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Developer: Com2us
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Hack and slash games have a long history that date back to the early days of console gaming.  There is something about the visceral action of tearing an enemy limb from limb that seems to be timeless.  The iOS has seen their fare share of developers looking to take their whack at the genre, with the most recent being Com2us and their new game, Third Blade.  Can a game that screams out to the 16-bit era strike a chord in this new generation of gamer, or is this another retro revisitation that would have been better off staying in the nineties?

When it comes to visual appeal, Third Blade has it in spades.  The game’s hand drawn environments and character designs look amazingly lush and colorful.  An unfortunate side effect of this art style seems to be the character animations that resemble a slideshow more than an actual game.  It is hard to say if this is more of a technical or artistic issue, but it makes the action feel dated and unpolished.

As long as you can grasp the simple concept of fighting your way from the left side of the screen to the right, the actual game mechanics should be a breeze, especially considering that there is really only a single attack button.  Sure, from time to time the player can jump into the air to launch a super attack, but other than the optional switching of weaponry, the monotony of combat will ensue very quickly.  It doesn’t really help matter much either, when every stage devolves into a series of glorified kill rooms.

Probably the last nail in the coffin is Third Blade’s lackluster storyline that in many cases seems almost non-existent.  Remember the classic plotline of rescuing a female in peril?  Get ready, because there is going to be plenty more of that to go around, that’s as long as you can manage to stay awake for long enough to advance that far into the game.

Featuring a tedious storyline that is hard to invest yourself into, a deluge of the same enemies over and over again, plus a little visual tarnish to boot, Third Blade is a game that doesn’t live up to its own high aspirations.   There are better places in the App Store to spend your hard earned $2.99.



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