The dodge move is particularly difficult to pull off. To get Ayumi to dodge, the player is required to double tap the right analog stick forward and press the jump button at the same time. The absurdity of interrupting the flow of combat long enough to pull off this maneuver is gigantic but instead of it being a tiny little flaw this one move is the biggest reason why this game is getting the score it is getting. The reason being is that, like for most of the other controls, there is a tutorial level where you must learn the move and put it to practical use. The level in question is an L shaped hallway with a few oversized guillotines hanging from the ceiling. To pass these guillotines you must perform a dodge roll. Sounds reasonable right? However there is a magical ability that allows Ayumi to teleport a short distance that has the same effect as the dodge roll. I died a number of times because I could not believe that any designer would include a move like teleport and not let me use it to get past a falling guillotine. Sure enough time and time again Ayumi was brutally cut in half and I was left turning off the game and screaming that such a terrible mistake could be made. This happened a week ago and I still feel angry and bitter about it, and it was made even worse by the fact that after you get half way through the game your required to turn around and go right back through the whole entire map. This meant another encounter with the guillotines of frustration.
Aside from the music that plays on the title screen (also featured in the game’s trailer) there is a rock sound track that plays during combat which never changes. Ugh. The sound effects for the swords and the different magical attacks were ok but the voice acting was atrocious with a whiney female voice for Ayumi, a whiny male voice for the character Jay, and some sort of garbled barely understandable filtered voices for immortal gods that guard the artifacts.
Achievements consisted of collecting objects and killing monsters. If you can stomach the gameplay you can get some easy points with X-Blades.
Killing monsters, collecting power ups, enjoying a dumbed down story you don’t have to think to much about, and boss battles these are the things that made me love playing Gauntlet Legends on the Nintendo 64 but with Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden leading the pack in hack-n-slash action platform games there isn’t much reason to give X-Blades a second glance.
Less than mediocre should have been the title for this game. Only consider X-Blades as a purchase if you’ve played almost every other game on the system and you find a copy in a bargain bin.
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