Instead of being the assumed action adventure title, X-Blades is nothing more than a button mashing arena based fighter.
The player takes on the role of Ayumi, a Paris Hilton look-a-like that wears next to nothing. With a waft of Tomb Raiderness, Ayumi is a self proclaimed superior treasure hunter. Instead of platforming and puzzling solving, the player mindlessly travels from stage to stage and does nothing but button mash monsters until every last one of them is dead. Here is the basis of each stage: enter room, fight 1000 monsters by using one button melee attack or with the game’s broken magic system, exit to a new room, repeat. Very, very lame and unexciting.
Trying to make gameplay more interesting is the terrible magic system. Instead of just dishing out fireballs, the player must first build up the rage meter by physically attacking enemies. Once the bar has enough juice, the player is free to fire off a few magic shots. Perhaps the magic system, or any aspect of the combat for that matter, wouldn’t have been so mundane if the camera was somewhat cooperative. Instead, the camera will flow and weave at random, giving the entire game a floating motif. This is only worsened by the actually movement speed of Ayumi. She moves so fast that it can be difficult to line up attacks and make jumps. Also, after all the enemies are killed, they emit a glowing firefly that are magnetically attracted to Ayumi, and once absorbed, reward an increase in the rage meter. But Ayumi runs so fast, that these firefly things cannot reach her unless the player stops and waits. The hyper speed is very disorienting too.
The graphics are decent cel-shading with a fair amount of lighting effects, but the player will never enjoy them as much as one should simply because the gameplay/camera is too fast. From a narrative point of view, the story by no means impresses as it is your typical “I’m looking for treasure in this forgotten tomb” plotline. Musically, the game’s upbeat rock/rap tempo mix fits the fast pace of the game but as a whole, doesn’t appeal to the ear and sounds like it is trying to be fast just to keep up with the gameplay. The voice acting isn’t exactly the best either.
X-Blades feels like an incomplete game. All aspects of the gameplay just feel too loose and broken. The magic system sucks. Constantly killing the same annoying enemies using the same attack is repetitive. Boss battles are filled with nothing but cheap hits. The horrible lock on camera function never works properly. The story is lame as can be…the list goes on and on. With so many negatives going on, it is hard to find anything positive to say about this. X-Blades is not a good game. Plain and simple. Not even rental worthy.