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Originally rated this a 6; lowered it further the more of the game I played. Dodging enemies is often entirely luck-based (I would often get pounced by one the second I went through a door), as opposed to the more skillful dodging in the first game. This gets more frustrating later on when the enemies get a massive speed boost. Combat, while optional (unless you get pounced by multiple enemies right out a door, as frequently happened to me), is frustrating and difficult to get out of...not to mention tedious, given how damage sponge-y enemies are.
Oh, and putting super-speedy enemies in two-tile-wide corridors where they're next to impossible to avoid, and then having the gall to make how many monsters you kill count toward which ending you get? Unforgivably bad design, full stop.
Puzzles on the plus side are generally good, but the sewer floodgate one is driven by a special sort of logic I still can't grasp.
Then there's the ending system...on further research I found it's driven by how many monsters you kill and dialogue responses. Supposedly. I somehow got the bad ending and I have no idea how, given that I killed maybe 5 monsters, and there's zero indication of which dialogue responses count toward what. I picked what I thought were the most favorable, compassionate responses, but as I cannot read the developer's mind, apparently those were the wrong choices. Man, and I thought the good/bad ending system to the second game was terrible.
Really enjoyable up until the end, where it descends into terrible decision after terrible decision.
The last save point you're allowed (unless you have a consumable that allows you to create a single savepoint anywhere) is prior to a long cutscene and then the final area and end boss. So, should you die along the way, you get the joy of sitting through that same cutscene...again. Limited save points are all well and good, but no one likes seeing the same unskippable cutscene over and over again.
The final area itself is nothing more than an exercise in frustration, and I felt I was completely at the mercy of random enemy placement. Sometimes the fates smiled and I would be able to zip through narrow areas with no monsters anywhere nearby to trouble me. Other times, the fates frowned, and I was met with five enemies all having some sort of flailing tea party in a narrow corridor the game gave me no choice but to go down.
Before this area I felt like dodging enemies was a matter of skill and a few quick reflexes--in the end area it's nothing but luck. And that's terrible.
So: great game with good puzzles up until it fell down, hit its head, and just became an exercise in total frustration.
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