Really good game but frustrating to no end

User Rating: 8 | Heart of Darkness PC
HOD could be such a great game if it would not be for one really, I mean really frustrating feature of the game play. But first the good part: it is a platformer, but it does not feel like one, rather as action adventure game in 2D. Graphics are great, even at extremely low resolution that cannot be changed. Soundtrack is great too. Level design is great, again. The overall game play is very inventive and interesting, although can get a bit repetitive sometimes. Most puzzles make sense. The game is engaging, you care about the character. Somehow it reminded me on Piel in the cartoon movie Masters of time. So far all is great, what is wrong then? All this great stuff is totally spoiled by the insane sadistic and to no end frustrating one thing. I do not want to call it "difficulty" because this is normally something you can control and manage with practice. This game needs a different word for difficulty. It demands a micron and a millisecond precision in action and timing while using a generous random component. The next death (you die A LOT) is totally unpredictable and cannot be avoided by any means, just by dying, looking how it happened (enjoying one more way to die) and trying to repeat the previous sequence about 10-15 times. Regardless how good the level design and other stuff is, it is really painful to watch and re-do over and over again. The game has an OK checkpoint save system, checkpoints are frequent, so you repeat rather short sequences, but it still totally kills the game play. It has apparently some bugs too, I played about a half of it and gave up because Andy just did not want to live and committed suicide over and over and over. May be I had to plan the jump with a better precision or do something differently, but I had enough after re-trying it in different ways like 30 times, I quit and uninstalled the game. Very disappointing! And very pity, because an otherwise really nice game is wasted just because of one tiny but deadly thing. By the way, controls are not that great either, rather unresponsive and not optimally designed for such demanding action. Bottom line: if you do not mind lots of repetition and feel masochistic, then try this game. Otherwise just watch and enjoy its in-game videos made by other people. You spare yourself a lot of frustration.

I actually finished the game later and then in the most masochistic way decided to play it once again after a while. Yes indeed, most of the game components are great, and I would actually give it at least a score of 8, but I can't because of the same frustrating "difficulty" thing, all those repetitions of the same not so short sequences over and over and over just drive me nuts. Well, probably I will play it to the end and then likely will re-play it later. As Ali-G once said, OK, this drug can make you paranoid, but are there any negative effects?

EDIT 2: OK, I changed my rating from 5 to 8, Übung macht den Meister, and I now can play this game with much less frustration as before.