Blade Kitten - developed by Australian developer Krome Studios, puts you in the shoes of Kit Ballard, a bounty hunter and one of the last of her species of faux-anime catgirls. Her latest bounty has brought her to Hollow Wish, where she is tasked with taking out a powerful gang leader.
This is accomplished using Kitís big floating sword and her catlike ability to climb all over the place. Blade Kitten is a platform game with most of its emphasis on exploration and collecting - enemies seem to be little more than an excuse to use your sword, they are so preposterously easy to kill (with a couple of exceptions.) Instead, most of your time is spent climbing up railings and walls around various areas collecting money and the odd collectible before you move on to the next section.
Or attempting to at least. For all the bugs you have to get through Blade Kitten could be hosted by Joe Rogan - beginning with the poor keyboard support. Yes, you read that correctly, the game has problems supporting some keyboards.
While Krome Studios thoughtfully included a G15/G19 applet so you can see how much health and energy you have, they didnít seem to be bothered with making any of the keys on those keyboards work - although a patch is coming soon.
There is no word yet however, on whether or not they are fixing dual monitor support - currently you are more than capable of moving your mouse outside of the screen in the middle of gameplay, minimising the game every time you look too far to the left or right. Itís true dual monitor support isnít a top priority for most games, but with the
increasing amount of PC gamers moving to dual monitor set ups thanks to the price of monitors and power of modern computers it shouldnít be ignored outright.
The bugs donít stop at a lack of support for integral computer peripherals however, there are quite a few software bugs as well, mostly involving the environment of the game. The overhead railings are a good example - while all of the climbable parts of the environment are visually different to the ones you canít traverse, occasionally those climbable parts will randomly switch to inaccessible, forcing you to drop and try again.
There are also some areas you can slide under to access cash and items, meaning anyone with an eye to one hundred percenting the game will slide under anywhere it looks remotely possible to do so. Sometimes however, this sends Kit into a sliding loop as she slides over and over into the same spot - unable to cancel or do anything until she eventually stops for whatever reason she chooses.
While I could continue listing bugs - like watching Kit stand on thin air until the heat death of the universe - poor quality assurance is only the dressing on this inedible salad. The biggest problems with the game seem inherent to it.
You might at first think itís an implementation of Kit Ballardís sassy-but-happy-go-lucky-anime-rip-off take charge feminine characteristics when she only does what you tell her to do about half the time. Once you get a better feel for the game however, you realise sheís not avoiding grabbing the ceiling because she donít need no man telliní her what to do, but because you double jumped/didnít hold up long enough/werenít holding up straight enough.
The game has other bizarre choices - you can either hop on the back of a Noot (horse/chocobo/dinosaur-with-a-saddle) using the activate button (E by default on a keyboard) or by jumping towards it and you dismount the same way - which seems reasonable at first. Until you jump off one side and want to go to the other, in which case you will have to jump back on the Noot, turn it around and jump off again - you canít jump or just run past it in any way.
I sometimes feel I might judge games too harshly for poorly designed characters and stories, so if Krome want to cash in on the anime boom using Japanís second worst anime stereotype ĎThe Catgirlí (behind ĎHumourously Lecherous Old Maníí) then they are welcome to. They certainly did a decent job with the voice acting at least, although god knows the story isnít worth it.
Blade Kitten ends with a cliffhanger - to draw you back in for the next game in the series, except it ends pretty much as soon as the story started developing. You spend so much time doing absolutely
nothing of consequence throughout the game only to find out something decent may or may not happen if the next game in the series is ever created. While this is annoying for someone who went through the entire game, it does have one benefit for you.
Do not buy Blade Kitten. The best case scenario is Krome didnít know what they were doing with this first game but have the experience to make the second one decent. The worst case scenario involves the developers slapping round robin high fives for their excellent work and retexturing it for a 'sequel'. Whichever way it goes, Blade Kitten isnít necessary and is in no way worth your time (or money).