When you play video games, you normally reach a boss when you clear an entire level first. In Malicious Fallen however, the whole game is full of only boss battles.
At the start of Malicious Fallen, you are presented with five stages that you can choose from. You can try and complete the five stages in any order you wish to, although they will be very challenging at the beginning of the game.
Before you actually choose a stage though, you have a choice of the difficulty you want plus the design for your Spirit Vessel. The Spirit Vessel is your main character and you can either be a blue-haired boy or a blue-haired girl. Sadly, you cannot alter the appearance of either Spirit Vessel.
The story in this game is pretty simple as this Spirit Vessel is here to take out all of the big bad enemies that have invaded this world. The stages represent the bosses you have to face and you are transported to reach them instantly.
When I first played this game, I was very overwhelmed as it throws you into the deep end pretty quickly. There are smaller minions that accompany bosses in each stage, but they are insignificant compared to the real task at hand. The bosses are the real focus and they are hard to kill off.
The bosses are huge and vary in difficulty and skill level. The first boss I encountered was a rhinoceros looking being. There's also a tough knight with a shield and other huge beings. This game reminded me a bit of Dark Souls as you have to learn the patterns of the bosses and dodge lots of times to avoid getting defeated.
To make it even more challenging, you only have a limited number of continues to defeat the bosses and a 30 minute time limit in each stage. If you lose all your continues, you have to start all over again which can be very annoying. The 30 minute time limit isn't too bad as I managed to beat the bosses way faster than that.
In order to attain more skills and abilities, you have to kill a boss to earn it. Essentially, the first boss you choose to try and kill is always going to be the toughest challenge because the Spirit Vessel only has two types of attacks at the start of the game. As you progress further on, more weapons are available and you can even fly around the stages.
You would think a game with only boss battles will be fun, but sadly Malicious Fallen suffers because the actual combat gameplay is not very good or well thought out. Combat feels very stiff and unsatisfying. Sometimes it feels as if you are not really do any damage to the bosses.
Not to mention the camera is this game's worst enemy. Sometimes the bosses will move around the stage and the camera is unable to focus on them properly. It can be a pain in the butt playing this game when you have to rotate the camera just to get focus on the boss.
Thankfully, the graphics are far better than the gameplay is. Since Malicious Fallen is a PS4 remaster, the graphics are prettier compared to the PS3/PS Vita originals. The scenery is nice thanks to the fantasy world setting and the game is locked at a smooth 60fps at all times.
The PS4 version of the game also adds a few new stages and a new mode that weren't seen in the original versions. It will be worth picking up if you loved the original games.
As a whole though, this game is only fun for fans of the series only. As pretty as the graphics are, the core gameplay is where this game suffers the most. If the gameplay was smoother and better, this game would have been much more satisfying to play.