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Andrew Cathie
01 Oct, 2010

Blade Kitten Review

PC Review | Too bad Kit doesn't carry any Mace.
The Australian games industry is one that is constantly criticised by Australians. If the masses are to be believed, high quality games rarely come out of Australia and the best we can normally hope for is a low budget game of middling quality. Krome Studios is the largest developer in Australia and is also one of the main developers to bear the brunt of this criticism. Their latest game and newest IP is Blade Kitten. Blade Kitten follows the tale of Kit Ballard, Bounty Hunter, in a 2D side scrolling platformer. Will Kits antics help improve the image that Australian developers have attained over time? The short answer is no.

The screen focuses in on a cat-girl, she pulls a strange cylindrical object from her pocket and speaks her name and bounty hunter number to a floating machine. A job is offered to her, she feels it to be reasonable and so accepts. Then out of nowhere a blonde Bounty Hunter, Justice, arrives and steals Kit’s breaker key and blows up her ship. Confused? We were when we started up Blade Kitten for the first time. With no back story whatsoever you are thrust straight into what feels like the middle of some sort of rivalry. What is a breaker key and why is Justice stealing it from you? No idea, but it seems important enough that Kit will go through waves of enemies to get it back. From that point on, the story doesn’t get much better. You can expect a very convoluted storyline that doesn’t make much sense until near the end of the game.

As stated in the introduction, Blade Kitten is a 2D platformer with some small puzzles as well. Your attacks consist of the general close range and long range varieties, along with a few jump attacks and combos. Combos are pretty much based around mashing one or two of the buttons multiple times until something happens and, sadly, that is how you will play through most of the game. Combat is just a matter of button mashing until you defeat the enemies on-screen and gets extremely boring when you have to wipe out large waves of enemies later in the game. When those larger waves start hitting you, prepare to run. There are times in the game where it is near impossible to hold off the waves of enemies and you will need to run away and come back to be able to get through without dying. The biggest pitfall of the gameplay, however, is that while Kit can only fight on a 2D plane, enemies are capable of attacking on a 3D plane. This means that enemies can attack you from a part of the field where you won’t be able to attack back, leading to a lot of frustration. On top of your regular old health meter, you also have a stamina meter with is used to sprint, defend and use ranged attacks. With the speed that they regenerate you never have to worry about them running out for long.


You shouldn't let the flying sword hit you.

You shouldn't let the flying sword hit you.
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While the combat is frustrating, the platforming can be fun. As long as you’re able to withstand the poor level design and unruly controls, that is. On many occasions you will find yourself following the natural flow of the level, only to hit a dead end with a treasure chest instead of the next area of the level. The controls are mostly fine until you find a portion that requires multiple wall jumps to climb. You will find that on occasion the game seems to think that instead of pressing jump and left or right, you instead pressed jump twice. This leads to a double jump and leads to you starting from the beginning as you can’t recover mid jump. Besides the occasional control issue and poor level design the platforming is quite fun and you will find yourself thoroughly enjoying yourself. Until you hit another wall of enemies.

There is also the odd mounted section where the main goal is to try and collect as much hex, the currency in Blade Kitten, as you can. You ride a Noot, which vaguely resembles a pink featherless Chocobo. You can use the hex you find in these levels, and throughout the other levels of the game, to purchase upgrades for Kit at the store in the game. These are far from necessary though, as you can easily complete the game with no upgrades at all.


Ugly wannabe Chocobo is ugly.

Ugly wannabe Chocobo is ugly.
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The shining light of Blade Kitten is its graphical style. The overly colourful cel-shaded graphics look great and while the animation is quite stiff at times, it’s still passable. The main characters designs are nice and the levels look quite nice as well. Until you’ve played in each level type three times throughout the course of the game that is. The level designs are repeated throughout the game and this leads to the levels dragging. The audio in the game is much the same. The voice acting is quite good, but the corny dialogue offsets any appeal from it. The music is nice, but constantly repeated throughout the game and levels, so it gets old quick. Blade Kitten will last you a few hours on a regular playthrough, but will feel much longer and not in a good way.

Blade Kitten is an average game at best, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. If you like 2D platformers and don’t mind the repetition of music and level design then we recommend picking up Blade Kitten.
The Score
Kit tries hard to win your heart, but sadly the repetition, disappointing controls and level design stop her from being able to. 4
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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6 Comments
3 years ago
I bought it to support the Aussie devs and also because the cel shaded graphics looked good but in the end the game sucks nuts.

I guess Aussies can still dominate iTunes icon_wink.gif
3 years ago
The total war games and Puzzle Quest games are good. At least that's better than nothing.
3 years ago
Works perfectly (shadows off) with 3D vision and looks fantastic so that adds a bit more to the game.
3 years ago
Oh well... I was looking forward to this one as well. I might just get it anyway... maybe. Anyone know how much it is?
3 years ago
$14.99 USD on Steam
3 years ago
Ahh cheers. It'll probably cost the same on PSN.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  23/09/2010 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Atari
Year Made:
  2010

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