‘Blades of Time’ is an action- adventure game that is developed and published by Gaijin Entertainment Corporation as a successor to their previously released title X Blade. Blades of time has a simple bog standard story line about a sexily clad treasure hunter called Ayumi who, wielding two phenomenal blades and a rifle, has found her way to the dangerous island, Dragonland.
Dragonland is a highly desired place for many treasure hunters, one of which is a secret organisation called The Guild. The story opens upon a meeting of the Guild, the master stands at the forefront of the crowd with a magical sphere, the only way to access Dragonland. Their meeting is met with an explosive interlude as they are attacked by the Heroine and her friend. The cut scene has the master and Ayumi talking to each other in such a way it seems that they worked together in the past, but there doesn’t seem to be any love loss between them. And so our Heroine activates the sphere and the environment around you dissolves as your search begins for the Legendary Treasure of the Dragon Temple. If you start thinking it was that easy and the treasure is on the other side awaiting you, you couldn’t be further from the truth and it wouldn’t make for much of a game if it was. Alone and without your friend, who helped you get to the sphere in the beginning, you find yourself amidst some ruins surrounded by a seemingly never ending jungle. Once you solve how to escape this platform you will eventually come across the Spirit of the Alter, a so called guide… but is he?
Dragonland is filled with a variety of creatures and surprise traps to challenge Ayumi on her way to the treasure, it seems it’s the islands way of testing the treasure hunters by having them fight giant creatures and solve puzzles. For example the first large creature you fight is a giant robot like creature called the Gateguard who tells you that your first challenge begins now and the combat with him begins.
Blades of Time’s combat looks like it could be the saviour of a simple and plain story line and for the most part it is. Your primary weapons are a pair of astonishing blades, that when fighting exhibit an array of slashes and slices that fill the screen and as a secondary weapon you get a rifle for ranged monsters too far to reach with blades alone. Slashing and sliding across the maps killing everything in your path at a ridiculously fast pace is adrenaline pumping! That is until you realise the controls can be unresponsive a times. You can be jumping and dashing all over the place and then suddenly just as you want to dodge a nasty attack you push the dash button and nothing happens; ouch you just took an unneeded attack. It’s not all bad though, once you get used to buttons not always responding the first time you find the rhythm of spam and hopefully you will move out of the way. On meeting the Spirit of the Alter a second time you will start to receive additional powers and abilities for your Heroine, there are more than 40 sets of skills including melee, tactics, combos and powerful order and chaos forms of magic. Power of turning back time stood out for me, while other games that have this ability use it in as a way to go back to a certain point and continue on and hopefully dodge a few extra attacks than last time Blades of Time use it differently. Here you leave your past self to run off and re complete all of your previous attacks while you can dodge behind enemies and hit them in the back! This is exceptionally useful against shielding enemies. The rifle mechanics are pretty static you just aim and shoot while casually walking left and right dodging the flying creature’s projectiles as you try and hit them. That is until you get the target dash allowing you to dash to flying creatures and slice them up with your swords making them much easier to deal with and less painfully boring.
The multiplayer modes in ‘Blades of Time’ are entirely forgettable if not time consuming and boring, players can either play together or in versus mode alongside a squad of AI companions. The objective could have brought some fantastic player vs player combat to a fast paced action game. Your mission is to charge forward and attack outposts, destroying them before your enemy. Sounds great? Well it doesn’t play as well as it sounds, the outposts have a large amount of health leaving you prodding the outpost until its eventual downfall. It is also better to ignore the enemy player giving you more time on the tower and putting you in the lead.
‘Blades of Time’ does shine a little with its graphics; some of the scenery is fantastic at catching your eye and probably distracting you during combat so you can have a closer look. The particle effects from your skills and powers are shiny and sleek. The only noticeable fault with the graphics is the occasional low res texture that stands out from the rest, catching your attention; forever naming itself and an ugly thing to look at.
Sounds in the game are dreadful in most cases, the voice acting on Ayumi was annoying for me as she never stop talking, and I know this is to link the story line together but I would prefer not to listen to her constantly. For me the lip-syncing was none existent and overall it’s just a plain and forgettable atmosphere. With hack and slash games like this one, such as Devil May Cry, the use of music gets the players pumping during fights especially boss fights by having fast paced music. This however doesn’t have anything like it, during boss fights all you really pay any attention to is the boss’s steps and the sound of your attacks scratching at it.
Overall Blades of Time has an eye catching concept but some areas are poorly executed. If not for the bad lip syncing and occasional control faults it does have a lot going for it that boost the linear storyline like the graphics and when it works the combat system. Play it if a family member picks it up for you or if you can overlook the faults it’s a good game to grab.
Disclaimer: All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.
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