Where Did This Come From?
Throughout the life of the Nintendo Switch, there have been a few WTF moments. Like Legend of Zelda BOTW and Super Mario Oddessy. Then we get to this, Blades of Time. A sequel to the average hack-and-slash X-Blades (average being kind). Why, I hear you ask? Or is that just me? I have no idea, but I am sure someone at GaijinDistribution knows why. So guys, wanna throw us a bone here? Let the rest of us in on the joke, please.
I might have been a little bit harsh there. Let me start off with Blades Of Time is not the worst game there is but it is very poor indeed. There are a few good ideas surrounded by millions (slight exaggeration, for effect) of things that were just plain bad. Strap into you none existing armour for this ride that no one wants.
Assuming the role of Ayumi an arse kicking, duel sword wielding, gun-toting badass. She’s a Laura Croft wannabe (with magic) Treasure Hunter who has ended up on the mysterious Dragon island.
There is however treasure plenty for those foolish enough to look for it, as the island is in the throes of Chaos Magic with a long and mysterious history.
Who needs Lara Croft? Here we have Ayumi. She is just as good as that other Treasure Hunter who will no longer be mentioned. If only that is what I could write. From the get-go Blades Of Time lacks the polish of the Tomb Raider games. in almost all aspect of gameplay.
Let us break this down. The controls are in a word, basic. Starting with regular slash attacks and a cartwheel launch attack that is overpowered. There is also the magic that can be activated with button combos. Along with the addition of magic, there are power-ups, that a frequent that augment magic spells or gives Ayumi new abilities. Oh and gunplay. Not once did I feel in trouble.
Gunplay is where the game shows some cracks. The lock-on feature hardly works. Aiming itself is a pain. Blade Of Time’s problems do not stop there. The magic at times would not cast, not too sure if it was the input speed or just a bug. Hitboxes are all over the place. Combine that with random attacks and magic not even working, its a poor show. The hack-and-slash parts feel like button mashing. There is no skill required. The somersault attack will kill most things by the end of the combo, as well as move Ayumi out of attack range for most foes, I used it a lot.
After some time with the single-player experience, it is time to try the online game, this was again decent ideas just badly executed. There is a style of game called Onslaught that is a simple version of a MOBA. Attack other players base, destroy it you win.
Any weapons that are unlocked in the online game will be taken back to the sinlge player game and vice-versa. This was a good idea, apart from the Onslaught game is boring, along with microtransactions in the form of gems to buy new items and costumes etc. This put me off right away.
There Was Something Fun
With the word “time” in the title, one would hope that time manipulation would play a part within the game, and it does. This is possibly the best part of the game. Ayumi can rewind time and leave an after image of her self that can be used to distract enemies or even to attack with the real Aymui. One enemy has a sheild so there needs to be mutipul attacks to brake it, in comes three extra Ayumi’s to help. There is a cool down for this ability.
It Still Looks Bad
On the Nintendo Switch, we get the PC version of Blades Of Time, this looks better than the original, but that means not a lot as it looks terrible. In most aspects of the game, some look lovely like that somersault kick, its not enough to redeem some more problems I faced.
Ayumi looks horrid. Nothing to do with the clothing but the model itself is blocky, and not rounded in more than one place. Not to mention some other characters all look somewhat wrong, and strangely shaped. One character has legs like twigs and ankles that defy logic while she walks.
World textures look simply awful up close, and everything felt the same. Each room looked like the last in that area. The world building was uninspiring. When I play an adventure game the world has to be good to enjoy it. Look at Tomb Raider, the world are outstanding, here they are not so good (insert profanity here).
Along with the world looking bad it generally played bad. Blade Of Time has been poorly optimised for the Nintendo Switch with plenty of slowdowns when too many enemies are on screen. With a game that looks this bad and plays worse what would could I expect.
Oh My Ayumi No
The voice acting is god awful. Ayumi’s voice actor sounds like she could not care less about the role and sounds bored and monotonal throughout. I could not stand it. The other voice actors did a decent job, shame they had less dialogue.
The sound effects sound pretty good and feel like an attack hitting with force (when they hit). The ambient noises were there, just not the focus. The sound effects do a decent job.
Let the pro’s handle the treasure hunting, and let’s put Ayumi away for a time where she might have been wanted. There is so much work to be done in Blades Of Time that if you are going to release a game no one sees coming at least make sure its up to scratch.
Bad port of a average game, there is plenty out there that are better.