Deception IV: Blood Ties review for PS Vita, PS3

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS3
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Developer: Tecmo Koei
Medium: Digital/Vita Card
Players: 1
Online: No

Here’s the full extent of my knowledge of Deception IV: Blood Ties’ plot: you’re playing as…a woman? A witch? A she-devil? Something like that?

In all honesty, I have no idea. I’m pretty sure it’s in that ballpark. I mean, you’re dressed all provocatively, you talk to…witches or demons or something, and you lure your enemies — who I’m 99% sure are “the good guys” — to their deaths. Oh, you’re possibly after something called the Holy Verses. Or you need to stop other people from getting them. Again, not totally sure.

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As you can tell, I wasn’t paying very close attention to everything that happened during cutscenes. In my defense, however, this is because I was speeding through those to get to the good part of Deception IV — otherwise known as killing all those aforementioned good guys in the most delightfully gruesome and inventive ways I could come up with.

In this respect, I’m kind of tempted to compare Deception IV to Earth Defense Force. After all, in both games (at least for me), whatever story or plot there may be takes a back seat to the joys of sending people to their bloody dooms and blowin’ stuff up real good, respectively. Though that comparison isn’t entirely perfect, since plot is much easier to ignore when it comes to EDF, on account of the fact it’s so basic; in Deception IV, there was clearly some effort put into creating some kind of narrative, and I just chose to ignore it.

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I don’t feel that bad about doing so, however. Like I said, it’s really hard to care too much about this like plot development and characterization when you just want to launch your enemy into a furnace shaped like a cow. Or, better yet, when you just want to drop a pumpkin on their head, catch them in a bear trap as they’re lurching around, hit them with a giant swinging blade while they’re stuck, have them step on a rake, and then watch as they stumble forward and land in a heap. Right in the path of an oncoming train, naturally.

Now, if that description didn’t get you all tingly inside…congratulations on not being a psychopath, I guess. But more to the point, a) what’s wrong with you? Cow furnaces and whirring blades of death and whatnot!, and b) then this game probably isn’t for you. Because, attempts at story aside, that’s really all you do in Deception IV: plot out elaborate Rube Goldberg machines of death, and then hope that your enemies step on just the right space so the mayhem can begin. And when they don’t…you run around avoiding being hit until your traps have a chance to reset, and the cycle begins anew.

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Is it repetitive? Sure, if you don’t get a perverse thrill out of launching people through the air and into the path of an oncoming boulder. But if you do — and boy, do I ever — then Deception IV should be right up your alley.

Grade: B+