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YMMV / Malicious

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  • Best Boss Ever: The assault on the Aura Machine in Fallen is the largest level in the entire game and is positively filled with enemies. It is a long, epic battle on a fortress in the clear blue sky, well armed with tons of enemies and a few Spirit Vessel clones for good measure. This is truly a fair and fun test of skill, and really let's you have at it with the hundreds of enemies that litter the stage.
  • Game-Breaker: Figuring out how to game the Aura system can lead to bosses going down pathetically easy, especially when using the Lance, which can get you up to 9999 aura depending on the map simply charging through hordes of enemies and getting massive chains. This allows you to spam Aura Break level 3 easily, taking off huge chunks off a bosses health at a time. It's telling how effective this was, as Rebirth has much fewer ways to get aura than in Slayer, and even the larger concentrations of enemies (say, the mobs in Imperial Garrison) tend to give lower aura amounts per foe.
    • Demise however throws all pretenses of limiting aura generation out the window in many stages, especially during the fight against the Aura Apparatus. After you break the machine down, it's thrown out completely since you can then generate large amounts of Aura in safe spots by just holding a button.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The camera is horrendous- it's zoomed really close in most of the time, is controlled wonkily, often obscures the action, fails to keep the target center in the camera and generally just sucks. Fallen improves it somewhat, but it still has its issues.
    • Rebirth also removes the feature of being able to lock onto specific targets aside from the boss, making some encounters a real pain. The feature does not return in Fallen.
    • The hitstun that happens when your character is knocked onto their backs lasts for 4 seconds every time they're blown over, which makes fights drag on for long periods of time. Escaping the stun is done by jumping right as the character hits the ground, but good luck doing that reliably in the original and Vita versions.
    • In the default control scheme for the first game, Dive and Wing are bound to the same button. This means you can't resume using Wing in midair. The alternate control scheme puts each individual function on different buttons, but this also means Block and Dodge are on different buttons, which can be another problem entirely.
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    • Dodging in the first game is pretty dodgy in itself. On the default control scheme, dodging requires a precise stick movement just as you hit the block button, making rapid dodging all but impossible. Rebirth modifies the mechanic so that you only need to hold the block button, then flick the stick in the direction you want to dodge.
  • That One Boss: It would be easy to say "all of them", but one or two bosses stick out across each of the four episodes.
    • Slayer:
      • The Mad Queen is fast, hits hard and teleports across her huge (and tall) arena with lightning speed, never mind her command grab having a massive hitbox and enough damage behind it to immediately break a part (or two!) if you aren't at Aura Level 3. Due to being a Lightning Bruiser incarnate, she's hard enough to deal with on her own, but she's flanked at all sides by legions of Mooks that can make dealing with her a pain. They can even combo off of one another for extra pain. The only real advantage for you is that she has a relatively small health pool. She's made easier in the remakes with much more audible and visible cues to her shield and lunges, but balanced by changed behavior in her slow projectile attack.
      • The Shield Golem is the exact opposite- it's a gigantic stone fortress that floats in the middle of the stage. Mooks absolutely pour in from every opening in the stage, leaving you to be flanked at basically all times, to say nothing of the golem's utterly staggering health pool (to whit, the Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs combo of the improved Fists barely hurt the thing) and highly damaging attacks. Having the improved fists, the wings, and the lance can make this fight easier... until the second phase, where it charges a shield that pushes you off of it every few seconds and takes a while to beat down. Luckily, both the turrets pouring out most of the enemies and parts of the Golem itself can be destroyed, and the latter will deal a great deal of damage to the Golem when they break. Much of the mook's behaviors were changed in the remakes; mostly involving their absolutely aggravating ranged pins and making the explosive barrels around the towers vulnerable to Wing instead of having to stop and punch them. In exchange, the second half's barrier is now spherical (and potentially damaging, if you're still in the area when the boss regenerates it) instead of adhering to the boss' sprite.
      • The Final Boss, the titular Malicious, is a nasty Puzzle Boss. The fight has three phases: the first requires you to fly around and Aura Attack (L1 + most attack options) several floating platforms. The only time the game tells you to do this is in relatively vague terms; once when you first unlock the boss, and the only way to rehear it is to find it buried in the menu while talking to the Prophets. The second is destroying rapidly-healing sores on its body to force its mouth open, leading to the final phase were you beat it down. After a while it goes back to phase two, but thankfully it keeps all damage taken. This all has to be done while dodging a veritable arsenal of cheap, highly damaging attacks including hard to block tracking explosives, claw swipes and massive swarms of minions. At least destroying specific sores destroys its limbs, reducing its movepool as time goes on.
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    • Rebirth
      • The Undead King is perhaps the hardest non-Malicious boss in this story. He's a Stone Wall with a catch - his stage has one way to accrue aura outside of Just Guards, which is by killing small floating enemies that congregate in the high sections of the stage, and the boss can actively drain your Aura with his attacks. The trick of this stage is managing your aura versus his slow moving but hard-hitting attacks and huge health. The second half of the fight involves heavy Fake Difficulty however, as he gets a spell that drains your aura and a shield that rapidly heals him to up to half of his total health in less than a few seconds. You have to break his shield when he puts it up by hitting it multiple times, but the average player may not realize this until they run out of time. Much like the Mad Queen in Slayer he should be attempted last, only after getting the rest of the abilities.
      • The Reborn Malicious is much the same as the version in Slayer in that it is one cheap bastard. While the first phase is somewhat easy, the second is cheap in a way that can't be compared too. It relentlessly spams tracking explosive spells and launches 16 of them at a time, meaning if one hits you, you're gonna get comboed (and lose a limb) if you don't immediately dodge. He also has a barrier that has an absurd amount of health behind it, and if you've already expended both the Counter Actions, you have to break it the old-fashioned way. He does have an Achilles' Heel in his weakness to aura attacks like his previous counter part, and his arena is positively filled with mini-Malicious to acquire aura from, but this makes his boss fight no less challenging.
      • Spirit Vessel Ashlelei takes the SNK Boss features of the Mad Queen and applies a heavy dose of Fake Difficulty to create the most frustrating boss in the episode. While being a Duel Boss sounds like a great idea on paper, because of this premise you will soon realize that there are few ways to generate aura properly in the fight itself, meaning you can get easily screwed over if you haven't mastered just blocking. The boss has a lot of devastating moves, including a fast-moving grab that can come out fast and be spammed multiple times in a row. You're intended to go into Malice mode to rip the boss apart, but this is easier said than done due to your low aura count. God help you if the boss spawns four Spirit Vessel clones, because it won't end well.
    • Demise
      • The Hierophant has a particular vulnerability for his shield to drop it in barely any time at all; but good luck figuring it out, because it's likely not the first option you'd think of while being pelted with ballistae, flame siege engines, lightning, the Executioner-King's support fire, and the Hierophant's giant stone hands. Worse yet, in the second half of the battle, he's apparently learned and can predict that specific attack and jump out of the way if not sufficiently pinned down executing his own attacks. At least he's massively vulnerable to another attack type, so if you can find it, he can die extremely quickly once the shield is down.
  • That One Level: Pursuit is easily the hardest of the four episodes, so much so that in a game noted for it's Nintendo Hard nature, this is the only episode you can actually skip in Fallen.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The game simply looks amazing no matter what version you play, but Fallen runs at 1080p, 60FPS, leading to a breathtakingly beautiful experience- especially when getting into the content exclusive to this version, which is simply jaw-dropping at times.