I have just finished X-Blades, a game which has been utterly savaged by the gaming press, and I have just finished it for the second time because I got the bad ending on the first go-around and decided to, rather than simply hitting Youtube to see the good ending, play through the whole thing again.
And I liked it both times.
I say this even having paid full price for the game – it’s not a “well, it was cheap but you get to watch a cute girl beat stuff up for 10 or 12 hours”, it’s a “you get to watch a cute girl beat stuff up for 10 or 12 hours, and that’s worth the price of admission.”
I won’t try to excuse the game’s jiggle factor. It flat-out panders to the basest of base instincts, but, well, being a male type person, I have base instincts and I am not going to feel shame for them.
For the record: I DO have a limit. I can’t look at trailers for “Bayonetta” without cringing.
The graphics, if you can look away from the bethonged pixie in the middle of the screen to check out the scenery, are fantastic, the music is decent, and the beat-monsters-up/smash breakable objects to find hidden stuff/upgrade your spells/beat-up-more-monsters routine is very satisfying. Granted, the voice acting is shameful, the enemy variety is, well, minimal, and the gameplay is repetitive beyond belief, but I found the positives outweighed these little drawbacks. 🙂 It’s also a pretty quick play, which I appreciate given my schedule this year. I don’t know if my patience for the drawbacks would have persisted if it were 20-25 hours long.
Keep in mind that I was playing the PC version. I have seen a few comments about the console versions having iffy graphics; all I have to say is that with a 9800GT it looked quite nice. It also has a reasonably non-annoying copy protection scheme – you need to activate it, which is a pain, but once you activate it you can stick the DVD in a box and never drag it out again. Considering how many games these days require online activation and then make you put the DVD in every time you want to play, I’ll cut them some slack.
It also has excellent joypad support – at least, when using the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows – so it earns a few more points from me.