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Reviewed: Blaze and Blade
Author: Chris Kim       Date: March 4th 2000
Page: 2

Originally a Playstation (PSX) game, Blaze and Blade is a PC port of the action role-playing game released in 1998. Being a direct port of a game from the far inferior and older Playstation platform, some shortcomings and other obstacles are expected. However, there have been several successful ports of Playstation games, such as the Final Fantasy VII and VIII (although a little less than stellar), but what could a PC gamer expect from a port of an RPG from the Playstation, little more than a console game?

From the first entrance of the game, it can be seen that it is a fairly heavily console based game from the extremely linear design and straightforward gameplay. All of the interaction and combat is fairly simplified and easily played. Players will receive control of up to four characters that the player gets to design from the ground up. Within the player creation tool, fairly robust sets of statistic points are allocated to several of the areas, developing the character in a certain area. These include the typical set of statistics such as strength, will power, agility, and magical use.

Hello Maid
See Ya Later!
Up the Ladder

Actually getting into the game, it starts to show the weakness and poorly designed game system that is at play. All of the combat in the game is action based. This combat is in quite similar fashion to how the Super Nintendo game Secret of Mana worked, with a team based squad roaming around whipping at bad guys in a Zelda type fashion. Players can equip several different types of weapons and armor to their bodies for extra offense and defense. This works to little effect as the enemies and players can be attacked and killed just as easily. As for the game engine, the collision detection, in a word, awful. In some instances it seems that there is no collision detection at all. Once in a while, the player can even just walk through enemies on the run, but will sometimes run dead into a wall that is still several steps away from him. This can make maneuvering and getting around objects sometimes a bit tedious and cumbersome. Most of the combat in the game is very goofy and requires little or no skill at all. Players will usually be able to just run around with their characters and start bashing at enemies without dying.

Flipmode Baby!
Gain Levels Like Crazy
Up the Elevator...

Most of the enemies in the game are very stupid and provide no real challenge. The only way the enemies actually will hurt the player is because they are simply overpowering. Allies and partners in the game are also extremely stupid and have nearly no relevance to how the game is played. They follow the leader in a straight single file line and never do anything aside from attack if only attacked upon first, and that is not even if they have to move out of the line to go anywhere. All the players have special abilities, but few of them come in handy or have any real use.

Storyline and direction is important in a role-playing game, correct? Well, it seems that Blaze and Blade doesn't seem to think so. The game really lacks a dominant storyline, or any other kind for that matter. The player just assumes control of treasure hunters looking for money and they ask people around for how to get some... Sound interesting? Not really. Character interaction is also quite poor, rather than having anything really new or interesting to say, the entire dialog is somewhat bland and mundane. Players will just walk up to and have to nearly perfectly collide with these characters to communicate with them, use the wrong approach angle and communication won't happen. This also is very cumbersome.

Go To: [ Previous | Next | Home ] - Control/Interface, Graphics, and Sound
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Added:  Saturday, March 04, 2000
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Page: 2/5

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