2. General hints and tips
While this game is not particularly complicated to play (heck, this is a 2D style game we are talking about. With the elimination of a 3rd dimension how hard could it be?), there are some things to keep in mind and learn to make conquering this game on the top difficulties and boss rush mode a bit easier.
For starters, blocking and dodging are crucial skills to learn in this game to survive. Thankfully, both skill are mapped to the same button . Holding will put you in a defensive mode and negate quite a few attacks from regular enemies and bosses. If you are able to time you press to right before an attack hits you, you will instead deflect the attack and often leave the enemy stunned or vulnerable for a counter attack. Since this slows things down, negates all damage, and allows you to follow up learning this is crucial. Sadly, you cannot deflect and block every attack. You will see early that enemies will often have a glow around their attack before it happens. This means that the attack they are about to use is not blockable and cannot be deflected either. In this case, you have to dodge. Moving in any direction while pressing or holding will cause you to dodge or roll in the direction you are moving. Once you start learning all of the enemies’ attacks and the signs before they attack, this information will be key to keeping you alive and avoid sustaining any damage.
On offense, there isn’t a ton of strategy that is needed to succeed. does a straight strong attack and does a sweeping area attack. Alternating between the two can cause some nice looking moves, but you will find yourself more often than not hammering the button just to kill enemies quickly. As you gain more skills, you will start learning other attacks, one of the most useful being the guillotine attack in the air. This is done by jumping (using ) and then holding while in the air which will cause you to slam down doing a spinning attack with your whip. This move can be important because it breaks enemies blocks to allow you to continue attacking them. Werewolves are a good example of an enemy that blocks although there are others.
The type of attacks available to will upgrade as you level up as well. There is a very handy attack you learn later where you hold and then hold . This will allow you to do a strong punch that breaks any block for any creature. Your 5 combo and combo will also increase in damage as you level up as well and take out enemies faster. Again you can’t use these at first but they will unlock as you progress.
Each character you play as is also given unique magic, special moves, and special attacks. Special attacks are used with whereas magic tends to be assigned to or . Some extra abilities will deviate from these controls but I will cover them below and when you gain them in the story. To start lets break down the differences with each character here.
Simon gains two special attacks over his act; the throwing axe and the oil flask. Both are used with and the button can be held down to make the attack stronger. The axe is very straight forward and is thrown at an enemy in an arc. The oil flash will burn for a few seconds to add a little extra damage once it hits the ground.
As for magic Simon gains two spirits, Belnades and Schneider, who are both summoned by . Belnades provides automatic protection from any damage as long as you have magic (each hit she protects takes magic away from the bar) and Schneider shoots enemies close to you while he is active as protection. Belnades in particular is VERY useful.
Simon really has no unique abilities. Once he learns to rappel, this carries over to the other characters later on.
Alucard gains some really cool stuff and has one particularly useful ability. His attacks consist of sending bats at your enemy (although I never found a practical or helpful use for this) and using a stop watch to briefly slow down time. The stop watch is extremely handy in one of his boss battles and can help you pass all sorts of traps to the collectable items later in the levels. The longer you hold down on the watch the longer the duration time will slow down. This will be both handy in the story as well as during boss rush mode.
Magic abilities for Alucard consist of wolf form, and the ability to turn into mist and dodge through enemies or gates. The mist ability is particularly helpful, as if you 'mist' through an enemy you gain a bit of health by doing so. The game never tells you this outright but is a great way to heal a little bit in a pinch and get out of harm’s way. The wolf form allows you to open specific doors but did not present any advantages to fighting that I found in my time with the game. Feel free to play around and fight in wolf form if you want but I preferred the whip.
As far as unique abilities Alucard gains three throughout the story. The first is shadow claws which allows him to jump up special walls that have white glowing veins in them that sort of look like The Matrix when moving. This ability works just like in other platform games where you bounce between two walls to climb up to upper platforms. Alucard also earns a magnetic rail attachment to his battle cross that lets him attach to special rails and ride them to otherwise unreachable places. This is easily done using the to attach to a rail once you earn the ability. Finally Alucard also gains a double jump/glide ability during his act. All of Alucard’s abilities carry over to Trevor as well with the sole exception of being able to glide.
The final character you control in the game is already pretty buffed up once you get him. He has the previous two characters unique abilities (minus glide and his magic and special attacks will still be different) and he will add some more of his own. For his special attacks he first gains a bladed boomerang. Again I never really used this during the game but I can see where it could be a very helpful projectile. His other is the electric bomb which can be thrown to electrocute enemies. I don’t think I ever used this once, but again feel free to experiment with it to see if it works for you or not.
Trevor’s magic is reminiscent of the Lords of Shadow game and is simple in concept. He has light and chaos magic. When light magic is activated any attack you use gains you a little health back while your magic bar drains. When chaos magic is equipped you do additional damage with your whip attacks. Along with these perks you also activate switches throughout the act with Trevor with either chaos or light magic to light them up blue or red. This is used for a puzzle or two to progress in the game.
Finally Trevor gains one other special ability, the Speed Boots. These allow you to sprint by tapping any same direction twice to start running and then hitting to jump HUGE gaps. Trevor also upgrades his battle cross to open doors specific to his act but it doesn’t really do anything else special.
Everything else you need to know will be in the chapters, bestiary, or in their other specific sections as you will have to change a few things about your play style to get certain achievements. Anyway, let’s get started!
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