Tuesday, September 1, 2009

X-Blades... It's a shame really :(

Elite, noob or casual, no matter the gamer, no matter the age, if I were to ask the simple question, what would you get if you mixed ‘Devil May Cry’ with ‘Serious Sam’? Without a shadow of doubt, the answer would be one of two things; a short and approving “epic” or a freakishly high pitched scream of joy. Unfortunately, when it comes to the game X-Blades, the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” comes to mind. X-Blades was developed by Gaijin Entertainment and published by both South Peak Interactive and Top Ware Interactive. It starts with its good foot first, but it must’ve stubbed its toe on the way in because the game not only starts to make a distinct growling noise, but seems to refuse to allow the player have almost any fun at all.

Sure it has some nifty cel-shaded graphics, it also closely resembles the anime look it was so obviously inspired by. But like the many games before it and almost certainly the games to follow, graphics will never be the be all and end all of a game. I should probably tell you a little about it, it’s a hack and slash adventure game; the player assumes the role of Ayumi, a sword wielding, gun slinging Dante wanabe. Her fighting style is very similar in essence to Dante’s (the lead character of Devil May Cry), while Dante has an absolutely absurd amount melee and ranged attacks, enough in fact to put even Kratos to shame. Ayumi has the same repetitive melee and ranged attack throughout the entire game. She can also gain a variety of new abilities, this is achieved by collecting souls found within each of the levels, the player does this by both attacking and defeating the many enemies, and/or collecting soul pieces placed throughout each level. When it comes to fighting these so called enemies however, it is an endeavour similar to that of a Serious Sam game; in each level there is a succession of progress blockers, once the player reaches these areas, a series of fixed generic monsters and monster generators spawn in, in order to proceed the player must defeat all of these opponents. Unfortunately for the player, the monsters seem to be nothing but re-skinned, recycled and atrociously dim A.I.

Things aren’t going great for X-Blades are they. I’m not going to beat around the bush, the screenshots of X-Blades sold me, and I really did believe I would enjoy it. The problem with the game is not its founding idea, that’s solid and settled. But its severe lack of polish in areas like; delayed movement controls, repetitive game play mechanics, abilities that add almost no advantage to combat and a tiresome soundtrack. The story just has no motivation behind it; its gaping plot holes, failure in tying levels together and poor dialogue they all pull away at the games core. Endless as this list may be, I wouldn’t give in so easily and was determined to finish it. No game should be this hard to enjoy, it just isn’t any fun for any extended amount of time. And when you consider the amount we pay for games nowadays, any charm or potential this game originally had, quickly and regrettably became obsolete.
Im sorry to say, but it gets a lowly score from me. gr33n_FIEND


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