E3 2010: Blade Kitten Impressions

By Darryl Kaye on June 21, 2010, 9:21AM EDT
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Despite being a development studio that ranks alongside the likes of Insomniac Games, Epic Games, and Blizzard in the Develop 100 list, Krome Studios have only been able to work on one of their own IPs until now, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. That game went on to be a platinum selling franchise, so hopes are high for their second original IP, Blade Kitten.

The game follows the adventures of a bounty hunter called Kit Ballard in a tongue-in-cheek extension to the successful comic strip. It's a 2D platforming game, although exploration is actually going to be a big part of the game. Players will be rewarded going off the beaten track, as verticality will be a bit component to exploration. Kit will be able to climb around everywhere in search of extra treasures, giving the game a lot more replay value and longevity.

With exploration being a key factor, it's quite crucial that the controls match, and that definitely seems to be the case with Blade Kitten. Everything is "intent sensitive", so depending on how players approach obstacles, Kit will behave in different ways. If they want to climb down something, they don't have to press a button, they just have to approach it in a way that shows their intent. Running full-pelt suggests the player wants to run off it, while approaching with the analog stick pointing diagonally down suggests they want to climb down. The same mantra is displayed with climbing and it really simplifies the whole experience.

Combat seems relatively simple when taken on face value. Kit can perform basic short range and long range attacks, as well as a parry. However, there are actually quite a lot of different moves that she can perform and they're all unlocked at the start of the game. However, as a throwback to older games, players aren't told how to perform any of these moves - they have to figure them out for themselves. It's something that could really encourage sharing between players, especially if some of the moves turn out to be spectacular.

To help change things up a bit, there will be other sections involved in the game. Kit has a little companion called Skiffy who can help to solve puzzles, and it's also possible to ride around on Noot for a few of the levels. There will be 13 levels available in the first episode and they believe this will last players around 6 hours in gameplay. To further this though, there will be unlockable items, such as different swords and costumes for Kit.

Given that Blade Kitten is a PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade game, it certainly has a lot of potential. The 'Super HD' graphics, explorable nature of the game, and impressive voice cast, show that Krome are really putting their all into the game. Hopefully when it launches this September, it'll prove to be worth the wait.

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