Challenging ‘Blades of Time’ unintentionally funny

I’m not in the habit of quoting other critics, but let’s give credit to Joel Gregory, of the U.K.’s official PlayStation magazine, for mocking the absurd sci-fi fantasy game “Blades of Time.”

“The story in ‘Blades of Time’ makes so little sense that it might as well be represented by a badger in a top hat playing the Rugrats music on a kazoo,” Gregory writes.

Amen. I have played “Blades of Time” for three days, and I have no idea what the elaborate adventure story is getting at, even though the characters explain it repeatedly.

So let’s skip to the action, which is quite difficult to master.

I portray a super hot blond treasure hunter (of course) with a British accent (of course) named Ayumi (what?).

I’m journeying across a ye-olden-time fantasyland, on a weird planet, with swords, monsters, yet somehow I also have a rifle, machine gun and rocket launcher?

The game play begins poorly but improves dramatically. It’s a typical fantasy. I swing a sword. I double-jump into the air and then come smashing down on monsters.

I break crates and vases to earn points. I open treasure chests to win special powers. I solve puzzles.

And I travel along an ornate path of pretty caves, lush forests, hot deserts, snowy mountains and castle hallways.

My main character’s constant voice-overs are either horrendous by accident or so bad they’re good. Like this:

“It’s so hot here,” my character talks to herself like a crazy person. “If I hadn’t come here on my own, I would have thought I was in hell right now. Or maybe I am in hell. Oh well. Who knows?”

Haha. Terrible. While I was playing “Blades of Time,” all I could think was that the voice acting is so stony, it would crack up Harold and Kumar.

Meanwhile, this is one hard game to beat. Even early bosses took me 30 minutes of swordplay and gunplay to slay.

At first, this upset me. But then I realized this is a tough but manageable game (sort of in the tradition of the old “Shadow of the Colossus”) designed for super serious, hard-core gamers.

And ultimately, all of the bosses were beatable. I just had to invest the time to escape little fight arenas for 10 minutes at a stretch, battling one big dumb villain, or a horde of ceaseless thugs.

“Oh God, they’re endless,” my character mouths to herself. She is correct.

I don’t think we should totally give “Blades of Time” a pass for the ceaseless monsters. Enough is enough, you know?

Also, some battles feel clunky. An action button didn’t do its job for me at times, particularly during finishing moves, and I died as a result — boo.

But if you’re looking for a decent challenge, this is one. And you get to hear textbook platitudes such as, “Great danger awaits you.”

Great danger — yes. Great dialogue, plot, acting and character investment — no. That’s a firm no.

(“Blades of Time” by Konami retails for $40 for Xbox 360 and PS 3 — Plays just fun enough. Looks good. Very challenging. Rated “M” for blood, language and violence. Three out of four stars.)

Contact Doug Elfman at delfman@ He blogs at

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