The difficulty has really ramped up recently. I've found myself dying more often in the last couple of chapters. Still, the game has not become frustrating. The game is actually quite difficult, but it has definitely been tuned for modern sensibilities. Much of the difficulty lies in executing massive combos and getting high rankings as opposed to insanely unbalanced fights or limited continues or poorly placed checkpoints or other potentially frustrating methods that were popular with older games within the genre.