E3 2008: X-Blades Hands-On Preview

It seems everyone is looking to capitalize on action game fever, and developer TopWare Interactive and publisher SouthPeak are looking to take advantage of that. Cue X-Blades.

X-Blades is a fantasy action game starring the deadly Ayumi, a female treasure hunter looking for (obviously) treasure. To help her on her journey she has two trust gunblades; imagine if Squall could dual wield, and you’ll understand how awesome the idea is.

Since Ayumi’s weapon is inherently a gun and a sword, you’re able to perform both melee and ranged attacks. In a faster-paced remix of Devil May Cry, Ayumi can seamlessly transition from melee to firing, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

To attack enemies with her swords, players can tap the X button to perform combo attacks. For firing, you pull the RT, and if you want to fire easier, you can lock on to enemies with the LT.

Attacking is very important in X-Blades, and not necessarily for the reasons you’d expect. As Ayumi hits her foes she builds her rage meter, which serves as her mana for her special attacks and magic. TopWare wanted the game to flow smoothly with little interruption to the action, so once you learn your skills you can quickly map them to a hot key. On the Xbox 360, the hot keys include Y, B, LB, and RB. This gives players four special attacks/spells they can utilize at any given moment, without having to scroll through a list, or change what spell they have set as default.

While X-Blades didn’t look to offer anything more than the other good action titles recently, one thing that did stand out upon it was the sheer pace of the action on-screen. There’s never a dull moment; in fact, the game punishes you for dull moments by draining Ayumi’s rage meter. For people who love their games fast, hectic, and full of violent carnage, keep an eye out for X-Blades when it releases.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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