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Broken, unbalanced, abysmal

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    The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia

    Rating: 1.0 – Terrible

    Broken, unbalanced, abysmal

    First, I will say to the fans that will inevitably defend this game with phrases such as , "Well, I had fun with it," by telling you that you deserve better. If you settle for less, there’s no reason for developers to put in any effort and you will continue to get terrible games like this since they know you will buy them no matter what. Do not accept bad games because "it’s better than nothing," because it’s not. Nothing would be better than this game. Now..

    The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia is a versus fighting game based on the anime and manga of the same name. The game covers the first season of the anime and a small portion of the season season, which was not yet released at the time this game was published, making the game the first appearance of some characters (outside of the manga), including one of the titular Seven Deadly Sins, and possibly spoiling things for watchers of the anime that aren’t familiar with the manga. So be warned.

    Graphically, the game fits well in the PS2 era. However, this is the PS4 era. But, aesthetics and polygon-count aside, there are HUGE issues with how the graphics were constructed. Characters frequently get stuck on pieces of the environmental geometry, making the stages with ledges and trees a chore to play in. Attacks will often get completely blocked by something as simple as a stump, leading to frustrating moments. I fell through the floor, and I’ve seen other people knocked out-of-bounds through a wall. Large portions of the environment are destructible, which is a nice addition, but with rubble falling, giant explosions going off, and characters warping around, the game gets chaotic to the point of being impossible to follow. Surprisingly, the frame rate stays consistent through all the chaos. Then there’s the animation. While the cut scenes use the in-game 3D character models, they aren’t animated. At all. Characters stand around in their idle poses, mouths moving, sometimes (there are countless times when a character changes facial expressions and their mouths stay locked in place while they talk), and when they need to move, such as falling down, the scene cuts to black then starts up again with the models moved to where they need to be. In battle, there are only a few actions available to each character, undoubtedly to conserve effort in animating them. It’s lazy, it’s sloppy, it’s broken.

    The characters are voiced by the original actors from the anime series. They all put in a great deal of effort, not befitting of the accompanying animation that lacks any emotion from the aforementioned lack of animation. Music is forgettable. Sound effects are bland and sometimes unfitting of the actions that generate them. There’s not much to say about them. If you care about English voice acting, know now that there is none.

    This is what matters and where it really falls apart. The game is split into two modes: Adventure and Duel.

    Adventure Mode is an "open" world map that you traverse within the Boar Hat, a large green pig with a building on its back. As you wonder the map, you’ll see fixed locations that contain story quests that must be completed in order to progress in the game, and side quests that give additional bits of story to characters, as well as missions that randomly appear after completing any other mission. These "field missions" that appear at random are extremely annoying since they may not appear when you want them to, forcing you to replay other missions, then checking the map again to see if the one you need has appeared again or not. All of these random missions, as well as most side missions, provide items that are used in the game’s "Magic Item" creation system. These items are equips that you can use either in Adventure or Duel mode, giving characters boosts such as stronger attacks, taking less damage from certain attacks, or bonuses to money you receive in Adventure mode. The variety of missions range from one-on-one duels, to two-on-two duels, to one versus a large group of NPCs, to walking around the arena picking up glowing dots while trying to not get hit. Progressing through the story requires that you at least complete the story missions, which is also how you unlock characters for use in Duel mode. There’s also the "Hearsay" system. When completing a mission, you’re given a score based on criteria such as your remaining life and time, your longest combo, and how much "Appeal" you acquired in battle by doing things like breaking parts of the environment or using your flashiest attacks. Your score then translates into a rank (C, B, A, S) that then provides "hearsay" points that are needed to unlock side missions and the randomly appearing field missions. With S rank providing the most hearsay at 7 points, you’ll have to clear some of the field missions in order to unlock other missions. It’s all a cycle of annoyance if you want to unlock everything. And since items can be used in online Duel battles, there’s an enormous balance issue for those that take the time to slog through this mode and those that don’t.

    Duel mode is the standard versus mode where you can play one-on-one or two-on-two against another human opponent, either locally or online, or against the CPU. In two-on-two matches, in a departure from most other fighting game conventions, both members of a team share a single life bar but have separate meters for magic and special attacks. You can even perform assist combos with your partner, but the game has a relationship system that makes certain pairs of characters that don’t get along with each other in the story not work together and the attack will fail. Each character has a quick four-move combo, a strong attack, a ranged attack, three magic attacks, and a super attack with its own meter, along with dashing, dodging, and warping. There are over 20 characters divided into three "classes": Power, Speed, and Magic. Power characters cannot run. At all. They can dash and warp, but otherwise slowly move on the battlefield. The trade-off is that their attacks have an armor effect, sometimes, so they can plow through an oncoming attack and still hit the target, sometimes. Speed characters can run, but don’t have armor, only sometimes they do. Magic characters are the most odd. While every character requires the use of their magic meter to use magic attacks or the special movement techniques of dashing, warping, and sidestepping, magic characters need to use their magic meter to do EVERYTHING, including regular attacks. The magic meter only regenerates when you stop attacking, and it’s instant rather than building up over time. For Magic characters, that means being only able to run and block when the meter is gone and just waiting for it to come back. For other characters who can at least still attack, they need to back off and wait for the meter to refill in order to use their magic-based attacks. For Power characters that can’t run, being unable to dash or dodge is almost as bad as being unable to do anything. This means that Speed characters have far more advantages than the other two. But the characters themselves are unbalanced with some being able to string their attacks together far more efficiently than others, or being able to cover a larger range. The game does feature a system that causes your opponent to spiral to the ground after too many fits, disabling infinite combos, at least. Coupled with the customization of the magic items that are acquired in Adventure mode and the minimal number of attacks each character has, the game is not very fun and far from being a competitive game, despite having online versus matches.

    Back in the PS2 era there were a lot of anime tie-in games that were slapped together to capitalize on fan craze, some of which were sold at discounted prices. The Wii got a few of them during the PS3 era. Now, they’ve come home to the PS4, and they need to leave. This game is especially insulting as it was released as a full-priced retail game when they obviously didn’t put in the same amount of effort as other developers for the same price tag. It’s a shame since the source material is very good, but the game is a travesty. If you’re a fan of The Seven Deadly Sins, please don’t blindly support this game. If you’re not a fan, this game cuts too many corners in the story to act as an introduction or even a synopsis. If you’re a fan of fighting games, you won’t like this game, especially since you’ll need to play the Adventure mode to unlock the characters.

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