You play the character of ‘Blade Kitten’ Kit Ballard, a human/cat hybrid bounty hunter in the Korunda System. You take on your latest bounty which from the start does not go according to plan as you run in to your rival bounty hunter Lucy who changes your priorities. Your journey takes a few twists and turns as you catch up with your rival and get back on track for your mission which is set over thirteen levels.
Blade Kitten is a side scrolling platform game set within a 3D world not too unlike last years hit platformer Shadow Complex. The game keeps the traditional 2D sidescrolling format while the scenery is displayed in 3D. It is a respectable way of keeping the genre looking modern while keeping the gameplay true to its roots with plenty of platform jumping, wall climbing, basic puzzle solving and enemies to fight.
The levels are quite long in length to complete and see you visiting a variety of locations including factories, grasslands, sewers and towns. Each location have their own obstacles to bypass including rushing through crushing blocks in the factory and jumping over high canopies in the towns which if mistimed result in a fall and retracing your steps back. The jumping motion does initially feel a little floaty but you soon get used to it and it does not become an issue. To break up the game there are a few smaller levels which pit you against an opponent in a racing game which are quite fun to play. Checkpoints are regularly found, usually before and after tricky sections of a level. You may not be relying on the checkpoints so often though, as the game is fairly easy thanks to a health bar that replenishes itself after a few seconds delay.
Blade Kitten is equipped with a sword which can be used against her enemies. Close combat will be your main attack and the controls make it a fun experience, hacking and slashing your way through a group of enemies is always fun. The main enemies are soldiers that come in a few varieties, some armed with guns. Their accuracy is fairly low as they will aim and take a short time to actually fire, this allows you to dodge their aiming laser and move in for the kill. Sword wielding enemies also make an appearance, a change in tactics is required with blocking and attacking in turn which helps mix up the combat techniques used in the game.
Throughout your journey you collect the games form of currency called Hex which come in various values and if you explore a little off the path you can find hidden chests full of Hex. The Hex can be spent at the store, and accessed at any time from the menu to purchase a variety of health and stamina upgrades as well as sword upgrades and new costumes for your character to wear. You will also pick up some accomplices along the way, including a Pokemon like animal called Skiffy who must be used to complete certain puzzles as well as collecting otherwise impossible to get Hex.
Graphically the game looks great, the use of cel-shaded graphics gives an anime look and feel. The scenery is wonderfully designed and each location is easily identifiable. There are a few occasions where the frame rate will drop though this is not a major issue as it is usually during non playable scenes such as when the camera is zoomed out showing a door opening in another part of the level. Cut scenes are regularly used to bring forward the story, the acting is done well with plenty of banter between the characters which adds to the humour of the game. The music has a Japanese influence that merges well with the overall style of the game.
Blade Kitten costs 1200 :MSPoints: on XBLA and $14.99 on PSN which is good value for money. The game will take around 6 to 8 hours to complete and more if you want to replay levels to find the hidden Hex chests and other collectibles in order to unlock and purchase the full range of cool clothing. The gameplay, humor and enjoyment you will gain from the game make this a game well worth considering!
Plenty of traditional platform game elements mixed with fun combat and a humour packed story.
A 3D world in a 2D view with cell shaded graphics gives a great anime feel to the game.
The Japanese anime themed music works well with the style of the game. Voice acting is done well and adds to the humour.
You can download the Xbox 360 version from the Marketplace and on the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Store. You can read more about the game and the ‘Blade Kitten’ universe at http://www.bladekitten.com/.
This review is based on playing the PlayStation 3 version. Thanks to Courtney G. for provided the review code.