Blade Dancer can't get by on personality alone. by
26, 2006 - The
story of Blade Dancer revolves around everything lunar,
so there's no need to "moon" this game as
it does a pretty good job of doing that itself. The
game has some really interesting features but unfortunately
they are embedded in a hackneyed story rife with cliché
Dancer is a slightly better-than-average RPG for the
PSP. You'll have to overlook the predictable narrative
and characters to enjoy the gameplay which is challenging
but very easy to understand and execute. Beginners
should take advantage of this fact. The gameplay is
far from redundant and as far as RPGs go, this one
will give you plenty of ever-changing action. With
a multi-player mode you can also expect good replay
value. Just don't expect to become emotionally invested
in the characters.
of the key features to Blade Dancer are the expansive
item crafting, the easy-to-access menus and the combination
turn-based and real-time combat system. They are well
integrated into the game; marinated, if you will.
They don't feel like disparate elements tacked onto
the gameplay just to give it some variety. Sure there
are countless melee fights and dungeon crawls but
with these new features there are a myriad of ways
to approach these situations and make them all feel
is the main protagonist in the game. He is compelled
to venture to the land of Foo in search of adventure
and to shed some light on his mysterious background.
The land of Foo was once inhabited by a race of peaceful
utopians called the Zeimos. They were very powerful
and when one of their own turned to the dark side,
that power was used against them as demons and monsters
fed on its energy; thriving on their destructive nature
and evil fortitude. One man stood alone with the power
and conviction to keep the evil ones at bay. He was
called the Blade Dancer. One fateful day he disappeared,
never to return again. Lance learns that he has the
same lunar markings of the Blade Dancer and as he
goes about helping those in need, he discovers that
he is capable of harnessing great powers. Could it
be that the Blade Dancer has finally returned to fulfill
roam the outlying areas. They are represented by differently
colored floating skulls. These skulls can be avoided
providing they don't see you, but if they catch a
glimpse of you they will give chase. The skulls come
in three main colors: Red; white, and blue. The blue
skulls are the weakest and can usually be easily defeated.
However, when you run they can assimilate and turn
into one black skull which is capable of an incredibly
destructive attack. Whatever you do, you don't want
the black skull after you so it's advisable to stay
and fight the blue skulls if they've been alerted
to your presence. The white skulls will be evenly
matched with you but the red skulls can really kick
your ass. Even when you do eradicate the skulls, they
will respawn and regroup so it's always a good idea
to keep moving. The game can't be paused so if you
want to access your inventory or any other menus,
you would be best to do that when you're in the clear.
party member has a moon clock icon that signals his
or her turn. During battles, a luna meter will fill
allowing you to access it for powerful magic attacks.
Strangely enough the meter fills whether you or the
enemy is doing the pummeling. Because of this, the
enemy also shares in the access of the luna meter.
The only way you can stop the enemy from draining
the meter is to attack them when they are charging
a magic attack. This will neutralize the magic attack
and not only save the juice in the meter for your
next attack, but it will also save you from being
on the receiving end of a devastating magic attack.
By performing side-quests for the townsfolk, and there
are plenty of them, you will be able to increase the
size of the luna meter so that it can hold more juice
and thus be capable of unleashing more powerful attacks,
which will be necessary when you encounter more powerful
items plays an integral role in the gameplay. By combing
various objects and pieces, you will be able to create
new weapons, protective armor and other items such
as healing potions. The reason that crafting is so
important is because every item in the game has a
limited shelf life. For instance, a magic sword may
only be capable of a small number of hits before it
loses its power and breaks, never to be used or seen
again. Many of these weapons and other items can be
bought, found, salvaged or awarded to you. Each will
have a recipe for creating a replica. Some of these
recipes come with the item like an instruction manual
while other items have to be taken to a special shop
in town where they are broken down to their base components
by an appraiser who then uncovers the ingredients
and gives you the instructions for crafting them.
is less expensive than purchasing these items and
you can also make them more powerful. With the easy-to-access
menu system, crafting is as simple as combining a
few ingredients that you can select from your inventory.
It's always a good idea to keep a lot of ingredients
and parts on hand in your inventory. You can craft
items anywhere at anytime, even in the heat of battle
if you so desire. Each item and each party member
is affiliated with one of four elementals: Earth;
air; fire, and water. It's best to let the appropriately
aligned party member craft his or her own item to
ensure the success of the creation. If the crafting
fails, you lose those items for good. By having the
ability to create new items in the field you reduce
the need to go back into town to acquire more supplies
since you can keep your party safe and healthy for
as long as you have supplies left to combine. If you
feel adventurous you can experiment with combining
items to see what new things you can come up with.
There are certain items that can't be combined but
the interface will let you know beforehand. If you
do manage to create a new hybrid, the interface will
add the recipe to your list.
is a good amount of recorded dialog for the characters
but the characters really usually don't have anything
interesting to say. They all exclaim things in the
overly-excitable anime style that seems geared toward
five-year olds. The music is sparse and so are the
character animations. There is a lot of fog surrounding
the environments which means less drain on the CPU
to process graphics, but the results are a claustrophobic
atmosphere with only a hint of spaciousness.
four-player mode lets you take part in dungeon crawls,
and allows you to collect items that you can use in
the single-player mode. All playable character can
be instantly transformed to the same level so that
all players are relatively equal. There is no co-op
mode but you will get a few good hours out of this
mode, as well as few interesting goodies.
fantasy adventure story with emotionally compelling
3D and realtime world that captures the essence
of Blade Dancer.
revolutionary real time battle system that adds
strategic game play like SRPGs.
and experimental item crafting
mode to play in cooperation with your friends. Up
to four players can be played simultaneously.
mysteries to be solved even after the story is complete