Blades of Time (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 14.07.2019 2

Review for Blades of Time on Nintendo Switch

A collective “Huh?” was heard around the world when Blades of Time was to be ported to the Nintendo Switch. This sort of sequel - but not really - to the obscure X-Blades, was not really much back in 2012, when it was considered a poor-man's Bayonetta. Perhaps time would be kind to Blades of Time, and being ported to newer and more advanced hardware would allow the developers a new opportunity to smooth out its rough edges, add a bit of polish, and tweak the gameplay. Adjustments were made... just not in the way most would have hoped for.

Time controlling mechanics can lend itself to versatile gameplay in the action genre. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time made headway by allowing players to rewind or freeze time, while Max Payne and Bayonetta found ways to make action more stylish by introducing slow-mo systems. Even Vanquish proved just how fertile these concepts can be when coupled with speed boosting. Blades of Time takes things too far by permanently freezing time, and breaking the fourth wall by requiring the user to physically restart the game. The slow-mo is also taken to the next level by having many frames of animation skipped entirely and the manner in which Ayumi can travel back in time involves huge swaths of progress lost due to save data corruption.

Screenshot for Blades of Time on Nintendo Switch

If it is not obvious by now, Blades of Time for Nintendo Switch is horrendously rough and broken beyond repair in its current state. Playing this is akin to playing Russian roulette due to how it can cause some worrisome crashes and glitches, as it weirdly stresses the console. Performance is so poor that simple camera movement can lead to what looks like disorienting cuts, and single frame pauses that can last for an entire second or more. This was not known for being smooth or well-optimised back in its initial release, but somehow it has been made even worse, which is a shame because Blades of Time was something that could have had some potential.

This was a chance to make Blades of Time all it could be, but the gameplay just fails to engage due to an ocean of conundrums. Trying to play skilfully will yield no fruit, since the targeting system is broken and will lead Ayumi to only half heartedly track her quarry. The enemy guidance ranges from unfair to hilariously ineffectual. Sometimes a boss will be stuck behind some minor piece of geometry, but a small-time grunt will home in on Ayumi, stun-locking her as frames are dropped and sound glitches out. Major bug preventing elements seem to be missing as well; things like collision detection are on objects that wouldn't be expected. This leads to an easily breakable game when anyone can leave the intended game area by simply platforming and climbing along most surfaces.

Screenshot for Blades of Time on Nintendo Switch

It is difficult to discern if the combat is well designed due to the woefully poor frame rate. What can be gleaned is something that had potential; close ranged combat that alternates to third-person over the shoulder gun-play. This was a feature that has promise but due to the ragged state of Blades of Time, it is an aspect that cannot be examined. There is a magic system that that allows spells be casted by way of semi-fighting game style inputs, which is a very intuitive and natural means to expand Ayumi's move-set without complicating the control scheme. The balance of gaining power for spells or healing is also interesting, and would have made for some compelling, and stimulating gameplay had the rest of the mechanics been ironed out and polished. Since nothing else works, nobody with a passing interest in 3D action will find anything worth their time with Blades of Time. Dodging or dashing comes with a long delay after the input and leaves Ayumi wide open, defeating the purpose of evasive manoeuvring, and her sword attacks do the same. Had there been anything good in Blades of Time's core gameplay, it was lost in the disastrous technical performance.

Screenshot for Blades of Time on Nintendo Switch

While mostly every aspect of Blades of Time is a train wreck, some of the visuals and art direction does have some genuine craft put to it. The graphics are a mixed bag but the attempt to create a strange fantasy setting that evokes some nostalgia for old Heavy Metal comics is palpable. The design of some of the creatures and settings decent enough but won't inspire; they are only marginally above adequate. The scale often is slightly impressive, even if the game completely buckles under the scope of some of the vistas. Character animation ranges from robotic to uncanny; Ayumi's walk cycle is notably over done and her waist seems disconnected from her upper body.

Blades of Time is definitely a melting pot of bright and colourful striking imagery that clashes with some egregious amateur hour material. There seems to have been some crew members in the team that really cared about what they were working on, and seeing some of these brief glimpses of promise in Blades of Time can only make one hope that this black hole on their resume does not totally ruin their career.

Screenshot for Blades of Time on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

'Unenjoyable' is a very mild way to describe Blades of Time. This turkey is nigh unplayable depending on a player's tolerance for trashy, glitchy gameplay. With so many elements that are broken, nobody should be playing this, which is too bad because there are some aspects at hand that could have made it interesting. There is a surprising amount of unlockable content that nobody will ever bother to get, because who in their right mind would ever wish to torture themselves? Blades of Time is the skid-row of 3D action games.

Developer

Gaijin Entertainment

Publisher

GaijinDistribution

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Those pictures makes the graphics look really good.  Is the rest bad?

Dragon0085 said:
Those pictures makes the graphics look really good.  Is the rest bad?

its unplayable.
dont be fooled by the graphics.

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