Blades of Time Xbox 360 User Review
Super Gamer Dude
Overall, very little about the game stands out as particularly good or particularly bad. Blades of Time has excellent and immersing graphics and level design. Some of the worlds are such a visual and creative feast that they can be considered nothing short of brilliant. This beautiful attention to world building is offset by the game's overly complex and poorly presented story. Most players will reach the end of the game caring little about the consequences or meaning of their victory. Only very detail oriented players will have a hope of keeping track of the confounding array of factions and characters.
Players will encounter a wide variety of enemy types that will keep the challenge of combat fresh from the beginning battles to the finale. This freshness is partially defeated by the simplistic and often unreliable combat controls. With only two attack buttons, the game risks becoming an exercise in mad button-mashing, rather than the beautiful tactical experience it could be. While some games artfully blend gun weapon with melee weapon choices, Blades of Time is not one of them. The opposing weapons only add to the clunky feeling of combat. Unresponsive controls are more than just a passing nuisance in Blades of Time. They are often guilty of causing frustrating defeats or unintended hikes in difficulty during larger battles.
One mechanic that is unique in Blades of Time is also its namesake, and one of its shining achievements. Players may choose to rewind time at any point in combat. While the concept of time manipulation is nothing new, Blades of Time adds a new flavor to the mechanic. When players reverse time, a duplicate will remain and act out the actions they originally made. The player will then be able to attack with an entirely new set of moves and essentially double up their attack power or compliment their original set of attacks. Enemies also regenerate their health when time is reversed, so players are best to carefully plan their use of the ability, or they risk dragging battles out far longer than need be. Boss enemies are tough enough that using the time reverse may be necessary to defeat them, so it doesn't seem so much like an overpowered or game-breaking mechanic. There are, however, many non-boss instances where you can take advantage of the mechanic to make the game trivial in difficulty. This makes the ability another example of how Blades of Time falls short of making a balanced or seamless experience.
Taken together, Blades of Time is a visually beautiful and imaginative game with some unique mechanics at work. These advantages, however, don't really make up for the lack of an understandable story or the frustrating control issues. The Blades of Time world may be worth stepping into, but players should be prepared for some seriously frustrating encounters that will mar their overall enjoyment.