About a week ago, I replayed Legacy of Kain: Defiance so I could tell the story and background to cookiemonger, and show her what the characters and dialogue were like. You could say it was like a show-and-tell thing, from a certain point of view. Afterward, she shared Assassin’s Creed 2 with me. (It was my first time, lol.)

I noticed, as I was playing through Defiance, how it hasn’t really aged well. I’m not sure if I noticed before, but unlike the many and varied boss fights of the original Soul Reaver, the boss fights in Defiance are straightforward slug-fests. It’s the first time in the series I remember seeing a health bar on the screen for an enemy.

Thinking back on when I played the first entry in the Soul Reaver series, I remember being really impressed with how solving the (now somewhat inane) puzzles to progress through a particular region, would provide you with the means to destroy the boss at the end of the level. Take Melchiah’s meat-packing factory level for example.

As you progressed through the level, started up conveyer belts, reattached chains, and realigned fallen and rusted gear assemblies, and in the climactic battle, you started up the giant meat grinder, lured Melchiah into the assembly, and made hamburger out of the lumbering jerk. Only Dumah’s fight was as well-integrated.

But one of the things that’s emphasized is Raziel’s frailty in comparison to these godlike hulks of mutant vampire flesh. In the duel with Zephon, you set alight his spider eggs and heave them at him. In the fight with Rahab, you smash the windows to take advantage of his vulnerability to sunlight. All are puzzle-boss fights.

Never mind the fact that Defiance is my favorite entry in the series, since you get to play as both the powerhouse Kain when he’s at his most powerful, and it lends a great deal of awesome to uniting the twin franchise, tying up a lot of loose ends and making way for a plethora of generic sequels if they so desired.

You also get to see Raziel achieve the same level of nigh-unstoppable power that Kain has (but still not quite his equal) by the end of game. But the game has some flaws that are difficult to ignore. I wonder if it will still captivate me five years from now?