PS3 Reviews: Blade Kitten Review

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Blade Kitten Review

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Graphics:

 

6.0

Gameplay:

 

5.6

Sound:

 

5.4

Control:

 

5.1

Replay Value:

 

5.3

Overall Rating:       5.5

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Atari

Developer:

Krome Studios

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action

Release Date:

September 20, 2010

Cats are cute. Kit Ballard is cute. The chick she’s chasing is cute. Kit’s playful banter is cute. The presentation is, on the whole…cute. Unfortunately, there’s nothing cute about the repetitive and seriously flawed gameplay, which means this little pink kitty outstays her welcome pretty fast. The various forms of cuteness will keep you playing longer than you normally would when faced with a partly broken game, but that’s about it. Blade Kitten is the game with a great name and an absurdly appealing anime premise that combines relatively straightforward platforming and combat with a silly storyline and a few small, albeit relatively fun, twists. The biggest problem centers on the constant, ceaseless repetition and controls that just aren’t reliable enough. No game, regardless of presentation and charm, can survive very long when bogged down by a core mechanic that simply doesn’t work very well.

But at least we get to start with that nice presentation: the graphics are very anime-ish in style and while some of the environments are drab and borderline nasty-looking, the animations are smooth and clean, and the game’s style and flair are big bonuses. Character design is decent, too, and the cut-scenes are well done, so you’ll almost want to push through a particularly frustrating section just to see the next storyline segment. But Krome Studios utilizes the same kind of level and backdrop too often, and the enemies tend to appear and act the same (with the exception of one admittedly cool boss). I would’ve liked more in the way of nifty special effects as well; this one could’ve used extra flash and panache, because it fits the fashion structure. It just all sort of blends together after a while and although it’s still nice, the graphical palette starts to wear on you. In short, the visual charm holds out longer than the gameplay, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Much like everything else in the game, the soundtrack is uber-repetitive and although fitting, doesn’t do enough to enhance the experience. The voices are decent, though; Kit sounds just about right, and the voices of most major characters are better than average and even pleasing at times. The sound effects are all right, as the combat effects are sharp and clear, and some of the impact effects (like when Kit smashes through a wall) are fairly well orchestrated. They just needed to give us more music and perhaps even more effects during gameplay to spice things up. The balance between soundtrack and effects is fine but due to a lack of variety, it doesn’t really matter. Again, though, the anime fans may like it more, because the Japanese influences – on most every technical element – are obvious. So if it’s your thing, maybe you can tolerate it better.

Blade Kitten has 3D visuals but plays more like a 2D side-scroller, as your agile feline character can cling to and clamber along walls and ceilings (ala Strider), sprint, block, slide, double jump, execute a few different attacks, and even control a floating blade by your side. There are some minor puzzles, a bunch of relatively mindless enemies, and even a special attack that you can unleash after filling up a certain meter. You can explore about, finding secrets and collecting Hex (this game’s form of currency), all the while leaping about and slicing your foes to pieces. Her health restores quickly but if she gets knocked about in a short span of time, she will fall and you’ll be restored to the last checkpoint. It’s usually “kill or be killed” throughout; i.e., the faster you react, the better off you’ll be. But at the same time, you have to use a wee bit of strategy as simple actions can deplete stamina.

It all sounds good but the controls are just too erratic and unreliable. Kit’s momentum doesn’t really seem necessary and can cause problems, and jumping back and forth between walls can be very frustrating. See, Kit can either stick to or jump off most walls and because one only uses the X button for all her acrobatics, things can get confusing and irritating. You’ll get the hang of it after a while, but you never quite feel as if you’re in complete control, which is a serious downfall. Besides that, while the secrets are fun to find and completionists will want every piece of Hex they can find, the levels just aren’t inspired enough to warrant much interest. And while combat requires reflexes and timing, it doesn’t require much else and pretty soon, you’ll have seen most all there is to see. Oh, and strangely enough, those foes can respawn…why, I have no idea. It wasn’t a good plan; it’s especially annoying when trying to explore.

Gathering up Hex helps because you can purchase health and stamina upgrades, and being a Final Fantasy fan, I liked the little pink Chocobo. Well, it’s not a Chocobo; it’s called a Noot, which you can actually ride at certain points throughout the game. Your only goal is to collect more Hex while astride the Noot, though, so it’s not like the mount expands upon the combat or platforming elements. It can be fun to purchase new skins and other collectibles but for the most part, most all items and upgrades that can be purchased are unnecessary. Although I bought plenty, I doubt you need much to actually finish the game, because battling really just comes down to jamming on a couple buttons. Having the long-range attack via the Circle button – when the floating blade flies out and attacks, sort of like a Familiar – is nice, but the rest is just Square, Square, Square…hold Square to block, rinse, repeat.

There just isn’t enough here, and those unreliable controls continue to plague the adventure throughout. Blade Kitten is one of those good ideas that stumbles due to mediocre execution and almost mindless repetition, in terms of both gameplay and technical aspects. I tend to enjoy the old-school retro-type games but this one really doesn’t work well enough. I suppose if you really get into the presentation and characters – and that’s possible – you might be more inclined to purchase and finish it. Kit herself might be enough. But you had best harbor some sort of bizarre feline fetish for it to be worth the cost of admission.

9/25/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

Snaaaake
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:36:01 PM
Reply

I thought Kit's appearance was gonna be more "moe".

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Highlander
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:39:31 PM

LOL! I guess you're referring to her lack of anime cuteness? She's not the cutest nekomimi I've ever seen to be sure. Sadly western artists seem to lack the ability to draw 'cute'.

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Snaaaake
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:54:05 PM

An otaku is sad........

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Highlander
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 11:01:37 PM

He is? Which one?

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Snaaaake
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 11:54:16 PM

Ok Highlander, I'm gonna murder you for screwing with me.
GRAAAAA!!!!!!

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Highlander
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 2:58:57 AM

Just playin'.

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Highlander
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:36:36 PM
Reply

LOL! Ben, dude, I think you're being a tad bit hard on the game. Dude, what happened man, did someone harsh on your mellow today? ;)

As yet I haven't noted broken controls, although the game is like most side scrolling platformers in 2D - a little repetitive. It plays like a 3D graphics, 2D game play arcade platformer of old, and in that respect I have not problem with it's repetition. I used to plug quarters (or the UK equivalent) into arcade machines for exactly this kind of game, as did millions of others, and despite them being more repetitive that Blade Kitten, and less polished by far, we still loved those games. I think I'd score it at least a point higher in most categories.

Horses for courses, and although this one isn't for everyone, it's a fun enough game. It's by no means the worst I've ever played - not even close.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:47:58 PM

Man, those controls are BROKEN. Have you seen the other review scores...?

They're not crisp or reliable or sharp. They're just mucky and slippery and erratic. But I kind of get what you're saying...after playing for a while, you sort of just accept them as part of the game, and ignore them. In retrospect, I think we did a lot of that in the old days, you know?

I guess I have to admit to being a little spoiled due to other more refined PSN games. If Blade Kitten had come out a few years ago, heck, I might've given it an 8. :)

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 9/25/2010 10:48:28 PM

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Highlander
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:58:48 PM

LOL! Yeah, I've seen them. I don't disagree with you about the repetitive nature of the game. I just think the game is worth about a 6.5. 7 would be too high, but 5.5 is kinda poor. I haven't felt too put out buy the controls yet, but I upgraded the blade at the earliest chance, so perhaps it plays differently with the better blade.

Scores are what they are, and the review is what counts. the only real point of disagreement is about the controls. I just haven't found them to be broken. Not hugely precise perhaps, but not broken. Of course you've been playing Halo Reach, so you've been immersed in game play that's been refined over and over again. The controls are precise, responsive and familiar. Blade Kitten is definitely a bit more raw than that...

I do take your point on the other reviews though. It's not the best game of all time, but I feel it has a little more going for it than your review suggests.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 11:54:34 PM

Well, I certainly hope I'm not letting my Halo: Reach play time impact a review for Blade Kitten.

If that happened...I'm in trouble. ;)

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Highlander
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 3:00:36 AM

Well, you know Ben, playing a 360 game while reviewing a PSN title....oh dear, there's a clear potential for cross contamination and what not.

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Highlander
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:08:48 PM

Before anyone thinks I am criticizing Ben, I have to say that I am not. The post above is a joke, poking him about playing a 360 powerhouse and then reviewing a PSN game. It's not a serious point.

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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:39:03 PM

Come on Highlander...you ruin the joke by later informing everyone that it's a joke. If someone was unable to understand it was a joke than that would also be a joke.

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Highlander
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:40:47 PM

Well, I was re-reading the thread, and at first read, it didn't sound like a joke to me, and I wrote it!

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fluffer nutter
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:43:41 PM
Reply

I thought the controls were wonky in the beginning but once I upgraded her blade to the highest one, everything started to fall into place. Personally, I was rating this game around 6.8 to 7.1 but yeah, it's quite repetitive. They hyped this game up so much, and I've read the comic, so I was expecting more. It is fun and I'm not bitter about my purchase since I got my PSN cards for very cheap. I hope they add more to it later.

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Highlander
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 11:00:49 PM

I think that if they'd added a bit more flash to the graphics, and perhaps added a couple of orders of cute for "Pinky" it would have made the game a bit better.

As for the game play... The parts of the game where you ride the creature are in particular annoying and would be the first place I looked for some fixing and reworking of the mechanics.

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sawao_yamanaka
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:43:50 PM
Reply

LV was right on the point on this one.

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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 4:01:22 AM

THANK YOU!!!!!!!


:)

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DazeOfWar
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 10:56:48 PM
Reply

Ya I played the demo of this and was just bored. Looks cool but just didn't follow through with excitement.

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Killa Tequilla
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 11:09:30 PM
Reply

This game deserves a 10! GOTY Contender! Kitteh FTW! =3 troll. Sike just playing lol

I just finished playing the demo & I came here to PSX and got this surprisive review!

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Alienange
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 11:10:08 PM
Reply

There's way too much twitching involved with this game for me to enjoy it. With you pointing out how repetitive it is I think it's a definite pass for me. Side scrolling just isn't as fun as it used to be.

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Kai200X
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 11:40:33 PM
Reply

I tried the demo, and I agree the control is not very smooth. But I like the art style for some reason.

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___________
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 1:47:08 AM
Reply

disappointing, i was really hoping this would be really good.
oh well, back to LIMBO i go!

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BikerSaint
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 2:43:04 AM
Reply

_______________________,

Huh, so you're still playing Limbo although you already stated yesterday, that you sold your 360????
I call bullsh*t!

Just like before when you used to brag about getting all your games & then taking them back for a refund within 7 days, so you were actually getting free rentals out of them.

And ever since I called you out on that one too, you want us all to believe that you've got the money to buy every game out there, and still go to some kind of uni, trade, or gaming school named Tafe, right?.

Yeah, right.

Your new name is.... "Credibility Zero".

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/26/2010 2:48:23 AM

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Highlander
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 3:20:52 AM

Can we call him CZ from now on?

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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 4:03:55 AM

I really wish I knew who he was. I'm worried he may be a neighbor of mine.

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sawao_yamanaka
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:40:31 AM

I'm not gonna bother anymore. Lie after lie. Be careful LV he's stalking you!

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___________
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:50:12 AM

so your only allowed to play games on your console, theres some impenetrable force field stopping every human on earth to play games on other peoples consoles is there?
ive got my cuz here for the week hes sleeping over since his parents have gone interstate for a holiday and they dont trust him by himself and he brang his 360 over.
shish, i never thought id have to explain something as simple as that!

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fluffer nutter
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 10:34:24 AM

lol. He said "cuz".

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Shams
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 3:58:42 PM

One thing I've noticed about _________, is that though he uses hyperbole excessively, he never gets vicious or malevolent, or completely disrespectful, not even in response to personal attacks, not even in the slightest bit, which i'm sure he could get away with now and then.

Yes, more often than not, I find it hard to agree with anything he says, because it's so fraught with exaggeration, that I don't know when he's being serious, but i don't feel the need to spit on him.

It seems like there are some that will gang up and mock those whom they know won't fight back. But if someone worse than him does far worse, but fights back, too, those same people will back-off. That's not justice. That's spinelessness.



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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 5:28:39 PM

^lol!

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Highlander
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:10:42 PM

@Shams,

If Mr Anonymous Cowherd did not so frequently contradict himself, or post simply outrageous things, I think people would agree with you, but after a while it begins to grate on the nerves. You know?

However, point taken about 'ganging up'. That's not what PSX or the community here is about.

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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:19:23 PM

Several replies do not make a gang.

If Shams honestly has a problem with multiple people correcting another person's inaccurate comments than he can head elsewhere. This is an open forum, not Happy Go Lucky Funland where people turn a blind eye to stupidity and obvious lies.

I'm pretty sure noname is aware of this and he doesn't need a bodyguard patrolling the site for "meanies".

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Shams
Monday, September 27, 2010 @ 7:56:24 PM

Lol, LV, if it's anyone who needs a bodyguard, it would be you with that mouth of yours.

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Shams
Monday, September 27, 2010 @ 7:59:13 PM

I also distinctly remember you "making up" with ______ last year, after i hounded you, whereby you realized the aforementioned qualities (of him not being belligerent).

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Shams
Monday, September 27, 2010 @ 8:00:57 PM

@Highlander:

The above comments were not directed to you, my friend.

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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 4:03:07 AM
Reply

Scarecrow is NOT going to like this review. But at least it's a review of new PSN content for him... :)


Thanks for the review Ben. People think reviewing games is easy but I'm sure it really feels like a job/chore when you have to review games like this.

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BikerSaint
Monday, September 27, 2010 @ 10:35:30 AM

Shams,
I'm guessing I'm one of the ones in your gang-up post, but I'm my own man, and I will always say what I think needs to be said, and always will whenever I smell BS.
And I have no problem calling them out on it in person either. Matter of fact, I'm even quicker to do so when in person.

Now with that said, don't get me wrong here, I'm not a bully, but I won't, & I don't, put up with BS.
I will call them out when almost every thing out of their mouth is either self- contradictions, or always f*cking negative.
And the same also goes for self-righteous egotistical a-holes too, they need not apply to my 6 senses either.
Which also applies to most politicians too. And, I'm not afraid if my intended target takes offense to it or not, F' em all.


Anyway, long story short here is...

"Mr. Zero Credibility" AKA, Negative Nancy, AKA ______________'s cake IS A LIE!!!.

Period!!!!!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/27/2010 10:39:31 AM

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Scarecrow
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 5:31:54 AM
Reply

I don't understand how the controls/gameplay is broken?

Everything went smooth for me.

Guess I'm a pro at platformers? *shrug* it was plenty fun.

I'd just say that if you're a die-hard fan of platformers you should definitely give it a chance.

I wonder if some of you bothered to read through the "How to Play" menu. Without having read the 36 pages I could see how I would have found the controls/gameplay bad.

I give it a solid 8. I could write a review but I actually just expect people to appreciate quality when they see it/play it.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 10:24:10 AM

It's broken because she lacks momemtum, you can be running, sprinting even, and when you let go of the stick, she essentially just stops, she doesn't keep moving forward a few steps like you'd be used to seeing. And the blade (clarify, only had demo didn't upgrade anything) attacked with just a feeling that lacked as if you were really doing anything at all from pressing the same button for the most part. Also personally I wish the block button would have been a different button entirely that way it would have been activated more quickly but that's just me.

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sawao_yamanaka
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:41:46 AM
Reply

I believe the controls are better on Shank. That's a better 2d side scroller.

PS. Also I'm assuming Ben plays enough games to know if its good or not. He does this for a living.

Last edited by sawao_yamanaka on 9/26/2010 7:43:28 AM

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Rings of Uranus
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 7:05:52 PM
Reply

Why is my feline fetish bizarre? :(
Catgirls FTW

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MysteriousMagus
Sunday, September 26, 2010 @ 8:08:28 PM

lol... Catgirls are awesome...
The only problem i got with the game is the difficulty level is waaaaaaay to low... for my taste...

BTW that's Scott pilgrim isn't it?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 27, 2010 @ 7:29:40 PM

HA.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 27, 2010 @ 1:09:23 PM

gay

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MyWorstNightmar
Monday, September 27, 2010 @ 4:06:22 PM

damn straight

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