Blades of Time - New Game of the Day #39
- Gaijin Games
- Blades of Time
Blades of Time – New Game of the Day #39
What? A time-meddling hack ‘n’ slash action game from the development team responsible for X-Blades
When? March 16th
Where? PS3, Xbox 360
You’d be forgiven for not remembering Gaijin Entertainment’s last adventure game, the shockingly over-provocative X-Blades – a title who’s unique selling point was that its heroine ran around in a string bikini stabbing things with large swords. Dodgy AI, unresponsive controls and a slightly incomprehensible storyline notwithstanding, there were still those that found X-Blades playable in a B-Movie kind of way, and managed to find some endearing qualities buried under all the over-sexualised swagger.
As a result of this unlikely near-popularity, or perhaps due to evils of a different kind, the sequel, entitled Blades of Time, is due for release mid-March and, may the God of Games strike us down, it’s actually not looking that awful at all.
Featuring X-Blades heroine Ayumi (this time clad in hot-pants and knee-high boots, which is practically a full outfit of winter woollies compared to the last title), Blades of Time accompanies the series’ light/dark mechanic with a rewind function that isn’t at all like Prince of Persia. Actually, it probably is, but Ayumi has a handful of nifty tricks up her sleeves to compliment it-- oh, she hasn’t got any sleeves? Okay, up her hot-pants leg, then. For example, she can use a dash move to zip between enemies in the blink of an eye, and can call upon her special time-bending powers to create a duplicate version of herself that will re-enact her last actions – handy for puzzle solving, we imagine.
Not much is known about the story yet, other than that Ayumi is a treasure hunter (hence the not-at-all obvious British accent and sassy mouth) exploring a mysterious island. If the trailer is anything to go by, there’s a good variety of locations including ruined temples, deep entangled jungles and snowy caverns – and the combat actually looks a lot of fun, even if does all look like nonsensical, scantily-clad style over substance. The option to play the campaign in co-operative multiplayer could add longevity to Blades of Time, and if nothing else playing anything with a friend usually makes it seem like way more fun.
Being able to switch between Order and Chaos magic, Ayumi will have access to over forty skills as the game progresses, which at least has the potential for variety – but Gaijin Entertainment will need to improve over the shoddy special effects seen in X-Blades if they want to impress gamers. As always, we reserve judgement (or at least avoid broadcasting our judgement) until we’ve gotten our hands on the game, but while we’re not exactly excited at the chance of another run in Ayumi’s leather bikini, we’re prepared to admit that if Gaijin have listened to feedback and at least attempted to address the failings of their last title, this could be a much more inviting prospect.
Developer Legacy: Gaijin Entertainment are a Russian outfit established in 2002 who possibly don’t know what “gaijin” means. They are perhaps most famous for flight-sim IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey (re-released on PC with the subtitle Wings of Prey) and, obviously, X-Blades. They’ve also released a few games exclusively in their native Russia.
They Say: “With a host of colourful characters, eye-popping visual appeal, tons of treasure and a huge variety of combat skills to master, Blades of Time will satisfy gamers’ hunger for an entertaining yet deep action game that even gamers new to the hack-and-slash genre will enjoy.” – Konami
We Say: Big swords? Check. Smart-mouthed chick in a leather bikini? Check. Complete disregard for equality and respect for the fairer sex? Check. But, joking aside, there’s still a chance that Blades of Time could surprise us.
Can’t Wait? Play This: Well you could pretty much wander into GAME with your eyes closed and lay your hand on a hack ‘n’ slash title featuring mysterious islands and upgradeable skills, but if continuity is a concern pick up a copy of X-Blades and take it for a spin.
Words by Mick Fraser (Twitter: @Jedi_Beats_Tank)
- Related Games
- Blades of Time
Silent Hill 2 and 3 go under the HD surgeon's knife, but do they come to looking better or worse? Review by Joanne Kendrick.
The eighth entry in Konami's iconic franchise has arrived, but is Silent Hill beginning to show its age?
A quick look at the week's big releases