(NOTE This review is my opinion only. All pictures are taken in game using the PS Vita’s screenshot function)
Deception IV: Blood Ties is a third person strategy game developed and published by TECMO KOEI. It is the fourth game in the main Deception series (fifth including the spin-off, Trapt) and third in the Kagero series in Japan. This game is Cross-Save compatible between the PS3 and PS Vita versions. This review is for the PS Vita version of the game.
In the game you play as Laegrinna, the daughter of the Devil, created from a shard of his soul. You are tasked with collecting fragments of the Holy Verse, a relic used to trap the Devil years ago. Luckily they are held by the descendants of the heroes who trapped him and they are coming to destroy you to prevent the Devil’s return.
Laegrinna is ready though as she has the power to place traps within her castle. Guided by three demons; cunning Caela, sadistic Veruza and child-like Lilia, you place traps and lure your enemy to their doom. Each demon has her preferred style of evil, and fulfilling their requests can result in higher reward if you survive the chapters..
The style of the Deception series hasn’t really changed since the second one. You place the traps while the world is paused them avoid the enemy as you maneuver them into the traps. You can activate the traps one at a time (and repeatedly after a cool down period.) You can even chain them together to increase damage and get more points (and approval from Caela and Veruza.) Traps range from swinging blades, spikes and arrows to rakes and jack-o-lanterns that land on their head so they wander around blindly. There are also stage hazards like a brazen bull that you can maneuver your victims into with the other traps and roast them alive.
Points are gained by how much damage that the traps or series of traps do to your enemy. As mentioned earlier, you can gain extra points for dispatching your foes in the way specified by your demon sisters. Caela likes elaborate traps and they use of stage based traps. Veruza is sadistic and prefers brutal and damaging traps. Lilia likes to see the enemy humiliated, like stepping on rakes with a jack-o’-lantern on their head.
But the enemies are no push overs. They include heavily armoured soldiers, fast archers and magicians. You have to time some traps just right to hit them. There are also boss characters who are tougher to kill. If they get too close, they can do heavy damage to Laegrinna and end the game.
The game is good, if a bit hard. As you proceed in the game the enemies prove challenging, especially the magicians and bosses. As you proceed, you can get more traps to place and the number per room you can set increases. Learning the room traps and using them to your advantage can help you out in a dire situation.
Deception IV: Bloodlines is another good entry in the overall Deception series. Playing the villain is nothing new but the heroes you face are flawed and rotten in their own right. Launching an archer into an electric chair or crushing a knight with a boulder as she struggles out of a bear trap really never gets old. As the series nears its 20th anniversary in 2016, I hope we get another entry in this interesting series.
Deception 4: Blood Ties is available for PS3 and PS Vita in physical and digital formats.