BLADES OF TIME
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on May 21, 2019
Okay, I've got a confession to make here; I never played Blades of Time before. But a little birdie told me that this action-adventure Hack 'n' Slash game would be released on Nintendo Switch, so for me it's the perfect opportunity to get to know it.
Blades of Time surely doesn't waste time on long introduction videos. Within a minute or two, I'm already facing couple of dangerous looking enemies and it's time to learn the basics of the game. I've got a kick attack and sword attack in my bag of tricks and using any given combination of these two attacks results in the most awesome movements; slicing an enemy and subsequently kicking him clear across the environment, for instance. While progressing through the game, you will find more weapons and attacks, so expect a lot of action, flashy swords and an arsenal of attacks to perform!
In Blades of Time, we follow the adventures of a young woman called Ayumi, who has landed on Dragon Island; an island filled with treasures and danger. But apart from collecting treasures, Ayumi is also on a more noble quest; she's looking for a friend called Zero. To make things a little easier, you have a compass to show you the way. But this is a special compass with two arrows. The inner arrow shows you the way you'll need to go in order to continue the main story, while the outer arrow is pointing towards nearby treasure.
Very soon after you start your adventure, you'll come across a mystical altar. The spirit of the Altar appears and he explains that he will assist you during your adventures. He blesses you with the power to drain the chi from your enemies, but only after you killed them of course. Make sure to visit every Altar you'll come across during your travels, because the spirit will reward you with new abilities in return for the Chi that you collected from defeated enemies. After you select said new abilities, you can immediately put them to the test in the trials that follow right after.
I really love the over-the-top action in this game. Once you've got the hang of the controls, Ayumi will be whizzing and cart wheeling around the screen like it's nobody's business! During your travels across Dragon Island, you can collect amazing abilities which will make your life significantly easier. I personally love the Striker Fury ability, which grants you the power to deal a devastating blow to enemies in front of you. Now, this is not the only ability at your disposal, but believe me when I say it's really awesome!
I only have one problem with this game; I heard about it, as many of you might have, as it was presented as what I thought would be a remastered Nintendo Switch version; an upgrade of Gaijin Entertainment's PC / PS3 / Xbox 360 version of the game. Now, I never played the game back in 2012, but to be honest, Nintendo offers so many excellent looking games for the Nintendo Switch system and this version of Blades of Time does look and feel a bit outdated. The camera is a bit clunky and the graphics look like an early PS3 game quality. Maybe my expectations were too high, but Blades of Time feels more like a straight port than like a remastered version. But if you did like the old version and/or you're totally into the "retro" look and feel, you're going to be fine and will be able to thoroughly enjoy this game. And even if you're a new-bee to this game, there's lots of fun to be had by playing it!
Now, as you might have suspected from the game's title, time plays a big part in our adventure or, rather, the ability to rewind time does. When engaging this ability, you'll basically create a clone of yourself and use this extra set of hands to overcome puzzles or enemies. It's a neat trick and it shows what the developers where aiming for when they created the game, but it does take some getting used to. Nevertheless, it's a feature that makes for interesting solutions to various problems and does add to the game in general.
All in all, I really enjoyed playing Blades of Time on my Nintendo Switch. Ayumi is a cool looking character and I simply love her hairstyle with pony tails with braided red ribbons. She seems to be surprised by about everything that's happening on Dragon Island, which makes you also wonder what is going on. It's not an easy game and, truth be told, it doesn't always love you back. But then again, it's a very nice game, especially considering its price. If you can look past the somewhat outdated graphics, then the arsenal of abilities and tons of action in this game do make it a title worthy of playing!
BLADES OF TIME
May 14, 2019 (Nintendo Switch)
March - May 2012 (PC / PS3 / Xbox 360)