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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Action / RPG

 

Publisher

Whiptail Interactive

 

Developer

Pixel Studios

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2003

 

 

- Interesting alternative fighting system

- Vast spread of different monsters

 

 

- Horribly outdated & buggy

- Not interesting or fun

 

 

Review: Diablo II - Lord of Destruction (PC)

 

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Blade & Sword

Score: 4.0 / 10

 

Blade & Sword is a curiosity of a game; released very recently, it feels like a step back into the age of the first groundbreaking Diablo. For many gamers, myself included, this might not sound like a bad thing. So what if the graphics are outdated? If the gameplay is great, then it's fun. Sadly, this is not the case here. Blade & Sword is outdated in every respect and is simply not worthwhile.

 

blade and sword          blade and sword

 

The premise of the game is best put by the game's advertising, which is even written onto the game's packaging and manual – “The first PC Game title which combines Diablo-like arcade elements and Street Fighter arcade combat together, ushers in a new era of computer Role-Playing, that of the Action-RPG with amazing action and breath-taking martial arts from Ancient China.” This poor, nonsensical translation appears throughout the game, which ends up being nothing more than a poor Diablo-clone which lacks polish.

 

To begin with, the game's installation uses a strange piece of programming resembling the old Win95 Autorun install. It takes up an unexplainable 1.4 gig and still loads from the CD. The game's opening movies are poorly rendered with sound that falls out of sync, and then the game's menu is poorly pixilated, much like the rest of the graphics in the game. Before you even play it, it's full of bugs and completely behind the times.  

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Blade & Sword has a story about a Chinese Emperor, a rebellion and various mystics/monsters, but it doesn't make a great deal of sense due to the poor translation. Taking the role of one of three characters; a large warrior monk type, a thinner faster soldier-warrior, or a female assassin, you begin on path through a destroyed village to fight off a monster that's been plaguing the village.

 

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Action is a simple point-and-click made more interesting with the equipping of multiple weapons and skills using a complex but learnable control system combining the keyboard and mouse. Clicking or right-clicking an enemy will attack them or use a skill, using some amount of Chi depending on the attack. Combining different fighting techniques can lead to some cool combinations and battles, although it's unlikely that you'll play long enough to get to use them properly. Each of the three different characters begin with different skills but they basically learn the same thing throughout the game. There's no individual character creation à la Diablo 2. There is, however, a lot of monotony fighting the same way over and over again to get to the next village/monster/whatever, which makes the fighting system lose its appeal very quickly (and it's NOTHING like the Street Fighter games, for the record).

 

blade and sword          blade and sword

 

There's a vast number of other problems to bring down the package. There's not enough items to be found and used, which always gave the original Diablo gamer something to do. The sound effects are weak and the repetition becomes annoying. The game advertises that there's 140 hours of play in it, but I truly doubt anyone will want to play that long.

 

The music is decent, and at least, whenever present, is somehow as I'd imagine ancient Chinese music would sound. It doesn't make a difference, really.

 

Had Blade & Sword been released years ago, before Diablo 2, it might have been something to look at - as it is now, it's a game far outdated without any reason to play. One of the biggest flaws is that Blade & Sword lacks a multiplayer. With a multiplayer option and the ability to create a character, it would have been interesting to make different characters with skills and combo attacks to fight across the land and might have added slight redemption to the game; but as it is, it's just a boring single player game. Get Diablo II instead.

 

- Shocka

(February 11, 2004)

 

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