us if we are too lax. It is difficult to attack Malicious on its technical aspect because it is after all a modest production. Especially since the graphics flatter the eye and the music is rather pleasant to the ear. The problem is elsewhere …
The game actually offers 5 arenas plus one last for the final fight. It’s not much … So much so that the title ends in two hours. So certainly for 8 euros, we did not expect dozens of hours of play but still … You will have to recover the four abilities then defeat the former champion with each time less than 30 minutes for each arena. We must also try to do them in the right order as the first Mega Man since a capacity will prove useful against a boss. Concretely, we land in an arena where a boss and his army of guards face us. It will be necessary to oscillate between attacking the boss and the mobs history to reap the aura. This subtlety of the game is recovered by defeating enemies and allows to reach a fury mode or then to heal … This adds a little welcome tactics to the fighting. It will also juggle between the different weapons (two melee and one at a distance) while dodging and parrying.
On the side of fun and different ways of fighting, Malicious clearly fulfills its role and this will allow fans of the genre to have fun in the free mode once the game is over. For others, the title is quite short and can be a bit messy at first with a camera a little crazy. The title also offers a challenge a little old school that will appeal to demanding gamers since it will end the game with up to 3 lives on the one hand and because the enemies can inflict heavy damage. Even in easy, do not plan to go quietly there since the last bosses are formidable and tend to put you in the head with fast attacks and overpowering. Malicious is the kind of game where the boss life bar goes down very, very slowly. Those who love the challenge are well served.