This hack-and-slash title can be engaging, if players can overlook the massive difficulty spikes and complex button combinations to succeed. It's nice to know that, in the world of video games, whenever there's a world-shattering threat, there will always be a "Chosen One" to fight against insurmountable odds to save the day. Normally underpowered and outmatched, players usually have the hero go through a lengthy quest, slowly and methodically fighting through foes and building up strength before taking on some big bad boss and moving on to the next stage. Malicious Fallen takes a more streamlined approach to this formula, having players simply pick a stage and dropping them right into those big, bad boss battles while tossing in waves of minions for good measure. It's a daunting task, made more so by the fact that players have to dive right into the thick of things without any real direction ever given by the game. Sure, there are a few tutorials and practice options, but these only show the bare minimum skills against weak enemies. But the minute the player gets into the actual game, much tougher enemies quickly overpower the player and, literally, rip him or her limb from limb. It's difficult enough to deal with the mobs of minions, but the boss creatures can oftentimes take out the player with only a few hits.
Setting aside the issues of difficultly, Malicious Fallen is a pretty solid arcade-style hack-and-slash game that would feel at home in an arcade. Button mashing and strategic combos are key to survival and, thankfully, relatively smooth and fluid to pull off -- at least after lots of practice. Switching between abilities mid-combo works nicely to clear a swath through minions or land a particularly heavy blow against a boss. The game also is surprisingly deep, with complete backstories available to read for each of the game's four "chapters." Malicious Fallen also adds a wardrobe full of outfits for the player. More than cosmetic changes, these outfits tweak things such as increasing attack power at the cost of defensive capabilities or providing extra movement and healing speed. It's a cool little addition, but admittedly the tweaks offer only slight changes to the overall gameplay. Still, if you're willing to be patient with the game and to suffer through a lot of trial and error during that learning process, Malicious Fallen can be a fun, if oftentimes frustrating, challenge that hard-core action fans should appreciate.