Despite my critiques on the controls, health regens and continue system of Hail to the King: Deathbat, it still provides an unrivaled experience on the iOS format. The price tag might scare off a few people who are on the fence about purchasing it, but let’s get one thing clear — you do not have to be an A7X fan to enjoy the hell out of HttK. If you are a fan, you’ll find yourself catching all sorts of references to the band, whether it be song lyrics in the lore or the appearance of all the band members as paid-DLC characters. If you’re easily frustrated or are looking for an easy ride, look elsewhere. HttK’s levels are massive, varied and keep you thoroughly entertained from start to finish, just as long as you don’t mind punishment and grinding things out.
TouchArcade went hands-on with Avenged Sevenfold’s “Hail To The King: Deathbat” stating, “there’s definitely more to this hack n’ slasher than just a big name” while pointing out “the perpetual challenge that seems to exist throughout the game.”
An old-school hack n’ slash title, Deathbat doesn’t seem to offer any kind of loot depth found in the likes of, perhaps, a Diablo. Rather, the really fascinating thing about Deathbat is the perpetual challenge that seems to exist throughout the game. You start out with five lives, and you’re expected to complete the whole game on those lives. Sure, you can purchase more (at a pretty steep in-game currency cost), but that prevents you from picking up potions and permanent stat upgrades, which may be more beneficial in the long haul towards saving lives. Deathbat allows you to replay missions for collectables and currency, so it’s certainly possible to grind some currency if you’re concerned about lives.
That is, assuming you can master the battle system. Deathbat’s combat is pretty simple, but not easy enough that you can simply hold down the attack button and win. Minions know how to faint and will get through your offense if you don’t know how to strategically dodge and pivot around them. Meanwhile, bosses require even more agility, as they will simply mow you down if you try and go toe to toe. There’s difficulty here that’s rarely seen in similar games and it’s amplified by the limited life system.
Texas Rock Report have put up a review (and photos) of Avenged Sevenfold’s set in The Woodlands, TX on Mayhem Festival 2014.
Usually pyrotechnics, elaborate set design, fog cannons, and flame effects are saved for marginally talented pop stars, or old rock acts who KISSed their raucous days goodbye years ago. Avenged Sevenfold kicked that sentiment in the face with a live show that was cinematic, and added to the music versus distracting from it.
It was a quasi-pious encore for the group. The carnival freak show rhapsody “A Little Piece of Heaven” was an epic 8-minute false idol worship sermon. They had one more offering before they reached sinners’ salvation. The bassline to “Unholy Confession” spoke in drubbing tongues, and there was nothing left but to collapse and give yourself to A7X. To those few who tapped out after Korn’s set, they got their money’s worth, but to those who stuck around until A7X’s last note, got something that they’ll never forget: the hardest rocking 75 minutes of their lives.
By the time that headliners Avenged Sevenfold were ready to roll, a lot of the older and more inebriated audience members were beginning to rub their sore backs and necks. The younger fans were still full of life for the undisputed champions of mainstream throwback metal, a weird and popular subgenre all its own. A collective “yesssss” seemed to go up from the crowd as the band’s dramatic stage set was revealed, centering on the enthroned remains of a skeletal, long-dead king. But a genuine roar finally broke free when the columns of flame erupted.
Watching Avenged Sevenfold in 2014 is a lot like watching Iron Maiden in 1984: amazing stage set, tight guitar harmonies, and soaring vocals added up to titanic singalongs that got mighty loud even up on the hill. Though the day had been impossibly long and hot — or perhaps because it had been — A7X singer M. Shadows still hailed his people in the grass as the show drew to its fiery conclusion.
“Every time we play here, there’s some insane motherfuckers pitting up there,” he said, pointing towards the hill. “So we’re going to play one for you to get crazy to.”
As the band broke into “Bat Country,” smiling dudes from all over the hill streamed over to the wild pit that Shadows had pointed to, squeezing the last drops of Mayhem out of the weekend. One could hardly help but throw the horns in solidarity. Today, we’re all a little burned, a little bruised. But no one can claim we didn’t rock, man.
Lithium Magazine has posted a short review of Mayhem Festival‘s stop in Toronto, ON and had the following to say about Avenged Sevenfold’s set. Check out the photo round-up including exclusive shots from Deathbat News here.
From a production standpoint, Avenged Sevenfold are literally on fire. Poised to be this generation’s Metallica, and boasting a new album that could go down in history as their swan song effort, there can be no denying the trajectory the band is on. M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, Synyster Gates, Johnny Christ and Arin Ilejay performed on a stage adorned by a large skeleton on a throne bathed in a wall of fire as they pummelled the audience with sound, lights and bravura. Showcasing new material from Hail To The King for the first time in Toronto, fans got to hear ‘Shepherd of Fire’, ‘Hail The King’ and ‘This Means War’ along with a bevy of material from their past efforts. I found the sound for Avenged Sevenfold a little muddy, taking away from their chutzpa slightly. But the band utterly wowed the crowd with songs and pyrotechnics for seventy minutes, sending everyone home smelling like butane and smiling like they’d just seen something meaningful.
The best act of Mayhem Festival was hands down Avenged Sevenfold. The band rightfully earned its place as a headliner—A7X’s set was everything a fan would expect out of a metal show. There were theatrics and fire, but most importantly, a lead singer who commanded the crowd’s attention. The guitarists were entertaining to watch, but M. Shadows was a sight to see. The singer was constantly in motion, pacing between the onstage risers against a backdrop of a gothic cathedral and pyrotechnics to boot.
The crowd was energetic to begin with, thanks to all that free Rockstar, but erupted during A7X’s breakout single, “Bat Country.”
The intensity mounted with “Hail to the King,” as guitar riffs sounded in time to fire balls and a large skeleton brandishing a sword was revealed in the background.
The bulk of Avenged Sevenfold’s set was metal on par with Metallica, but the show wasn’t all about heavy rock and stage effects. Power ballad “Seize the Day” wad dedicated to the late James “The Rev” Sullivan. M. Shadows urged the fans to raise their cell phones and lighters to honor the loved ones they’ve lost. The song ended on a high note, as Shadows said, “Remember, it’s a good f—-ing night!”
Many bands at Mayhem Festival complained about the heat, but Avenged Sevenfold took a different approach. M. Shadows did not state the obvious. He told fans we were lucky to live here. He lauded KUPD and explained that rock stations are dying out around the country, imploring the audience to fight for rock radio with the song “This Means War.”
Shortly after Avenged Sevenfold’s set at Download Festival 2014, Metal Hammer‘s Catherine Morris posted an online review praising the Huntington Beach group’s performance giving them a 9/10. Just a week later, Metal Hammer‘s Stephen Hill had his review published in a special online Download edition of the magazine, giving them a 7/10 claiming the “Huntington Beach heroes struggle to stake their claim” citing “appalling sound,” a “thinning crowd” and ending with the question of whether or not “this is the first of many headlining slots or a one-off shot that wasn’t taken.” Hours after Stephen’s review was released the publication posted a video asking Download festival-goers as well as Team Rock’s Pete Bailey and Metal Hammer’s Editor-in-Chief Alexander Milas if Avenged Sevenfold were a hit or a miss, both of which claimed they were a hit. Download’s Andy Copping was asked about the negative review to which he said, “I have been totally shocked by Metal Hammer’s review of A7X…confused!” Thrash Hits’ Hugh Platt has stated that Avenged Sevenfold were Metal Hammer’s best-selling issue last year. Regardless, plenty of media had nothing but great things to say about the band’s first headlining set at Download Festival 2014.