|System: PS2, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Akella||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 20, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Gray can also earn money by picking fights with locals in the saloons and waging money on a boxing match. The boxing matches work very much like a sword duel, using high and low combinations and blocking your opponents attack to defeat him. Akella could have done a lot more to improve the action, as the boxing is even easier than a duel. Usually your opponent just swings blindly at you while you block him and wait for his energy to decrease, then allowing you to counter. Simple stuff.
Akella have attempted to add some elements of action to a primarily RPG-focused game, most likely to appeal to the PS2 audience who are looking for a bit more excitement. Unfortunately, a lot of the action, especially hand-to-hand combat, is extremely simplistic and slow-paced.
Something else that confuses me is all the dialogue is spoken in muffled gibberish, which means you have to read the captions along the bottom to understand what people are saying. Perhaps Akella skimped on the voice-over work, but even the conversation between the physical Gray has with his inner voice isn't narrated, and the player must read along with the conversations.
Graphically, Swashbucklers: Blue vs. Grey leaves something to be desired. Character designs and sketched-drawn loading screens give it a strong GTA feel, though less detail was done to surrounding environments and the free-roaming atmosphere. However, the large-scale maps and open-sea sailing capture the essence of the Caribbean pirate lifestyle of the mid 1800s. Akella do a good job of capturing a time when, though technology and nautical inventions were still in an infantile state, heroes battled and sailed the seas with honor, bravery, and an aspiration to travel uncharted waters to new worlds.
While the RPG and action elements aren't exactly balanced equally, this game may be most appealing to RPG fans who like a bit of excitement in their role-playing experience.
CCC Freelance Writer