Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blade Kitten Full Game Review: She's back, she's bad, she's tough & she's mad!

It's been many years since the release of Blade Kitten episode 1 on consoles and PC. I'm sure most of you forgot it existed and those who remember probably keep bugging it's creator for episode 2 on consoles. Unfortunately... console owners will be chasing that cat up a tree for the foreseeable future. Luckily the PC version is on Steam for cheap and episode 2 is available there too and you don't need a beefy PC to run it either. I ran it on a AU$500 laptop with minor performance issues. The big question is... is the game any good and was the wait for episode 2 worth it?

The story of Blade Kitten is not too complicated. Kit Ballard is a Breaker(also known as a bounty hunter) who has come to Hollow Wish to take on work. After accepting a break for local wanted criminal Terra Li, she is ambushed by Justice Kreel(another Breaker) who takes her Breaker key(a Breaker's I.D and logbook for breaks) and blows up Kit's ship. Now Kit must get her Breaker key back, capture the criminal Terra Li and survive Hollow Wish.

Do you like Strider? I like Strider! Blade Kitten can be considered a modern clone of Stirder. The game has you climbing almost any surface to traverse the large levels. The levels in the game are fairly large, but ultimately linear... but they are littered with collectibles! The game was built with completionists and speed runners in mind with lots of collectibles to find within each level and easy to find paths that will easily beat levels in 10 minutes or less... and there's an achievement for getting all of the levels best times totaling less than 90 minutes!

Throughout the stages you'll collect Hex, the games currency. It's abundant and is used to upgrade Kit's health, stamina and used to buy new swords and outfits. There are A LOT of costumes in this game! Some can be bought, some are unlocked just by buying both episodes of the game and others require completing certain requirements. None of the costumes do anything to improve Kit's abilities, but it's still fun to change the outfit every once in a while. Weapons don't really seem different enough from each other to make too much difference at first, but in the end you'll choose the the one with the highest stats and never change.

Difficulty has been an issue for many a reviewer and player alike. The enemies A.I is not very intelligent, even the new enemies introduced in episode 2 have no improvement over the first one. Enemies aren't really meant to be something to defeat so much as an obstacle to avoid and the levels themselves aren't too difficult to beat either. There are a couple of mini bosses and boss fights in the game too... and they aren't to difficult either. All this makes the game sound easy right? Well... it isn't easy... but it isn't hard either.

The game isn't without it's flaws. The game has a ton of bugs that appear in the PC version I never encountered in it's console counterparts. Falling through the environment, blinding white glare during the final boss fight, busted scripted sequence that goes faster than it's suppose to be and getting stuck in various objects randomly. The game even crashed once on me because of the way I entered the area before a cutscene. There's also the floaty controls that a lot of people didn't like the first time around... it never bothered me, but I thought I'd mention it for those who hate it.

Despite the issues, the game's writing is very enjoyable. The dialog exchanges between the characters is enjoyable and I never tire of it. So many characters have such great lines! Fighting through the enemies can also be very satisfying, despite the bad A.I and the completionist in me had to obtain all the collectibles and all the trophies.

So... is Blade Kitten good? Yes... yes it is. Yes the game is not very difficult and seems buggier on PC then it is on the consoles, but it's cheap and you can finally play the whole game. You can get a fair bit of mileage out of the game and it's fun to try and beat your best times. I recommend you play through the game without hunting everything down in the first run, do a second run to find everything and them speed run like a boss! My opinion of the games hasn't changed much, but I still say it's a good game worth your time

Score 4/5

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