I got a PlayStation 2 game for Christmas called Drakengard by Square Enix. It's is the most hacking-est, slashing-est game I've ever played. I thought I was getting pretty far, a few levels in, because my sword has a pretty large blast radius. Yes, I said blast radius. In the great anime tradition, this game give range to the weapon as if it were somehow explosive. I like that sort of thing because it just raises the scale of the game. By scale I just mean that If you fought baddies one at a time in the old side-scrollers, in Drakengard you're fighting them five and ten at a time.
Like I was saying though, I thought I was getting pretty far based on the way that enemies in suits of armour crumpled in front of me by the dozens. Then I get an 'ally.' This is a feature in the game that I hadn't even seen yet. That tells me once again that I've only just begun. I suppose I haven't put that many hours into it compared to some of the diehards out there, but for me the few evenings that I have spent wacking and burning seem like quite a while.
If I were to characterize playing the game, I'd say it's a good chance to turn off your brain and watch some things blow up. It's not too challenging so I don't find myself replaying many levels. I enjoy that right now since I don't have the time to spend on a really immersive game. The other side of this is that the story is fairly thin. A lot of people dying, talking about dying, worrying that other people might be dying, wishing they were dying, trying to kill themselves... you get the idea - it's pretty evil. This is definitely a game for grown-ups, and not necessarily all of them.
The levels of the game are divided up so you get some time as Caim, the guy with the sword (and axe, and hammer so far) and some time flying around as a dragon at high altitude. I didn't like the controls for flying the dragon around too much at first, but I'm getting used to it now. They have some wierd shit flying around up there though, things that look like seaships tied to a hot-air balloon, gian bats, armoirs with wings (I swear that's all I can figure they are).
The first thing that really got me interested in the game was the ability to call your dragon and ride it around during the levels you play as Caim. It makes for a quick shift in the balance when you're surrounded by armoured dudes and you call in the fire-breathing dragon. The scale of the outdoor scenes impresses me, of course I'm comparing to games I played a couple years back. Still, it's a large open area to run around in and you're not too limited in the way you do things. I won't say it's a fantastic game, but I enjoy it. If you want to try Drakengard, you can buy it at Amazon.