X-Blades Review

X-Blades is a game that is a lot like any of the Tomb Raider games, in that it stars a female treasure hunter who kills everything that stands in her way and who is merely there as eye-candy for attracting 14 year old boys.

Another good comparison is that the controls in both of those games tend to range from merely broken to unusably bad.

Let’s start with the first thing, the main character. Honestly, why isn’t she naked? Plenty of the promotional images pretty much show her as being in the nude. Not only that, but she wears so little clothing that it wouldn’t make any difference in appearance. She wears a thong so small that string theory was invented to explain how it stays on. Couple that with being blonde, having three pigtails, and being styled in an anime appearance, and it just screams that it’s pandering to the audience. Not only that, but she jiggles like the bra is painted on, and the in-game camera only likes to see her from the mos perverse angles possible. The official wallpapers have her clearly posing topless, so the developers have the bare material lying around somewhere.

She personifies every stereotypical male desire: blonde, flaky, endowed, jiggly, giant pumps, and three ponytails. If she had glow-sticks, it would complete the image. This game really is a shameless example of trying to squeeze out sales of a bad game through sex.

For a treasure hunter, she seems quite intent on running through the massive ruins of an ancient civilization smashing everything after trying to steal one artifact, instead of realizing that things like ancient sculpture, vases, and other such artifacts are far more valuable than one sticky sphere. The game might actually be more fun if it was spent carefully recording details of a vase, then packing it carefully and having it sent via courier to a paying museum.

In other words, the game can add ‘exceedingly boring’ to the list of its crimes.

The controls are a basic attack with swords, or attack with guns, or use magic, once a rage bar has built up enough for a spell to be used. All of that is, in theory, a pretty good design for hack-and-slash. Instead of trying to figure out per-defined combos, or worse, trying to complete a challenge to unlock a combo, you can instead combine various attacks and dodges into an intuitive and flowing combo of attacks that can change at a moments notice. Done well, a system like this is like a swordfight and gunfight crossed with ballet. However, the controls do not work very well either. The dodge function rarely works when done intentionally (about 1 in 100 times it works) and sometimes works when you didn’t want to dodge.

Happily, there is a level where you have to dodge falling blades, where one blade will nearly kill you. Luckily, you can open up the pause menu and buy more health. And even better, going back the other way causes them to kill you in one hit. I would be amazed if someone could play the game that long, given all the other issues.

Each section of the game contains one boss and a bunch of infinitely spawning annoying little monsters. Fighting ends up as exploiting something with the boss AI, and just repeatedly slashing with swords until you can use a spell. For some it’s a fireball or darkness attack, others get earthquake or somehting else. It really becomes a rinse and repeat kind of operation, and is also insanely boring.

Some of the annoying enemies swarm you and knock you back or down, which with dodge not working and no block, gets really annoying. The best enemies are the flying monkey things, since touching them causes you damage, and all they need are five of them at the points of a star anywhere in the level to cause some massive damage to you. Naturally, they like to appear on stages where the boss is just a bunch of floating orbs you need to destroy, and most of the orbs require you to jump, slash a couple of times, and repeat, since the orb is high enough you can walk under it.

Score: 0/5

Pros: There is nothing to like, and I like how that makes my job easier.

Cons: really, everything about this game from the heroine to the gameplay is just awful. Getting the willpower to play this requires forgetting how bad it was last time you tried to play. Controls are broken enough to make the game an incredibly frustrating experience. It has no redeeming qualities.

Well, if you want it for some reason (pervert) it’s around $20 on Steam (I think. It could have been $10) which is (either way) way too much to pay for this travesty.


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