Blade Ballet is an interestingly simple game. The gameplay revolves around simple mechanics that are found in classic games like Joust. On hit kills and precision combine for quick furious battles with little to no button mashing. Blade Ballet is appropriately named in the sense that it feels much like a ballet in how you dance around your opponent and use your chosen robot to deal the killing blow, resulting in a slow motion detonation of metal and oil. It’s a hell of a lot of fun.
When I first started up Blade Ballet I was met with an announcer yelling the name of the game, much like Hydro Thunder (one of my all time favorite arcade racing games. Armed Response was a dope boat with machine guns and it was the simplest cheat code ever, I digress…). I knew right there that this was going to be a lighthearted and over the top game. I was right.
I only played local multiplayer because any game that offers couch co-op or local multiplayer in an form I jump on. “Hey Kate!” I yell to my girlfriend one seat away from me as I throw her white controller at her. “Blade Ballet has local play and I need to beat you up a bit to get a feel for the game.” She reluctantly obliged and we got to choosing our robot combatant. There’s ten bots to choose from and though the gameplay is generally the same: poke the enemy and kill them… each bot has a set of shields and a special ability. It makes for some wildly fun combinations that I’m sure result in brutally fast paced four player brawls, but I kept it to 1 v 1. It was a battle for supremacy. “Best two out of three” we decided.
I played each robot while Kate stayed as Torque because… He was cute. Also, as far as I’m concerned pretty damn overpowered! She kicked my ass numerous times! That spin move was deadly and quickly used. But that’s all Torque had… It made for a good starting character I think because you didn’t have to worry about the L1/R1 rotation to swing your blade… Which leads to my only criticism I could find in this wonderful little gem.
The bots are wonderfully designed and have tons of personality, but a few of them… It was hard to tell which was forward, and since your movement is always based on the screen up down left right, the rotation would be based on your bots’ orientation. I couldn’t tell the face sometimes so I’d rotate the opposite way than I should’ve, causing many a death. But once you adjust to the bot’s design and move set, you start to feel each ability and their use case. I pretty much jousted Torque with Vanguard with proper timing… But man Torque and that spin move makes him a test of your patience. Sometimes I just needed to bash through with a brutal charge with Riot or teleport with Nix. Maybe it wasn’t the best field test for a review, but I can say I had a blast playing it and so did my girlfriend.
The arenas are all varied enough as well, making for some tricky matches. Again, four players here would make it even crazier but you know… I was simple, I guess. But there are certain arenas where the floor would fall out from underneath at random intervals… exploding blocks… more open and reckless areas that could result in you just falling off the edge. The moment / Asteroids style movement of the various bots make for some “nononononoonononono!” moments when clinking blades haha. Such great fun to be had. Simple. Stupid. Fun.
With a full couch of buddies or playing online, you’re sure to have a blast. Just… Leave the bots in a safe environment where you won’t be taunted. I got laughed at and made fun of a lot… 🙁
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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