- Fixes the original game's camera
and targeting issues
- Visuals are still as good as the first game
- Larger levels
- Improved item collection and implementation of time controls
- Without Xbox Live support,
multiplayer addition is a waste
- Should have just improved on the original's instead of
- Without one main character, game has zero personality
- Relies on too much generic platform game conventions
- Story is too uninteresting to make you want to play to find
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2: Masters of Time and Space
Score: 6.5 /10
I actually enjoyed the original
Xbox-exclusive Blinx. Sure, it had a few technical problems and didn't
live up to the hype that came along with the new "fourth-dimensional"
gameplay, but it wasn't a half-bad platformer. Many critics disagreed,
but I was charmed by the feline Time Sweeper. Blinx was one of those
"love it (well, not really love; like is more appropriate) or hate it"
The sequel, Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space, improves upon most of
the glaring issues that caused many to be turned off from playing in its
first appearance. But it goes way overboard in its revamping by
radically changing its gameplay. Yes, Blinx 2 has a better camera,
better targeting, and a better implementation of the time control
functions. But by practically starting from scratch instead of simply
less-desirable issues, developer Artoon has
created a whole new set of problems by eliminating many of the likeable
elements of the original.
More proves to be less in Blinx 2. Bigger levels and the ability to not
only expand from a single playable Time Sweeper from the first title (Blinx
himself) but also play levels that require playing with the piggish Tom
Tom Gang. The
Time Sweepers (including Blinx, who is in
the game naturally) use the time controls to defeat the Tom Tom Gang,
while the Tom Tom Gang employs stealth tactics to make their way past
the Time Sweepers.
Using time crystals to get past enemies and puzzles, the original game's
most innovative feature that carries over, is much more tolerable this
time around. In Blinx 2, you don't have to collect three of the same
crystals in a row without gathering another time crystal in-between,
which would force you to start from scratch. You can collect crystals in
any order, and they build up in your time crystal inventory in Blinx 2.
The "fourth dimensional" facet of time control that allows you to
fast-forward, rewind, slow down or pause time is the game's most
But having too many playable characters (that can be modified in their
appearance and clothing choices) means there isn't a single identifiable
hero to associate with. Instead, it becomes a generic feline or swine
cast of insignificant (seemingly) thousands that you will play, and zaps
any personality via Blinx himself that the original game, no matter the
level of ambivalence it received, brought to the gameplay. These are
quickly forgettable denizens fighting over the control of the
potentially universe-ending time crystal.
Bringing up the story, Blinx 2 has a totally unremarkable and downright
ridiculously infantile and uninteresting story that doesn't even merit
mention. How does a game developer expect you to play level after level
of an adventure game (a mediocre one at that) when there isn't a
compelling story driving the action along?
What could have been a big addition, multiplayer options, proves to be
nothing more than a wasted effort, because while you can play
single-system, split-screen multiplayer gaming, there is no Xbox Live
support. The multiplayer maps are terrible in Blinx 2 anyway, so even if
there was Xbox Live support, I honestly can't say if it would have
improved the game one iota.
In addition to the improved size of the levels, the visuals hold up well
in comparison to the first Blinx. This is a spiffy-looking title.
Technically, as mentioned earlier, Blinx 2's camera and targeting
controls are superior to the original game. Before, targeting took on a
totally schizophrenic behavior all its own. But with a better lock-on
targeting system this time around, killing the bizarrely designed
balloon-type creatures that fill the game becomes much easier. However,
for older gamers, it becomes much too easy. The challenge level of Blinx
2 is seemingly designed with a younger gamer in mind. It's pretty simple
to breeze through the game on its rudimentary level for the older
Coupling with the low challenge level is the standard platform game
conventions that are completely filling the levels of Blinx 2. Gameplay
breaks down to "jump, fight bad guy, collect item, solve undemanding
puzzle, repeat." This is too uncomplicated a game for serious gamers to
expect any kind of rewarding odyssey.
I really did not like Blinx 2 in the least. What could have been a
redemptive game that just needed to retool a predecessor that really
wasn't that far off from being a very good game turned into a disaster.
For every negative Blinx 2 fixes from the first game, it comes up with
two just-as-bad, way-past-time-to-change-the-kitty-litter features.
Blinx 2 just isn't able to come anywhere near the fun that could be
found in Blinx. If you liked the original game, don't expect Blinx 2 to
replicate that enjoyment. This is another example of just how far behind
both the PlayStation 2 and GameCube the Xbox is when it comes to
first-party platformer gaming.