Deception IV: Blood Ties Review

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3,000 years ago, the Devil was sealed away after being defeated by holy warriors known as Saints. This was made possible by items called the “Holy Verses,” which was then split into 12 pieces and separated. The imprisoned Devil then splits fragments of his soul, creating three servants; Caelea, Veruza and Lilia. They help his daughter, Laegrinna, collect and restore the Holy Verses, but they aren’t the only ones looking for it.

How often do you get to play as the bad guy, and how often do you get to play around with your enemies’ lives by maiming, humiliating and killing them? Better yet, what game have you played where you’re the daughter of the Devil who uses traps to fling enemies into the air and electric chair, dropping columns or other items on them, or even launching them into an oncoming train and get rewarded for it?

It’s no surprise that Tecmo Koei’s Deception IV: Blood Ties is rated M.

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The game reminds me a lot of the Home Alone game for the NES, where you lay out traps and reuse them over and over, except this time you are trying to kill them. Laegrinna has no powers, which is pretty odd for the daughter of the Devil, and she uses traps to spring on her enemies. Basic traps include a garden rake that stuns enemies and make them fall back a space, a bear trap to keep them in one place for a limited time, a swinging pendulum Axe to slice right through them and more. Your goal is to be creative and chain multiple items to each other for maximum damage. You can even drop a giant pumpkin on them to have them travel a few steps into the next awaiting trap. While you are limited to how many traps you can have per stage, you can still make use of an area’s specific trap to do even more damage.

There isn’t too much to the game aside from preparing traps in each room and pressing the X button to activate each trap manually. The more chains you create, the more rewards you get. While you have a certain amount of traps on hand, each room allows you to re-position traps at anytime, and after setting or using them, there’s a cool down period before it’s being used. The nice part of the game is that traps can be re-used in other rooms. After completing a full stage, you are rewarded with more points for unlocking new skills, outfits or traps to add to your arsenal. You can also freeplay the missions, going back and trying different tricks to earn more items.

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Visually Deception IV: Blood Ties isn’t the prettiest game out. It’s great at creating unique and interesting environments as you run around and prepare for slaughter. The game is just pure fun and sadistic from start to finish. As you delve deeper in the game, the enemies’ AI will learn and dodge traps the more you use them, forcing you to plan your traps ahead. Each chapter is held in a different location, so you need to learn the maps and locations on the fly.

Not from the game, but still a true statement

Not from the game, but still had to be said

The game doesn’t have an amazing story, but this isn’t a game you play just for story. You could technically complete the game by doing the same thing over and over, since as you leave and return to the room, the AI will fall for the same trap, but where is the fun in that. An interesting addition to the game is using the Devil’s Eye. It gives you insight to every character who enters your location including their background story and stats.

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While the PS3 and Vita games are identical, the Vita version features touch screen controls for traps, and you can transfer the saves back and forth to play at home or on the road. Not a bad way to take out all your frustrations out at home or on the road while using your brain to plan ahead.

Grade: A-

Deception IV: Blood Ties is available for both the PlayStation 3 ($59.99) and PlayStation Vita ($39.99) in retail and PSN.

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.