In late 2018, Next Studios’ penultimate title, Bladed Fury, came to PC via Steam, which recently came to Switch, a console that fits like a glove.
It’s funny how the Chinese studio changes genres with every game it makes, and the truth is that it holds up pretty well in each of them. Here a while ago we analyzed Death Coming, a game that played with puzzles and made us embody death itself in order to harvest souls. After the present one we have Crown Trick, a fun roguelite RPG with animation art and good ideas. Today’s case is that of a 2D action game that drinks a little from the vanillaware titles and brings us a story that plays with Chinese history and mythology and is competent in everything it does.
Bladed Fury is the story of the revenge of Ji, who will try by any means necessary to end the usurpers of his father’s throne and who is also holding his sister. To achieve this we will have to string together simple combos with our two weapon options and play with the always useful parry and charge, as well as apply the different “magic” of the game when we play. All very affordable, easy to learn and we’ll master that soon.
Perhaps that’s the main issue for those players who demand a little more. If we are practiced in a thousand battles, Bladed Fury will not be a real challenge, but on the contrary it is a perfect game for beginners or for those who want to enjoy four hours of fun without having to focus too much on what they are are doing.
If the combat is fun despite its simplicity, it lacks more types of enemies that put us on the ropes a little more; something that will be responsible for making the last last enemies, much more challenging and demanding than the other “serious encounters”, but nothing that we cannot solve with a good use of our magic and the moves that we will make during the adventure have learned.
To its affordable mechanics we have to add its strength, its artistic style. Next Studios has impregnated the game with art based on Chinese tradition that, as I said, is reminiscent of the vanillaware titles. A style that perfectly suits the game (very well accompanied by music) and that knows how to use it on many occasions, playing with different effects such as: B. to fight behind the shoji and see only our shadow and that of our enemies.
Another point that deserves a bit more is the one related to the story and that is that Bladed Fury doesn’t get too much out of it. On our journey of revenge we will meet different spirits of Chinese mythology, but the title assumes that we already know them, which does not make them shine as they should (unless we search the fields of the internet for more find information). Look, I’m not a fan of collectibles, but in this case (there just aren’t any) some of them wouldn’t have hurt with more information about what we find, or instead of collectibles, some kind of diary where you can read more about them and enjoy more of everything that surrounds the game, which will catch the player who is unaware of all the tricks of the Chinese dishes and their different spirits a little off guard.
Maybe this lack of information is because the game is mostly designed for the players there or because the game really goes like a shot and you don’t want to waste too much time explaining. I’m already saying that it’s four hours that go by and that perhaps with a greater dedication in those aspects he would have killed the game’s rhythm, although I repeat that a diary entry or something similar would have felt luxurious.
It also suffers from being barely replayable, as once the story is over we don’t have much left to do other than add a boss rush mode to finish off all the last enemies against the clock. A more challenging mode or challenges to squeeze the fight would have been awesome.
Bladed Fury is a good game. He’s funny and seems very clear about what he wants to offer. Its lack of ambition is offset by how affordable and easy it is, making it perfect for devouring in a few sittings. All this without forgetting its artistic part that will conquer us from the first to the last minute of the game.