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Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light Game Sample - PSP

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  • 6 years ago
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"Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light" is a game developed by "Hit Maker" (not to be confused with Sega's "Hit Maker" or Sega AM3) and published by NIS America in the U.S. and Australia, and by Atari in Europe. While I appreciate what NIS did, this game honestly should have never been made. Personally, I felt it was poorly scripted, horribly unbalanced, and very flawed. The game had potential, but it becomes apparent within the first few hours that it was wasted. I spent a fair chunk of the past 72 hours "enduring" this game, and the ending actually made me question what on Earth was being done or thought of when this game was released. Yeah, this is one of THOSE games.

One thing you should know about Hit Maker is that, if you've read reviews on their work, that they ironically have yet to release a real hit and they have a recurring theme. They release games with nice intros or openings (Not DA, it sucks) to get you amped and then pelt you with awkward narratives, painfully slow or archaic game designs, characters that you gain little to no attachment to, and endings that are so bad or generic that they make you curse the ones you love, successfully making you regret the dozens of hours you invested.

Okay...maybe you won't curse the ones you love! While Blade Dancer could be forgiven as it was their debut game, when you continue to release future titles with the same bad ideas and learn little to nothing from your mistakes, you give people every right to be wary of your products-- that's that in a nutshell.

The second thing to note is Blade Dancer is more of a single player MMO with turn-based battles than a typical JRPG, and this is partially demonstrated through its thin plot and huge emphasis on quests and item gathering. It starts off on a high note, featuring a lovely opening which shows the hero and his (future) companions travelling the world and fighting the good fight. As Lance and Shushu (a totally useless creature companion), you simply travel around doing good deeds and accepting tasks that will help him become a better warrior, which soon gets him entangled in a 1,000 year mystery surrounding the Island of Foo, an ominous "Dread Knight" and the "Dark Lord", a mysterious girl who lost her memory but is connected to one of Lunadia's many moons, and ultimately attempt to save the world from evil. The game is clichéd as hell... about the only thing that took me by surprise is that you don't obtain characters in the order they appear in the manual. This wouldn't be bad if the characters were likable and you learned neat stuff about them, but you don't. The characters in this game are almost as mysterious and unappealing as humanly possible and their motives for joining your quest aren't entirely clear due to the game's infamous cliffhanger ending, which ends where most ordinary games climax, leaving the game feeling unfinished.

The graphics are mediocre for a few reasons. While the framerate and loading aren't much of an issue, the game has loads of graphics clipping on the overworld, some pop-up, terrible textures for almost everything, drab color usage, and many enemies/attacks start looking too similar or the the same after the first half of the game. The audio fares a little better, with decent tunes (good opening/ending themes) and acceptable voice-acting. The gameplay is completely unbalanced... you could write a whole review just on where they went wrong, but I'll put it this way: You MOVE TOO SLOW AND BACKTRACK EVERYWHERE (except once in the whole game), the crafting system is forced down your throat with unnecessary elements plus crafted items can be made super cheap and sold for profit, enemy strength is denoted by skulls/colors which don't accurately portray the challenges ahead, you acquire tons of skills and items you never actually use (Empath skills are especially useless), the game utilizes a sort of ATB system like Final Fantasy but slows actions down (sometimes freezing your movement), the game is difficult early on but stupidly easy once you get a party of three or more characters, and you can't pause on the field or during instances where you have to use key items on the field... to name a few things.

The good? The Lunability/MP shared by characters and foes is a good system, equipment levels was the only thing preventing this game from becoming a joke, the game has an interesting multiplayer feature where you can earn unique items, and the game has many sidequests, most of which are at least kinda rewarding. Of course, twenty wrongs and eight rights don't make a right. This video might make this game look decent, but that's because I always try to have decent footage. If you're an utter masochist who likes games with poor plots, lots of meaningless grinding and backtracking, subpar graphics, and an ending that denies the player the proper feeling of satisfaction they rightfully deserve after all the monotony, then this game is for you. Otherwise, I don't recommend it.
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