Hands-On Preview – X-Blades

By: JC · February 8, 2009

X-Blades features Ayumi, a thong-bikini clad artifact hunter, who is about to embark on her greatest adventure.  Ayumi, brought to a mysterious island, must rely on her gun, dual-swords, magic and her perky…wits to survive and perhaps save the world.

The game, an Action-RPG is straight out of the vein of God of War, but instead of staring at an ash-stained pychopathic greek, players get to spend 20 hours staring at this:

While many Action-RPGs released in the wake of God of War either focused on indistinguishable button combos (Force Unleashed) or frustrating counter-attacks (Heavenly Sword), X-Blades focuses on instead giving the player easy access to various attacks. The left and right bumpers and the Y and B buttons are left for the player to assign magic skills, allowing for devastating attacks without the tedium of pressing X, X, Y, X, Y, X, X, A + (RS with in the air) to add variety.  Further, the game eschews parrying or defending, intensifying the already fast pace.  The result appears to be a fast paced action, while allowing for customization.

While the handling, accessibility and anime animation are the goods, what will make or break this game is ability to have a compelling story, which moved God of War from Rygar rip-off to all-time classic.  But most importantly the game needs variety.   Checking in at 20 hours (which is about twice as long than the norm for the genre) X-Blades needs to evolve in terms of challenges and monsters and most certainly needs pace itself, otherwise players will become fatigued, or even worse, bored.

From the preview, I will be glad to investigate those concerns, when the game releases this Tuesday (February 10).

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