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Monday, 30 January 2012

Switch Blade - Classic Inspection



The number of great looking games on the CPC might be few and far between, but can anyone remember a beauty from Gremlin called “Switchblade”? There are in my opinion few games that can hold a candle to Switchblade in the looks and playability department. (Bloody long time we waited to). On something of a crusade to prove just how good Switchblade is, I’ll go as far to say that in a straight fight, Switchblade blows away shed loads of competition; Gryzor and Resistance included.

Switchblade is a classy-looking 2D platformer, its visuals are undeniably endearing, but for me it’s the feeling you get from playing. You play a young superhero known as ‘Hiro’, the last protector of the Blade Knights. The trouble is ‘Hiro’ has lost his sword; the ‘Fireblade’. It got smashed whilst out jogging in the Undercity. The local bully ‘Havoc’ apparently saw ‘Hiro’ looking all trim and buff, and spat his dummy from his pram, before scattering the Fireblade into 16 pieces across the Undercity.

Now ‘Hiro’ finds himself thrust into an eerie, nightmarish world inhabited by mechanical and ultra-weird beings (We've never had it so good). His mission by way of combat, puzzle solving and careful exploration, is to recover the fragmented pieces of the Fireblade in order to free his people and vanquish ‘Havoc’. The Undercity is reminiscent of a giant jigsaw puzzle; you never quite see the full picture, hence made up of lots of little rooms and locations. You move around by climbing ladders, punching and kicking through walls and dropping from huge heights.

Switchblade comes across as a futuristic platform action game, and is just about the most atmospheric and exciting game I’ve played from the CPC’s catalogue. It’s impressive from the moment you load up the game, we get an opening sequence that oozes quality, and an astonishingly detailed and involving plot. The music plays throughout, rare for a CPC title, and fits perfectly for this style of game.

Switch drags you further and further into its world, boasts hundreds of rooms, with vast amounts of collectibles and weapons. Don't mistake it for a full on arcade game, as Switch requires careful thought, and quick reflexes when called upon. With a strong story and an enormous 2D world to explore, Switchblade is every bit as fun and engrossing as the day it was released. 

Superb fun, boasting excellent graphics, gameplay, atmosphere, music and sound. A true classic.


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