Originally released on all the major consoles and PC last year, PM Studios and Next Studios’ Bladed Fury has now been released on iOS and Android devices for some awesome 2D hack and slash gameplay for those who need their fix on the go.
Taking place during the infamous Warring States period in China, you play as Ji Jiang, daughter of the Duke who’s now on the run after being framed for her father’s death by a rival clan. It’s up to you to help her avenge her father and rescue her sister Shu that was taken by the rival clan by destroying the clan members and taking their souls and powers to become powerful enough to restore balance to the land.
Being the daughter of the Duke has its perks as Ji is incredibly skilled in the art of swordplay. You’ll use her standard but beautiful looking slash attacks to take out enemies while using a bigger sword to deflect projectiles back at them. You also have a shield you can use to block and parry attacks, as well as dash/dodge skill that allows you move out of harm’s way or dash through an attack when timed right.
Much like the classic Mega Man titles, Ji is able to absorb the special skills enemy bosses use after she’s killed them. You’ll find yourself relying on these to help get through enemies and the challenging levels you find yourself in. Cool powers such as slowing down enemies with a giant spider web, creating a black hole to absorb enemies into nothingness, and even summoning a giant mech to fire a mega blast that would make anime mechas jealous are just a few of the skills you can pick up.
The first thing that struck me when I started playing is how well done and gorgeous the artwork and animation is, reminding me heavily of Vanillaware’s 2009 classic, Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Everything is fluid and looks beautiful as you play, as though you’re working your way through interactive ancient Chinese art. The music and sounds are just as great as the story and cutscenes are told in Chinese with subtitles for a sweet, authentic experience.
If there are any gripes to be had, I’d say you really want to play this game with a controller as it’s near impossible to pull off precision requiring jumps and skills to defeat certain enemies and bosses (who are already difficult) using touchscreen controls.
Also, I noticed on iOS that the app is only optimized for iPhones and not for the iPad, forcing you to zoom up on the app on those devices so you to see the action, but this comes at the cost of making the image slightly blurry. Here’s hoping they’ll make an iPad friendly version in a future update.
Even still, Bladed Fury is one of the best mobile experiences I’ve had in awhile thanks to beautiful artwork and animation that makes you feel like you’re fighting and floating through art, and having solid controls (on a controller anyway) that will keep hack and slash fans and their blades happy and hoping for a sequel in the near future.