I passed on playing the downloadable PS3 game, Malicious, back when it was first released on the Japanese PSN. With a Vita update of the title in the works, I figured I'd just hold off until it hit the portable system. At TGS today, I got a chance to sit down with the game for a little bit. What I found was a bizarre little game with a gorgeous aesthetic that feels right at home on the Vita.
The TGS demo starts off with little fanfare, thrusting you into the middle of a large open area with huge clusters of enemies looking to kill you. Within the main character's line of sight is a gigantic armored monster of some sort that spends the entire stage trying to kill you. Holding the L button as well as the square or triangle buttons will get you a normal or special attack respectively. These strikes come in the form of small sized energy balls that can home in on enemies. Two buttons onscreen allow you to fly and dive into the ground, making for some exhilarating sequences in which you plow through huge groups of baddies.
My biggest problem with Malicious is how floaty the controls feel. When you jump, the arc is extremely slow and even basic movement feels a bit strange. I preferred to fly whenever the option was available to me. I'm also concerned that the limited combat options could end up making the game feel repetitive, but there may be more moves available in the full version.
Visually, Malicious Rebirth is beautiful and runs great to boot. I don't recall hitting any lag spikes, which is impressive considering how much was going on onscreen. Giant cannons were firing projectiles, large axe wielding men were coming from all sides and a giant armored beast was raining bullets of energy upon me. Through it all, the game ran at a brisk speed and seemed to have no problems handling all the concurrent attacks.
Malicious Rebirth really is a bizarre little game, but I'm looking forward to the full release nonetheless. I can only hope Alivion plays their cards right with the pricing; I'd hate to see a unique title like this fail due to unnecessarily high costs.
There's been no signs that Rebirth will be released in America, so keep your fingers crossed for now.
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