It doesn’t take much to completely ruin a video game. There are many, many potential final nails in a game’s coffin. A terrible camera can make a game unplayable. Annoying characters can render it unpalatable. A glaring flaw in the gameplay can make it impossible. Of course, sometimes the game simply isn’t fun. Developers have to be careful to not kill an otherwise acceptable game with one glaring flaw. Unfortunately, the studio behind Blades of Time has fallen into this very pitfall.
Blades of Time is a hack and slash in the same vein as Dynasty Warriors 7 or No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. The gameplay consists of chaining together impressive combos and fighting your way to epic boss battles. Or, at least, this is supposed to be the case. “Blades of Time” manages to score an honest ‘C’ in almost every category, but outright flunks in terms of gameplay.
The combat system in Blades of Time makes it one of the worst offenders of repetition in an already guilty genre. While amazing hack and slash games like Samurai Warriors 3 keep the formula fresh by offering dozens of playable characters, Blades of Time doesn’t have this luxury. Ayumi (the main character) isn’t difficult to control, nor are her attacks unresponsive. The repetitive combat is neither satisfying nor challenging. As a huge fan of hack and slash games, I can tell you that much of the appeal comes from these two venues of combat satisfaction.
While the button-masher is severely hurt by this crippling flaw, there is another that it walks hand in hand in with. Ayumi loves to talk, but her voice is downright grating. This appears to be a combination of uninspired writing and laziness on the part of her voice actress. This would be forgivable if you were having fun while she throws out annoying comments, but this isn’t the case by any means.
Graphically the game is certainly up to par. The enemies’ designs, while not mind-blowing, are fairly varied. The bosses are very nicely animated and the locales on the beach are very easy on the eyes. In the same fashion, the music manages to just barely make par. The soundtrack isn’t memorable by any means, but you won’t find it unpleasant. And, yet again hitting par, the story isn’t blockbuster level- but it does keep your attention.
“Blades of Time” prides itself on offering a large unlockable skill set. While some might mistake this signs of depth, many of these skills are totally unnecessary outside of the odd boss battle. As it stands, “Blades of Time” follows in the footsteps of other shoddy, monotonous hack and slash games starring skimpy females. You’ll be able to see it on the corner shelf with the likes of X-Blades, Heavenly Sword, Bayonetta, Lollipop Chainsaw, and Venetica. Avoid this stinker unless you’re a fan of mindless, repetitive combat and dreadful voice-acting.