Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the Kingdom, Mannax the Dark Lady rears her ugly head. You'll need sharp reflexes, a sharp mind, and a sharp sword to survive Blades of Vengeance.
Made with a Blade
Blades dishes out eight levels of serious side-scrolling, sword-swinging action that nicely mixes a variety of game genres. Because you can build up the destructive power of your weapons, the game features "RPG-ish" elements. Since you must navigate through a maze of corridors and doors, the game's like an adventure game. Above all, however, you must cut through an onslaught of vicious beasts and bad men in a straightforward, arcade style.
You choose a champion from a talented trio. The Huntress has a sharp sword for close attacks. The burly Barbarian swings a mean ax and the Wizard's Energy Blast takes out enemies from across the screen. Two players can gang up to put the hurt on Mannax's minions, too.
The graphics are gorgeous and gory. Your confident hero moves smoothly, and the evil beings slink around menacingly. The nicely illustrated surroundings set the fantasy mood with great touches, such as flickering torches and detailed metal door fittings. You can almost smell the musty castle air. (There are blood splashes aplenty. If you're squeamish, steer clear.)
The haunting music is sweet, and it takes full advantage of the Genesis' stereo capabilities. Occasionally, if you're running the audio through a sound system, you'll turn your head at noises off to the sides.
ProTip: You can survive limited exposure to some obstacles, such as hot lava.
Your Enemies Get the Point
At first glance, Blades appears to be a simple sword-swinger, but imaginative extras make it sparkle. For example, you can become invisible, power up an invincible force field, or use a Midas Ring to turn all nearby opponents into silver.
Beating this baby is a nightmare. The creature-chopping is easy at first, but quickly winds up to high gear. A bunch of beasts cross your path, including creepy spiders, savage warriors, and bat-like soldiers, and each must be fought differently.
- To survive, you have to perfect the timing of your defensive crouch. Face your enemy, and then press Down as soon as he attacks. Wait for an opening, then strike.
- While you search for hidden bonuses, check the walls for secret passages. There are valuables stored within.
- Beating the first two bosses takes timing, not fast- paced slashing. Only fools will rush them.
- Though not as powerful as the other characters' weapons, the Wizard's Energy Blast can span longer distances. Crouch and hit B to make his burst skim along the floor.
Hack-n-slashers of all stripes can go at Blades with...well, a vengeance. Expert gamers will enjoy the lengthy challenge, while beginners will at least have a fighting chance due to the smooth build-up. It takes everything you've got to triumph over Mannax, but work hard and you should make the cut.
Blades of Vengeance DownloadsBlades of Vengeance download
- Manufacturer: Electronic Arts
- # of players: 1 or 2
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Available: December 1993
- Number of Levels: 8
- Theme: Action
The world is being crushed under the heavy hand of the Evil Lady. Youmust choose a warrior, say a prayer and try to save the world. Pick from either the mighty warrior, the strong and agile female warrior, or the wise old wizard. Whoever you decide on is not going to have an easy time, because these bad guys are not wimps. You'll need all of your strength, plus your block move to win this one. This game provides a lot of good backgrounds, cool looking players, scary monsters and an awesome array of magic spells.
Take away the cheap hits and Blades of Vengeance could have really been something. But as it is, fans of Golden Axe and the like will probably be right at home with this one. The two-player simultaneous is a big plus.