It's been a few years since I played the first installment of this franchise, but my memories of the first game were fond. Maybe it has been too long and I don't remember the details, but in this installment you have to finish each level before you can save. I for one don't have the time to spend on a game only to not be able to save the progress because I didn't conquer the level's boss. On top of that, the "soul points" you gather throughout the level are lost too. Perhaps they mean for you to spend Ninety-nine Nights conquering this "slash and dash". I for one got so frustrated that I couldn't test that theory.
I realize that this game didn't do good in popularity and that it got pretty low scores from the mainstream game reviewing companies but despite the low score this game turned out to be really fun. I own the first game and have beaten it and this game was much much better than the first. All the improvements that were made were definitely for the better. Even when I did ship this game back out to gamefly I wasn't done playing it. I could have played it to 100% completion with all achievements and still had fun with the game. Best hack and slash I have played so far on the xbox 360.