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Most of the game has been rather simple on Hard. I was amping myself up for Drakan, but he ended up being nothing more than those basic two-handers. So I wasn't expecting anything even remotely this difficult at the end.
Now, more on-topic. Getting to the top of the tower was easy enough for me; kill the few groups you're pinned against with counters, let your health rejuvenate, use the ice magic + LB+AAA on the big two-handed sword guys to not only slow them, but bring their health down quick for the button finisher, etc. etc.
But when you get into that last room with those totems, man oh man. This is excruciatingly difficult on Hard. Not only do you have to wait for those flame walls to come down (which seem to take entirely too long after the first), but you have about five to six enemies hitting you from every direction.
The first weaker enemies are easy enough to counter, bash into the flames, etc. But around the third and fourth totems, those berserker guys will endlessly swarm you, keeping at least 5 surrounding you at all times. This is unfair for several reasons;
1. They can break your block 2. If you Dodge + Counter, one of them will always kick/attack you immediately afterward. The same goes for any attempted combos 3. If you attempt to bash them into the fire or away from you one of them will, again, always get an attack in which allows them to start playing the infamous soccer game with you 4. You can't really move around much since the flames will kill you and those guys push/kick often 5. Like I mentioned in an earlier paragraph, the flames take much too long to come down, and I think this is really what makes the fight so difficult
Now I am told that the actual fight with Hel is easy; she's basically a re-skinned giant. But the whole totem sequence prior to her is definitely one of the most frustratingly hard parts of a game I've had the experience of playing. This makes CoD4 on veteran look like a Fable game.
It is late though and I've been trying to rush through this game and planned on an average ending with a somewhat challenging boss fight, to secure my 1000/1000 GS and go to sleep content with my accomplishments. I will try again sometime tomorrow, but if it keeps up like this where I am just getting tossed around like a ragdoll by those berserkers, I am done and this is going right back to gamefly. I mean I tried but some things just aren't worth the frustration.
I'll be a bit disappointed in myself for not finishing it, but at this point it really does seem impossible. So, kudos to those who somehow managed to ace this part on Hard difficulty. Truly.
I just 1K the game this morning after playing hard mode for 3 days,only advice I can give you is before you do the final battle,learn ALL the skills,buy MAX fire bombs and potions and definitely spam push enemies into the fire and definitely keep using the counter attack skill.
That saved me plenty of times when I was surrounded by enemies especially the tall guys carrying 2 swords.