Game: Blade Kitten
Genre: Action, Adventure
System: PS3 (PSN)
Review by: Denoch
It’s difficult not to get excited when a favorite comic strip or cartoon gets translated into a game and you get to become the heroine or hero of the story. The transition from one media to another can be a delicate process and the end result is not always astounding. Introducing Blade Kitten, a 2.5D action adventure platformer based on a webcomic of the same name can only mean that you as the gamer, will dictate the final result of a webcomic turned video game, which by the way is ‘episodic’, so how did it work out?
Story: Kit Ballard is a half-feline half-human bounty hunter on a search for a dangerous criminal called Terra-Li located in a small planet known as Hollow Wish. Upon landing in this diverse planet you are greeted by Justice Kreel, a rival bounty hunter who destroys Kit’s ship and steals a Key that holds all the information of the bounties. Along the way, several factions are introduced and will mostly likely work with them or do certain tasks for them in order to reach her objective. The premise of the story can be very intriguing but falls short when all the convoluted side missions become jam-packed into this one episode, making it troublesome to follow what is going on. It feels like Kit is getting yanked from chapter and then suddenly she is in another chapter without properly delivering a good narrative of what is happening with all the characters and factions.
Gameplay: Kit wields a heavy blade that she actually does not carry; it floats and can be commanded by just waiving her hands. The combat is quite vapid with a few attacks such as short, long, and air-to-ground thrusts to defeat your enemies. It is literally possible to run while swinging the sword killing vermin and soldiers from the beginning to the end of the stage in mere minutes if all the exploration is ignored, in some cases running away from the bad guys without attacking is not required to proceed. There are very few boss battles that have no challenge what so ever, it requires no strategy to defeat them. The better part of the gameplay is the platforming and the search for money that can unlock clothes, health, stamina, and blades. Kit also has a furry sidekick that can collect loot and help out on puzzles that otherwise could not be done, at times you get to ride an animal that almost looks like Yoshi, when Kit is mounted she can still swing the blade while running at the same time, when dashing the pet animal can penetrate though breakable objects and kill enemies.
Controls: When you move Kit either to the left or right and suddenly stop it feels like she is still moving on ice because she does not stop immediately, this can hinder the puzzles that require jumping or the timing to dodge an incoming attack. There are not many buttons to memorize or too many maneuvers that need to be done to successfully finish the game.
Graphics: One of the strengths of Blade Kitten is the cell shaded presentation; the world is filled with a powerful mass of colors like pink and red. The outside environment is filled with numerous amounts of green trees and a very colorful grass that can be confused to a Teli tubbies episode, it can feel like a massive world when running around and killing baddies. There is plenty of exploring when you are underground while looking for chests that contain loot, but typically when you arrive at the end of a level where exploration is no longer possible then you will know because of a dark void where the level design ends. It would be nice if I could be deceived into thinking that I can go further instead having a pitch black screen, it is not awful but it can be out of place with all the uplifting colors.
Sound: Kit Ballard is a very charming kitty girl and the voice actress portrays it fairly well, some of the lesser characters almost feel like they are reading a script and are not inserting their emotion into the character they are representing. The combat dialogue never changed, all the human enemies have the same voice and kept repeating the same lines when they engaged into battle. The music corresponds very well to Kit’s whacky and corky personality, and to the whole atmosphere.
Wishes or Changes: One of the few or many things that can be fixed is a better narrative, better to concentrate on one person or faction and fully explain the back story for new comers that have never read the comic.
The combat can be polished, give the option to choose a difficulty setting and the AI can give a good fight instead of being a traffic sign. The boss battles have to deliver a better challenge and have some mini bosses at the end of each chapter.
TQ bottom line: . Blade kitten is not a horrible game by any means but falls short on what it tries to accomplish, Kit Ballard is fun to play with, the art style is splendid to look at and the platfroming is quite good. With better improvements on the combat and narrative for the next episode, it can certainly have potential for an excellent game. This Kitty gets only 3 lives out of 5
FINAL SCORE: 3 out of 5 Michelas!
Developer: Krome Studios
Available on: PlayStation 3,Xbox 360, and PC