Within The Blade Review (Xbox Series S)

 For our Within The Blade Review, we go back to 1560 A.D – Japan’s last Shogunate lost full control over the realm causing an eventual explosion into a massive civil war with other provinces of the once-mighty empire. Anarchy reigned through the country as the different clans waged an all-out bloody war for supremacy.

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Within The Blade Review Pros:

  • Decent pixel art graphics.
  • 535.4MB download size.
  • 1000 Gamerscore.
  • Graphics – animated herbs, parallax, and lighting can all be turned on or off.
  • Action-platformer gameplay.
  • Three difficulties – Easy, normal, and permadeath.
  • Opening and ongoing tutorial pop-ups.
  • Fast-paced hack and slash combat.
  • Stealth attacks.
  • Levels have multiple routes, secret areas, etc.
  • Ninja Gaiden vibes.
  • Two game modes – main story and challenges.
  • Challenge mode is a series of special self-contained challenge rooms you unlock by playing the main mode.
  • Seppuku – Kill yourself and restart the level.
  • Many checkpoints.
  • The village is your main hub where you can craft items and gear, use the shop, and do inventory management along with spending skill points in the Dojo.
  • Collect materials and coins from enemies and chests in the level.
  • Excellent atmospheric soundtrack.
  • Each level will have optional objectives.
  • You can double jump, slide, wall jump, wall run, block, and dash around.
  • Weapons can break.
  • Item Hotbar for throwing weapons, health, etc.
  • Enemies show alerts above their head to say they are cautious, unaware, or alert.
  • Can see enemy health bars.
  • Earn EXP and level up to unlock new skills. You can see your EXP bar progress.
  • End of a level breakdown showing playtime, total playtime, seen, hits taken, kills, retries, no retries, not seen, total coins, and total experience. Then you can choose to replay the level, return to the village or continue.
  • You can run through levels.
  • Big boss fights.
  • Find and buy crafting recipes.
  • Massive skill tree where you can unlock things like more health, better accuracy, combo’s, assassination and so much more.
  • Deep rewarding game.
  • Hide up on trees or in the dark, behind buildings and in the long grass.
  • Play every level how you want and as you get more skills, the more you can do.
  • In-game cutscenes.
  • Enemies can attack, block, gang up and fall off platforms.
  • The mechanics make the game better as they unlock.

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Within The Blade Review Cons:

  • Climbing and jumping around walls is not as fluid as it should be.
  • Difficult to learn stealth kills.
  • Combat takes some getting used to.
  • Slow starter.
  • No way to see controls in-game.
  • Cannot rebind controls.
  • A lot of traps you cannot see.
  • Hard to build up money and this is a big deal when trying to get a weapon.
  • Enemies move way too fast.
  • Way too easy to be seen/heard.
  • Fights can get tedious.
  • Checkpoints are far apart.
  • You cannot go to the village before a boss fight.

Related Post: Risk System Review (Nintendo Switch)

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Within The Blade:

Official website.

Developer: Ametist Studio

Publisher: Ratalaika Games

Store Links –

Xbox

PlayStation

Nintendo

Steam

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
7.8/10

Summary

Within The Blade can be described as Ninja Gaiden RPG edition. You have all the skills of a ninja, the ferocious combat and gore of a Ninja Gaiden but the levelling up and skill trees of a traditional RPG. You start off not knowing a lot and as you earn EXP you can unlock skills which then make the game a bit easier but all also add more variations to the way in which you attack the level. Combat is hack and slashy but does incorporate stealth kills and blocking along with projectiles like Kunais and Bombs. The Ai even on easy will put up a good fight and you can see their health bars which helps a lot. I really enjoyed the game as I could play how I want, go all over the huge levels and fi d crafting materials, pick off enemies and build my EXP up. I didn’t like however is the game is done on a area and level type basis, finish a level and move on. With so much crafting and need for it (weapons break, items get used etc etc) the fact you cannot replay levels off the bat is annoying and slows the pace of it all down, I would constantly find myself without a weapon as I couldn’t garner enough coin from enemies. Its that general complaint that spreads across the game, checkpoints are far apart, the wall jumping and climbing is really frustrating at first, combat is OK but does soon repeat itself, enemies will be way too fast or alert or they straight up cannot miss a shot! I would say overall though, it is a deep game with so much going on that it sometimes loses what it is and that adds unnecessary roadblocks and hiccups, The idea is sound and it does have a lot going for it and I do still recommend it as we don’t have many games like this atm and it’s a good one of those!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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