Did you guys all play single player mode on easy, or something
I only played the single player campaign on Hard right from the beginning. Even got all Platinum medals just to try to spice it up some.
The only hard battle is Durga and Garuda Team Battle and that's mainly because Sasha A.I. does jack **** and even the enemy A.I. knows this so they mainly ignore her and just jump you. If you pick Sasha yourself, it's better or just Rampage Durga to death at the beginning of the battle.
The boss character A.I. is still terrible and doesn't offer much challenge, they wake-up the same way and rarely tech throws. Jack can beat nearly every boss with H, H attack string alone because of this. The goons are not even worth mentioning, they attack as slow as a majority of mooks from Dynasty Warrior like games. That's not the benchmark you want to aim for.
It's really misleading to give someone the idea the SP is like God Hand difficulty or even close to that of old-school beatem ups since it miss a lot of elements that made the quality classic beatem ups worth replaying.
Well, I failed to manage my expectations and got this game mainly for the SP, and got burned badly. Objectively I'd say the SP is serviceable/ok, but if you have any lingering comparisons in your mind with God Hand then quash those, now, or it won't end well when you're already playing the game.
The core combat is pretty good, but when it comes to level and enemy design, it's like the game is confused whether it wants to be a Musou Warriors killing spree mindless fun or a fighting game with the AI on the hardest difficulty setting (cheap stuff on Hard, basically). As a result it's not as enjoyable as a warriors game (and I do enjoy a good musou game), nor as a good, technical beat-em-up.
Hard mode also has enemy PCs with tons of health, do tons of damage when you mess up (requiring you to play perfectly), but at the same time very exploitable by meta stuff (bringing items, bringing tires/signposts) or stupid stuff (L, L, L, KWL,x4 or L, L, L, grab), which any human opponent could theoretically escape from.
It was a fun romp, the Black Side campaign had me in stitches most of the time. But it's not compelling enough for you to, say, run through the game with multiple characters the same way you replay God Hand using a different set of moves, or for challenge runs.
Survival and Mad Survival (horde mode/boss attack/time attack) with bots are a part of the single-player experience too, I suppose, and are very decent, although it isn't officially part of the campaign.