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hands on

Hands-On With Blade Kitten

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jun 17, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Thanks to games like Shadow Complex and The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, 2D games are back in the spotlight. Enter Blade Kitten, a vibrant platformer about a pink-haired cat girl named Kit Ballard who fights alien monsters with a floating sword. Pretty standard, really.

I didn’t stand a chance of understanding the story based on my short demo with the game, so instead we focused on the gameplay. Blade Kitten takes the basic platforming controls of games like Metroid and Castlevania, and constantly upgrades them with new moves. Some moves are standard, like sprinting, double jumps, and slide attacks. Others are more novel: you can throw your sword at enemies and drag them toward you to finish them off, or create a defensive bubble to shield you from your enemies. Even better, you can combine various moves for new abilities: performing your shield move while wall sliding will stab your shield into the wall, allowing you to boost yourself up higher.

The developers stated that exploration is an integral part of the gameplay, which is fostered by Kit’s ability to climb on just about anything, including sheer walls and ceilings. There’s also a lot of visual variety between each level: Blade Kitten may be one of the most colorful games I’ve ever seen. The cel-shading compliments the anime-inspired style, and humorous storyline.

Blade Kitten will be released as two downloadable episodes, though the second episode will be more of an expansion pack, and answer some lingering questions left over from the end of the first episode. But both episodes should pack plenty of gameplay, thanks to a host of weapons and costumes you can unlock using in-game collectibles, plus numerous upgrades that will increase your health, stamina, and various other powers.

It was almost impossible not to smile while playing Blade Kitten, both from the game’s quirky style and the fond memories it evoked of the beloved 2D platformers of yesteryear. We’ll bring you more on this promising downloadable game as we approach the first episode’s September release.