Brandish: The Dark Revenant has been announced for a 1/13 release (that's this coming Tuesday) via PSN in North America for $19.99. It is confirmed compatible with Vita and PSTV at launch, and will be available through the Vita store from day one (or so we've been told, anyway!).
We've also got the official website up, complete with new screenshots, tons of info and lore, three music tracks, a new launch trailer (also linked below), and two minor typographical mistakes (see if you can find them before we upload our fix! Heheh).
It's funny how different people regard the game -- some have said it's Falcom's hardest game ever, essentially their Dark Souls... while others, like you, have said that it's "insultingly easy."
I'm in the middle, myself. A game is only insultingly easy if you can beat it without paying any attention to it at all -- if you can basically play it on autopilot. But you can't do that with Brandish. You have to pay careful attention to your surroundings, strategize for the specific enemies and obstacles that are nearby, and just in general concentrate on what you're doing. If you do, and if you take your time doing so, you'll be fine, as the game is ultimately very fair and forgiving where it counts. But if you try to play on autopilot, or if you rush through the dungeons without any concern for what lies ahead (or "around every corner," as it were!), you absolutely WILL die.
And even if you thought the game was super-easy, I'm willing to bet you died a lot. I mean, it probably didn't set you back much when you did... but my point is, "death around every corner" is pretty accurate, regardless of challenge.
Honestly, that was just a pure localization decision for the sake of maintaining atmosphere. The game clearly takes place in a medieval Eurasian setting, likely somewhere around Greece, yet the ancient 1,000-year-old ruins buried beneath it have a section in them ruled by a "Ninja Master"? It seemed a bit "on the nose," I felt -- like they were "Japanifying" a setting that shouldn't have had anything to do with Japan.
I didn't want to change the name completely, though, as that would be disrespectful to the source material, so after discussing it a bit in-house, we decided upon changing "Ninja Master" to "Warlord" -- a more generic-sounding (and IMHO also more badass-sounding) term that can easily mean roughly the same thing, but comes across as a bit less "HEY LOOK ANCIENT JAPAN IN THIS ANCIENT GREEK CITY."
Basically, it was changed for the same reason "Crab Devil" and "Lobster" were changed -- to maintain immersion. There are humorous moments in Brandish, and those have been translated accordingly, but if players laugh at bosses that are meant to be taken seriously, it kind of kills the atmosphere. And while I know ninja become a lot more central to the plot in the subsequent Brandish titles, there's no reason to shoehorn that into the first game so blatantly when Warlord is just as functional a term (and sounds cooler anyway).
...That's likely the most controversial localization decision we've made for this game. Hope you guys don't think we overstepped our bounds or anything.
I'm personally fine with it, although I could have gone either way on the Ninja aspect since the "boss" attacks like a ninja, but it doesn't bother me. I'm sure the decision was localization choice to keep the atmosphere of the game, which when you really think about it is only something you would see needing to be handled correctly today? I mean back in the day when this came out in Japan, it was fine to have a Ninja, just as it was okay for Final Fantasy I to have War Machine as a secret boss. There were just ideas of cool monsters that the developers thought would be cool to throw in the game. I'm not certain without checking, but I'm sure that games like Xanadu and Xanadu Scenario II also had some kind of Ninja type monster in there even though it may not fit into the Dungeons and Dragons Monster Compendium Handbook that they may have pulled some names from for their monsters. But the point being that back then it was cool to throw in whatever you might think would be neat to fight, and now you may need to take extra caution to localize it correctly or it just comes over as "why the hell am I fighting a Ninja?" to the less forgiving gamer.
The Death Around Every Corner doesn't bother me in the least and I think you should handle the marketing similar to a Dark Souls approach "You will Die" "Prepare to Die", because it is true. You will die, at least several times during your adventure, perhaps some more than others.
I personally found the game to be difficult in certain places, (Like the Headless fight for those that know what I'm talking about. It's optional I think... ) and easy in others, but you have to weigh in the fact that it's not just basing the difficulty on enemies and combat and evading traps, but also figuring out how to get that elusive 100%, which is part of the challenge and one that I did before and will definitely do this time around as well. It's just as much a puzzle game as it is an action-rpg, and some of Dela's EX Mode stuff is not easy in the least! : )
Sure you can rest and gain all your health back, and even secure areas while you rest up so that you are not attacked in your sleep, but you have to consciously be aware of that fact or you may find yourself in a bad situation. Yes resting does make things easier, but keep in mind too that it also adds time to your run. If you are going for a speedrun for example, then you will not want to rest every time you get hit, right?
Yeah, the Headless fight is pretty intense stuff. And anything involving those damned Unbeholders (the Erase Eyes), too -- those things scared the crap out of me while I was playing, and killed me quite a few times. And the Unbeholder encounter in Dela mode is just super-cruel (but intense and awesome!).
And yes, in addition to resting being bad for speedruns, the score card at the end of the game keeps track of how many times you rested, and the title you're given will change if you did it too often. So if you want a good title, you need to be fast and jittery.