|System: PC, PS3, X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Krome Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 22, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Blade Kitten's level design is also a missed opportunity in the visual area. Though there are plenty of hidden areas and things to explore, none of it looks particularly interesting. Levels generally find a comfortable color scheme, insert a few new elements (like a building and a few new baddies), and stretch these few elements into an overarching world. This type of visual scheme is not only boring to look at, but can also be disorienting, as backtracking to similar areas can get you seriously lost if you are trying to find a certain area that looks like another part of the stage.
The only aspect of Blade Kitten that is consistently good is the animated cutscenes. Although most of these are brief with forgettable dialogue, the cutscenes are animated in a very high-quality cel-shaded style. All the animations are fluid, and the game really hits all the right notes for the anime style they wanted. The main characters feature some fun facial expressions and lightning-fast movement. However, even the cutscenes are hampered by poor voicework, which often comes across as wooden and completely unemotional.
As far as replay value is concerned, Blade Kitten definitely doesn't have much going for it. Although the game has several unlockable items, including new weapons, costumes, and battle-enhancing consumables, the game's currency is dispersed a little too liberally, and it is very possible to unlock all of this content before you've even reached the halfway point. This might be a good thing if you are just trying to run through the game, but if you are looking for a game you can play and then explore, Blade Kitten doesn't have much for you.
Blade Kitten certainly could have been a good game. It started out promising, and I was excited to experience an old-school platforming title with fun characters that played off the anime/manga tropes we've all seen over the years. However, what I got was a game with bad mechanics, repetitive level design, and little incentive to keep playing past the first few levels. If you are looking for a good platformer on your digital distribution network, there are plenty of choices, but I would recommend staying away from this kitten, as she seems to be a little misguided.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor