Platforms: PC | PSN | XBLA
Developer: Krome Studios
When I first heard the name of this game a couple of days ago, my imagination immediately conjured up images of man sized bipedal cats fighting one another with swords in a sort of Thundercats meets Soul Calibur scenario. So, I downloaded it to my Xbox's hard drive, booted it up and prepared myself for a couple of quick rounds of combat against a worthy opponent. The opening cutscene then involved an altercation with the main character, who's a slightly more evolved version of the felines we're accustomed to, and a rather slippery human female, which seemed to confirm my suspicions that a fight was about to break out and caused me to grip my control in preparation for some frantic button bashing as the two exchanged blows. Then the cutscene ended and I was surprised to find that Blade Kitten wasn't what I was expecting at all, yes combat is involved throughout the game, but it takes place as you're making your way around the various platform levels.
So, you control Kit Ballard, a bounty hunter, who's out to clean up the galaxy and make a nice profit in the proceedings. Kit starts the game as a lone gun with only her Darque Sword for company, but later in the campaign she's joined by her alien companion Skiffy and in some sections of the game the rideable Noot, which looks a bit like the creature Obi-Wan Kenobi rides briefly in Revenge of the Sith. The characters are pretty much what you'd expect from a sci-fi story consisting of different planets, races, and cultures, so there's not really anything special there, but both they and the environments are presented in an anime style similar to Jet Set Radio, which sets it apart from the look of your standard 2.5D platform game.
Whilst running back and forth and jumping up and down through the environments are the staple ways to get around the levels, you can also jump up to rock faces and ceilings following which Kit'll grab hold of them and you can climb about to find hidden passages, or gain access to hard to reach areas. Additionally, in the sections of the game where you get to ride the Noot, you'll be able to use the beasts brute force and speed to smash crumbling structures that stand in your way to rubble. Also, you'll come across walls that Kit can destroy with her sword, small gaps that she's able to slide under, and there are other obstacles that'll stop you from progressing until you deactivate them by activating switches with your sword or sending Skiffy to activate them for you.
Combat is possibly the simplest thing in the game, Kit can attack enemies at close range or long range with her sword, if she needs to defend herself she can activate a shield that forms a bubble around her body, and if she quickly needs to knock enemies out of her path she can slide across the ground and knock their feet from underneath them.
The last thing to really cover are the upgrades in the game, which are held by a merchant who'll part with them for a reasonable price, provided that you've managed to collect enough credits, which are found freely floating around the levels or stored in large quantities within treasure chests, and there are even a few that our wily heroine can't get hold of, but luckily Skiffy'll be able to grab them for her.
Well, by this point you'll probably be asking is it really worth parting with 1200 Microsoft Points for this game, and honestly I'd have to say at the moment it's probably worth saving those points for some DLC or something along those lines, because there's not really anything that makes Blade Kitten stand out from the crowd other than the presentation.
- Looks great
- Finding all the credits and treasure chests can be challenging
- Kit has quite a few moves at her disposal
- Other than presentation nothing really distinguishes it from other 2.5D platform games
- Quickly becomes boring
- The characters get on your nerves almost immediately
The Short Version: Whilst Blade Kitten looks great and is fairly entertaining in small doses, there's nothing that really makes it stand out from the crowd, so it's probably best to wait until it drops in price before you consider downloading it.