Within the first half-hour of playing X-Blades, I threw my controller twice and felt like swearing off the game for good. It leaves one of the worst first impressions you’ll ever come across in a game, and it has a hard time ever redeeming itself. The hit detection is awful, the graphics are bland and boring, the story is laughable, the dialogue/voice acting is even worse, the controls are terrible, and the design is just straight up bad. I think I made my point there, but there was a quality or two about the game that saved me from becoming a danger to myself while playing through it that I feel I should mention.
I figured in a game titled “X-Blades” that my blades would have a primary focus. Well, you can throw that assumption right out the window. You can hack away with your blades, use guns, or use magic. Well, that’s not really true. The only thing that ever does damage is magic, so the whole point becomes hitting the enemies with your swords until your magic bar is filled, and then you constantly use whatever magic will work. Unfortunately, if you have the same problem I had, you’ll probably find yourself wondering what exactly does damage to enemies. This is amplified by the fact that I couldn’t see the enemy’s health bar in the lower right part of the screen. Great! By killing enemies, you receive souls, which are used to buy new magic and abilities. Every fight in the game becomes a guessing game on what magic to use and is a test to how much patience you really have. You will either learn that you have none, or don’t have as much as you thought.
The only redeeming quality about X-Blades is that it correctly does its job as a hack and slash; it becomes addicting after you finally allow yourself to get over all of its shortcomings. Once you have unlocked quite a bit of the magic, it opens up a few options, and the animation for performing them is one of the better aspects of the game. Unfortunately, when the game does start to pick up, there are other annoyances that introduce themselves. For one, you’ll be replaying through almost every level in the game twice. You have no choice, and the only difference between them is that one is day time and the other is evening. X-Blades also becomes unbearably repetitive almost immediately. The only change in action is switching the different types of magic between buttons.
X-Blades is not a finished game. If I am wrong about that, then the developers had a poor direction for the title. Even though it does have addicting qualities and decent playability after some invested time, it’s obvious that this is dependent upon your tolerance to deal with how terrible its mechanics are. With the gameplay being one-dimensional, and every other category lacking, X-Blades isn’t worth a glance, let alone a purchase. This review might have been different if X-Blades addicting nature had carried over to the entire product, but unfortunately, it didn’t.
+ Addicting once you invest some time into it
+ Wide variety of spells to unlock and use
- Almost every aspect of X-Blades lacks polish. Feels unfinished.
- The ending might as well not exist with how awful and short it is.
- Repetitive. Repetitive. Repetitive.
Grade - D+