REVIEW: Deception IV: Blood Ties

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Deception IV: Blood Ties | oprainfall
Title Deception IV: Blood Ties
Developer Tecmo Koei
Publisher Tecmo Koei
Release Date March 25th, 2014(US)
March 28th, 2014(EU)
Genre Action, Strategy
Platform PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Age Rating ESRB – Mature
Official Website

How many of my readers remember the movie Home Alone? This classic movie was about a boy whose family forgot to take him as they hurried out to the airport to catch a flight to France. Meanwhile, two robbers have been stalking the house and planned on breaking in. The boy finds out about this and sets all sorts of traps to protect his home from them. These traps were in a word, INSANE. Seriously, this kid was one sadistic little prick. So much so, that you actually start to feel bad for the criminals. A few video games based off the movie were made, and they were beyond horrible. The thing is, many of us did not realize we would not get the “True” Home Alone video game until years later when Tecmo started their Deception series. I can already hear the “HUH’s” and “WHAT’s” coming from each of my readers and the editors! Allow me to explain.

Deception IV | Lyla Attack

Yes, I’m comparing THIS to Home Alone.

Tecmo’s Deception was Home Alone, except in a medieval setting. You are alone in a castle, setting traps for the invaders. You are also able to chain traps together and watch as your would-be attackers suffer through a series of cuts, stabs, burns and embarrassments just like in the movie! One major difference, though, is that, in Deception, the people invading actually DIE! The game received three sequels, the last one being Trapt for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. This brings us to today’s game, Deception IV: Blood Ties, or as I like to call it: Home Alone 4: The Uncut Edition for Sadists! I’m playing this one on the PlayStation Vita!

Deception IV | Title Screen

And there will be plenty of blood to go around!

So this is the story: you play as a woman named Laegrinna. She is the daughter of The Devil himself! Three thousand years ago, The Devil was defeated by twelve warriors, who are now being referred to as saints. These saints sealed The Devil away with the Holy Verse. The Holy Verse would get divided into 12 pieces and distributed among the saints and their descendants. Laegrinna is out for revenge and to retrieve these verses to break the seal on her father and continue to rule the world!

Deception IV | Screams of Agony

I thought they were screams of joy!

It is your goal to kill anyone that tries to enter the area you are in before they get you. Laegrinna is unable to attack enemies directly, but can set various traps around the room. There is a wide variety of traps, including banana peels, a huge cannon, a delta horse, giant boulders, a swinging axe or hammer, launchpads and even a massive buzzsaw that comes down to shred the enemies to pieces as they sit there and scream for mercy! Once your traps are set, you have to lure any unfortunate soul into these traps and put them through as much torture as you possibly can. The game features a tutorial to help get you accustomed to the gameplay, and the first couple stages will hold your hand a bit by giving you suggested trap combinations. After that, however, you are on your own for the next 11 chapters of the game. By pressing Circle, the game pauses, and you are given an overhead view of the area. You are then able to select and place your traps according to your devilish plans. Once selected, simply press X when an enemy is in range and watch the chaos unfold. Of course, there is something of a learning curve, but before long, you will be unleashing havoc upon anyone who gets in your way. And that can be incredibly fun.

Deception IV | Iron Rake

Just the beginning of a painful combo….

There are three waves of enemies in each chapter, with the third one containing that chapter’s boss. Laegrinna will be up against a maximum of three people at any given time. Enemy types include mages, archers, knights or ninjas. While each character has their own name and backstory, many of them look and act in a very similar manner with a few exceptions, mainly the bosses. This is one aspect that I found to be pretty disappointing, especially since the game appears to want the player to differentiate between them. Perhaps this was intentionally done to show that, to Laegrinna, these people may as well be the same type of person, as they are all going to die within the next couple minutes, or, as she likes to say: “Nothing but Ruin awaits…” Unfortunately, that is about as far as Laegrinna’s personality goes. It works given the context of the game, but do not expect her character to develop that much further than that.

Deception IV | Catchphrase

She says this a LOT.

To finish a wave, you must kill your enemies before they either kill you or run away due to losing a significant amount of health and valuing their lives. You will not get penalized if you let someone live and, honestly, an enemy leaving can be a good thing because some of these guys can pack a mean punch! Certain enemies range from being cheap to just overpowered. I found the ninjas to be some of the more annoying ones to deal with because they can teleport, throw kunai, and have stabbing combos. One boss, in particular, took me SO many tries to defeat because he was essentially a heavily-buffed ninja. Ranged enemies, like archers, and can be annoying, too, because arrows can inflict a ton of damage, and they keep their distance, so getting them to fall into a trap can take a bit longer. Its also hard to keep track of these characters while you are trying to focus on another enemy as they always find a way to attack you offscreen. The game does give you the option to enable an auto-dodge, which allows Laegrinna to roll out of the way of attacks. While this makes things a bit easier, enemies can still catch you off guard or right after a roll, and, if you have auto enabled, you will receive only half of the points you would have otherwise.

Deception IV | Boss

This jerk took me forever to kill….

Sometimes between waves, there will be a brief dialogue scene of the boss character wondering about what happened to his troops and underlings that went inside the castle. Eventually said character will enter the castle to investigate. Little do they know, NOTHING BUT RUIN AWAITS … Great, now she has me saying it… How is that for feeling a connection to a character you are playing as?

Deception IV | Shocked

I was just as shocked as she was!

The enemies are not all just a bunch of idiots who will run into each trap you place. You need to be very careful with the position and timing of the traps in order to deal the most damage in the most efficient way. Enemies can, and will, eventually learn your patterns, so being predictable will probably get you killed. I do need to say, though, Deception IV will only be as fun as you want it to be. If you are not willing to put time into attempting to be creative and perfecting your traps, then you will not enjoy the game. Personally, I enjoy the amount of freedom the game gives you when it comes to trap placement. It allows for a lot of replay value as there will always be more than one way to take out your enemies if you are willing to experiment.

Deception IV | Trap Planning

Place your traps carefully.

Trust me, you will be spending a lot of time fine-tuning your strategy until you find that perfect combo! I’ve actually managed to create an infinite looping combo in the game’s final area. That took me quite a few tries to pull off and get right, but it was so satisfying. One thing that is nice about the areas of the game; there are stage hazards, so part of the fun of creating a combo is incorporating those into the combo. Some of them include roller coasters, statues wielding giant swords, spinning gears or a blast furnace. This open-ended gameplay is really appreciated… except that it gets ruined a bit as you progress in the game.

Deception IV | Terminated

Can he give us a thumbs up?

More Traps on Page 2 ->

About Justin Guillou

Justin joined Operation Rainfall to share his passion and knowledge for some of the more obscure video games out there.

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