Blade Kitten: review

  • Format: PSN (version reviewed), XBLA, PC
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Atari
  • Developer: Krome Studios
  • Players: 1
  • Site: www.bladekitten.com/game

Blade Kitten may sound like a series of commercially unviable multi-tools, but funnily enough it is the name of Krome Studios’ latest downloadable title and shares its universe with the webcomic of the same name. The game spawned from the comic series and is set as a prequel to the story, introducing the central pink-haired cat lady, Kit Ballard, a fierce bounty hunter with a passion for cheeky swordplay.

The graphical style of the game looks very similar to the visuals seen in Borderlands, only more japanimated. It looks really nice, with colourful worlds taken straight out of a comic book to provide the environment for this 3D, 2D side scrolling platformer (we refuse to use the term 2.5D because half a dimension doesn’t make any sense).

Questions punctuated with a gun to the head don't have many right answers

The game appears deceptively flat like any other side scrolling adventure. You are limited to moving left, right, up and down, with a button for jumping, sword slashing and interactions. As you start navigating through the first level, little help bubbles pop up informing you of Kit’s other useful abilities. Leap at a wall and the cat lady will dig in with her claws, opening up a myriad of new possibilities when traversing terrain. You can climb up the side and underneath things with the same ease as walking along the flat ground beneath, which really opens up the 2D environments for exploration.

Other skills include a ground busting slam, as well as the ability to plunge your sword floor-ward to create a handy bubble shield, and provide an anchor point to stop you getting blown off the mark in the few sections where there are big, blustering turbines as obstacles. This gives Kit a decent variety of moves in which to navigate the levels and solve puzzles.

Speaking of the puzzle elements, they are mainly of the simple variety with painful consequences for failure. You know the type, spiked pits, laser beams, waterfalls of toxic nastiness, that kind of thing. We’re not talking about the most perplexing brain twisters in the world; Professor Layton this certainly isn’t. Most of them are action orientated ‘find the switch beyond this fire pit’ or ‘get to the sweet spot with the on-screen prompt to send your flying sidekick thing to disable X’.

Murder seems disturbingly casual to little miss cat head

Combat is basic sword slashery, with one button for close range and another that sends the sword a few metres forward to chop up baddies at a far. Health and stamina are regained through an idle charge system, similar to that found in modern day shooters, which seems slightly odd for a platformer. At least it makes collectibles nice and simple, with the game’s currency, Hex, being the only thing to pickup aside from rare collectibles to keep trophy hunters happy. Hex is used to upgrade health and stamina, and you can also use it to buy new weapons and additional outfits.

Blade Kitten is an enjoyable platformer with some nice gameplay elements that make it slightly different. Regular checkpoints make it a forgiving game that won’t offer a huge challenge to seasoned gamers. Things can get frustrating at times when enemies attack you from another plane behind the one you occupy, which is within arms reach, but you cannot attack them back due to the cruel, twisted rules of the 2D world. We are sure that there is plenty of rich backstory to enjoy if you are a fan of Blade Kitten, so if you are, feel free to add another point onto this score in your mind.


7/10

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Written by Anthony H

Anthony has been playing games for far too much of his life, starting with the MS-DOS classic Mario is Missing. Since then his tastes have evolved to include just about anything, but his soft spot lies with shooters and the odd strategy game. Anthony will inspire you with his prose, uplift you with his wit and lie to you in his biography.

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