The gameplay above is representative of the game as a whole, which creates some issues. As you’re basically moving from one enemy Golem to another (often several at a time), the combat difficulty learning curve is steep and frustrating. You will die over and over again, but fortunately the checkpoints are generous and you’ll usually start at the beginning of the fight each time. The enemies themselves are not extremely imaginative in terms of their abilities, but in saying that, becoming familiar with their style of attacks does help when you’re planning your own.
Controlling Otto and his minions is definitely part of the learning curve in Masters of Anima. You will often find yourself using pairings of buttons to perform the main functions when in battle. On my second play through, I found myself re-spawning at the beginning of a difficult battle. I’d left it at this checkpoint after spending a controller-smashing amount of time trying to pass a bridge of enemies the night before. It took several deaths to remember the correct combination of buttons to outmanoeuvre my opponents, but I finally made it across.
While it eventually becomes easier, the controls can take some time. In saying that, getting the combination of buttons correct, at just the right time, admittedly feels pretty good. It’s worth noting that I played this on PS4, and I can’t help but think it may not have been quite as frustrating playing it on a PC. Having a mouse would have made things that little bit less fiddly.