From Tigers to Kittens, Krome Studios brings the pages of Steve Stampafiadis web comics to life with the downloadable action platformer Blade Kitten.
Blade Kitten speedily leaps into action on the PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Rooted in traditional 2D platforming, Blade Kitten introduces its own unique of anime inspired characterization while adding an extra layer of depth in what is called 2.5D. Handling the translation from comic to game is Austrian based developer Krome Studios from ‘Ty the Tasmanian Tiger’ fame. In homage to their original creation you will also see “Ty” into the mix as a downloadable skin. Aww, ain't that nice.
Introducing, Kit Ballard
Taking the staring role in Blade Kitten is the adorable character of Kit Ballard, a spunky pink haired cat girl, tale included. Kit is your typical sarcastic, fun-loving bounty hunting protagonist, who much like a cat, plays with her victims before she goes in for the kill. For those who don’t follow the comic book, the characters and world Kit lives in will seem like spaced out. Krome didn’t really do a great job at introducing the player to the characters. However, as an action game how much do you really need to know? Aside from not knowing too much about this vibrant world, the cast and setting is interesting with a dynamic looks and personality. Blade Kitten seems to have ever angle covered in the richly detailed world.
The gameplay in Blade Kitten is much like you would expect from a 2.5D action platformer. The action always sticks to the 2D plane with the third dimension occasionally being breached by your dog-like sidekick, or enemy attacks. One of the most interesting aspects in Blade Kitten’s Kit Ballard is her magical sword that hovers around her, allowing her to control it with her mind, keeping her hands free. While this offers up some unique opportunities concerning design, it doesn’t seem like it was used to its full potential, and rarely goes beyond slicing up the baddies or activating the odd out of reach switch.
Combat mainly comes down to a few flicks of your sword along with a few sliding kicks. Given Kit’s unique gender it would have been great to see a more “paws on” approach. Even though the combat might be lacking in terms of diversification, it can still be exciting under the right circumstances. It’s just too bad it takes Blade Kitten over a hour before it starts to challenge the player. The majority of the enemies including the few boss battles are nothing to write home about, which puts a lot of pressure on the other half of the game, the platforming.
Kit's Climb the Damndest Things
The platforming is set up with a variety of wide-open and close quarter spaces. A large aspect of navigating the location is climbing up and around walls while jumping on small perch like pedestals. There are a few puzzle like aspects to the game built into level progression, however none will stump you for more then a second. The level design is basic on the level of cleverness, but as a whole the maps blown out to full scale is impressive with many secret treasure chests to discover. Aside from the achievement extorting boss battle, no one level sticks out above the rest.
Spend Those Credits
Aside from helping those in need, Blade Kitten offers up several unlockable rewards to keep you in the game. These include upgrading Kit's abilities, purchasing new weapons and unlocking new costumes. Blade Kitten has its own credit system, that is amply distributed to the player via credits you pick up while you explore the Kurunda System. Since I didn't expect Blade Kitten to be this involved with its unlockables, it was a nice surprise that showcases how much the developer cares about the project. More then different colours attached to a wardrobe, or new stats added to old weapons, Blade Kitten's unlockables have substance and are worth unlocking.
If you are looking for a fresh, action based game to download, Blade Kitten is a great option. While the gameplay might not be purfect, Krome Studios has poured a lot of love into this one to make Blade Kitten stick out from the bunch. The visual style, and quick-whit of the entertaining cast will likely have you smiling while you climb your way in-and-out of each detailed level. The combat is the major culprit here, however, it is easily overshadowed with the cutesy style of Blade Kitten's greatest attraction, Kit Ballard. As we guess from the unopened chapter in Blade Kitten, there is more to come, and as I bait up a glass of milk and yarn, I will be anxiously awaiting the next chapter.
Final Score: 6.8
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 09.29.10
Great cast of characters, loving Kit Ballard
- Strong intertwined level Design
- Game has a fun colourful spirit
- Good amount of upgrades
Combat is extremely simplistic
- Platforming isn’t too adventureous
- If you’re not familiar with source material, its not going to make a lot of sense
- Lots of potential gone undeveloped
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