Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Rise of The Nameless King

"Awaken. Beyond the pall of death, across the expanse of eternity, we beg your aid. The Black Wind returns. Worlds are harrowed into void. The Great Doom crawls towards us. Your foe is returned."
- Introduction, Guardian of the Black Clefts

During my high school days (not that long ago, dammit), my friends and I usually haunted the area around Araneta Avenue. One of our most frequent hangouts was the building now occupied by a SaveMore supermarket (which was still Glori back then) - specifically a hole-in-the wall store that sold second-hand books, MMO load cards, CCGs and back issues of imported magazines.

It was here that I bought my first issue of Heavy Metal magazine. I guess I was drawn into buying it because of the cover artwork - which were often painted by renowned science fiction and fantasy artists such as H.R. Geiger (Aliens), the Frank Frazetta and Milo Manara (The Snowman), among countless others.

There was something distinctive about the art from the stories that were featured in the magazine, which were often translations of more obscure works from Europe, and it didn't take long for me to look for similar works elsewhere.

I think this was mainly what got me to purchase God of Blades from Google Play. From the company website, the game is described as:

"A love-song to pulp fantasy tales of yore, 70s synth-prog-landscape oddities, and forgotten places, God of Blades is a gorgeous, visceral sidescrolling physics-based sword-fighting adventure. Players assume the role of a nameless spectral king who has risen to defend his planet against a rampaging doom-cult the devouring touch of the cosmic horrors they serve. Wrenching this world from the grasp of oblivion, the Nameless King wields phantom blades forged from the legends and heritage of a dying world."

The game is more of a rhythm game than an action-based one (in the spirit of games such as Batman: Arkham City). Success requires an emphasis on timing as opposed to button mashing as enemies employ blocks, parries and counterstrikes that would quickly take out overaggressive players. Players earn experience as they play stages, which are then used to unlock swords with varying abilities.

The background art seems to have been inspired by classic heavy metal album covers, while the music reminds me of the Conan films from the 80's.

Perhaps my only gripe about the game is that the story mode is a bit short (although the game offers a more challenging endless mode). It's well worth the price, however.

At the time of this review, God of Blades is being sold for a dollar as an early launch incentive, so give it a go.

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