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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Namco Bandai

 

Developer

Namco Bandai

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

February 22, 2011

 

 

- Solid combat
- Neat spell effects
- Protection that doesn't mean babysitting

 

 

- Boss fights that seem to be made much more difficult than they need to be
- So utterly average I forgot I was supposed to be reviewing it

 

 

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Knight's Contract

Score: 5.0 / 10

 

knight's contract          knight's contract

 

It may be difficult to believe, but Knight's Contract is a game so average and that I forgot I was reviewing it.

A good game will spur me on to finish as quickly as possible. A bad game will hold my interest if only to see how bad it gets. Knight's Contract is neither.

As Heinrich, cursed with immortality, players must protect a reincarnated witch,

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Gretchen, who is bent on bringing down the mad Dr. Faust.

The protection mechanic works well to add some urgency to the game and it certainly helps that it's protection rather than babysitting. Gretchen is the source of Heinrich's magic attacks and if Heinrich carries Gretchen around, his health bar replenishes faster than when left to refill on its own. Gretchen can take care of herself for the

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most part but becomes much more vulnerable if Heinrich dies, sometimes in brutal fashion. Hammering on the A-button brings Heinrich back to life -- death is only a temporary condition for Heinrich but if Gretchen dies, it's back to the nearest checkpoint.

While the combat and whacked-out character designs are probably Knight's Contract strongest features, boss fights can be very frustrating. It follows a familiar formula. Damage the creature a bit, get mixed up in a quicktime event which are much too easy to flub, then repeat until creature dies, preferably while screaming.

 

knight's contract          knight's contract

 

It's not that Knight's Contract is unimaginative in its approach. it's the fact the boss fights are so easily lost with a mis-timed button press. And the game seems to actively try to get the player to press the button at the wrong time! It's only with trial and error that the button presses can be hit properly.

The rest of the game doesn't sway me one way or the other. Okay combat, some neat spell effects, okay levels, a protection mechanic that works, upgradeable powers, spells and special items, and protracted cutscenes that revel in being overly dramatic (that's a positive in my book), make Knight's Contract utterly unremarkable.

- Aaron Simmer

(May 6, 2011)

 

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