Status: I did not finish X-Blades, traded in
Achievements: 4 of 37
Gamerscore: 50/1000
DLC Purchased: None

Graphics: Once you have a moment to sit back and take in the sites, the detailing in the ruins you progress through is actually quite well done. Ayumi’s overall character design is pretty nice, and her cel-shaded anime moments in the few cut scenes are lovely. But after a while, all the textures being to look the same and it just becomes boring.

Controls: There is not much to the controls of this game. A button mashing free for all. One button for your blades, a trigger for the guns, the other for targeting, and then assigning 4 extra buttons for magic & skills that you can purchase buy trading in collected souls. The difference between X-Blades and other games that use this system is that you can purchase these upgrades right away instead of waiting to find an altar to exchange them at.

Fun Factor: I’m sure once upon a time when everyone sat down at the table, some people had their thinking caps on and thought “Hey! Why not make a really cool game similar to Devil May Cry, but more on the fantasy side of things.” They came up with the thinnest storyline they possibly could, because, well, for some reason they seemed to have stuck it in their heads that they wouldn’t need to worry about having any semblance of story as long as they through in a practically nude buxom blonde. She’d be hacking & slashing her way through oodles of baddies, and whenever she jumped, you could get a great look at her bare behind each time. Slap on $60 price tag on that, market it to horny teenage boys who’s parents don’t bother to look at the ESRB ratings on games and you have easy money.

Female Aspect: X-Blades has you playing as the anime-inspired Ayumi. She fits all the qualifications of the fan-service type character: big boobs, scantily clad in barely there bra top & microshorts. While I admire the character design itself, you can clearly tell that Ayumi was developed with the underage or immature male mentality in mind.

Yukino’s Comments: I was really looking forward to this game. Overlooking the fan-serviceness of Ayumi, she was a strong adventurous female character, kicking some butt with her gunblades and fantastic magical moves. It had promise. An anime version of Heavenly Sword or Tomb Raider, minus the puzzle solving. And while it does offer several enemies and multiple power ups and skills to learn, a la Devil May Cry, I just cannot seem to get past the repetitive nature of the gameplay. There is no direction throughout the levels. No clues or hints as to where to go or what to do. For instance, at one point you are trapped in a room with spikes coming from the floor. There is no camera zoom to a potential hidden switch or even anything you can target in the room. And the story… Well, that just takes forever to get anywhere. Level after level of hack & slash with practically no story progression whatsoever. Some levels are boss battle after boss battle, which is also ridiculous as it takes forever to kill them. They take very little damage even with a direct hit.

Another issue I have is that with what little storyline that had been injected into the game. Ayumi’s voice work is less than stellar; it’s very flat and uninteresting. Supposedly she is a treasure hunter searching for an artifact that will give her fame, power, money – all the usual things that every treasure hunter based game seem to have in common. One day, while selling another artifact she had found, she just happens to find a funny blocky artifact that just happens to match one she for some reason is keeping in her pocket but never sold. A door unlocks, she walks in, slashes some enemies, touches an orb which gets her goopy, fights a boss called The Light, and that’s it for story for a very, very, very long time. If you want to keep someone interested in a game, you need to let them know they are slashing their way through all these enemies and bosses for some reason. That reason just takes too long to get to, and make X-Blades lose it’s appeal very quickly.

(Reviewed for GamingAngels using the old format – July 12, 2009)

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