Ninja Theory’s Enslaved (5-6 hours in)

Ninja Theory’s Enslaved is a dang fine game.

I purchased a new copy a couple of weeks ago for $14.99 and fired it up late last week to see what was in store. I had heard that the story, based loosely on Wu Cheng’en’s enduring classic Journey to the West, alone was worth the price of admission and while I can certainly confirm that to be the case (my wife and I are really enjoying Monkey and Trip’s odyssey and growing relationship) the game play is also a heck of a lot more fun than I was expecting it to be after reading some of the reviews on-line that kind of tore it to pieces as little more than a button masher. You can certainly progress through the game just flailing away at a few buttons, but one need not play it that way and the combat is such that you can really make the mech battles a very fluid, satisfying, slaughter if you take the time to implement strategies, combos and the many upgrades that are available to you to enrich the experience.

My wife is one only to sit through very entertaining game narratives, such as the Uncharted series, and she’s had her seat happily planted in front of the television every time I’ve turned this on to play and I’m having trouble forcing myself to turn it off to take care of other responsibilities. She’s really enjoyed helping me find all the currency in the game, and helping me map out where I should go (it isn’t necessary but she has fun doing it), and has commented on how much fun the battles appear to be, especially when she knows how much I appreciate good combat mechanics (re: Batman: Arkham Asylum and its kind). She even had a friend of hers glued to the screen as I played yesterday afternoon, so I just wanted to take a moment here to recommend this game to anyone who hasn’t had the chance to experience it yet. Monkey and Trip are very compelling characters (I was surprised at how quickly I became attached to them), the world is fun to traverse (often through climbing sequences), the combat and fighting mechanics are much better than advertised, and seeing as how you can find this for under $20 at retail stores and online, it’s a real steal and I hope you’ll consider purchasing a new copy to help support Ninja Theory…and this dang fine game.

Now to track down Heavenly Sword!

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