Black Knight Sword could be the operatic love child of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sam Raimi.

This strange platforming game has a setting that appears based in musical theater but brims with elements of the macabre. And like stepping into an opera in a foreign language, you sometimes find yourself staring at the screen wondering what it all means.

Of course, you'll still enjoy the game.

The game is encased in a stage setting, with a narrator and curtains drawn back to give the illusion of this being just a grisly show for your amusement. Enemies appear and move like puppets, while you control the hero as he jumps and fights off anything in his path with a trusty sword.

Purchasing upgrades to weaponry is vital, but so is the timing of such purchases, since you'll lose everything if you run out of lives and then must restart.

The constantly ominous (and often repetitious and grating) music only heightens the tortuous journey through the game's five levels, and this continues through the challenge and arcade modes when you're finished. While five levels sounds brief, the amount of saves and restarts you need to finish each level takes time, and only those with a hero's heart and the will to win will probably see it through.

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RATED M for Mature

PLOT A platformer with musical theater and a sword

DETAILS PlayStation 3, $10 or 800 Microsoft points

BOTTOM LINE Stick with it