REVIEW: ‘BLADE XLORD,’ Solid Entry into the Mobile Market (iOS)

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BLADE XLORD

BLADE XLORD is a 3D action, free-to-play mobile game published by Applibot Inc. and CyberAgent, and developed by Applibot Inc. Ryde and Meryl are proud members of the Order of the Alabaster Knights. They have served their kingdom with distinction, even among the other knightly orders. But when they are betrayed by those who seek to rule the kingdom, they find themselves exiled. Now, they must begin a quest to save their kingdom and establish a new order of knights. One which will bring peace and uphold justice for all.

BLADE XLORD puts its best foot forward right from its opening screens. As the player begins the game, they are greeted with an important plot moment that sets the tone for the coming game experience perfectly. Big action and lots of story are the dual pillars this game rests upon and, while I can’t say either are executed flawlessly, they are both satisfying in their own way. Let’s take a dive into both.

The first thing to note about BLADE XLORD’s story is that it starts off on a bit of an overbearing note. For the first portion of the game, I’m fairly certain that I was watching cutscenes more than actually playing. These scenes, while executed well enough, were not strong enough to hold my interest for as long as they go. Happily, as the tale progresses, the story moments get more reasonably paced. That, along with the unlocking of a variety of side content, help the player create the ideal mixture of story and gameplay that works for them.

The characters in BLADE XLORD are given plenty of chances to shine. Along with the story itself, players can unlock short narrative sequences they can watch that expound upon the characters personalities. These are unlocked simply by utilizing the character during battles. These sequences even exist for the non-story characters that are earned through the loot box system.

BLADE XLORD

As with most freemium games BLADE XLORD includes a loot box purchasing system. This game’s loot boxes provide players with the bulk of the weapons and characters they’ll receive during their journey. However, the game does provide the player with a full party of characters and a steady stream of Lord Stones (one of the game’s currencies) through their adventure. Though I put numerous hours of gameplay in, I was never once tempted to spend cash. Granted, I’m not a person that has to unlock everything. If you are someone who needs every character available, this game could be a struggle for you. Characters only unlock from super rare pulls. I did get a couple earned through gameplay unlocks, but it could take a while for someone to get them all.

One way in which BLADE XLORD gives players a break from the usual hassle of freemium play games is in the utilization of its stamina bar. While this mechanic commonly used to encourage purchases of in-game materials to continue playing is present, they are very generous with its implementation. Story missions cost no stamina to play and often times the reward for completing chapters and milestones is stamina potions. Unless you plan to really grind side quests for lots of items, the stamina gauge should rarely enter your thoughts.

When it comes to the gameplay, BLADE XLORD provides a fun, if fairly shallow, experience. While the game’s opening explains numerous systems, such as elemental affinities and special weaknesses, my time with the game taught me that most of it can be ignored. As long as you keep your party at the recommended power level for a given quest, all you need to do is hit your cooldowns, watch health bars for healing/status effects, and you’ll be fine. This was entertaining for a while but quickly lost its shine for me. I like games where I really need to think about how I’m approaching gameplay and strategy, so I might just not be the target audience here. For someone who just wants a casual action experience, this could provide a lot of entertainment for them.

The final piece of BLADE XLORD is its visuals. The graphics present here are some of the better 3D visuals I’ve seen on my IPad. Lots of energy effects fill the screen during battles, getting the most excitement out of each foe players vanquish. The character design is also implemented well. The in-between battle cutscenes are visually adequate., character models are solid, and the emotion of the characters comes across clearly, albeit in a sometimes overly cartoony way.

When all is said and done I think BLADE XLORD is a fine addition to the mobile game space. Accessible gameplay and adequate storytelling allow it to appeal to players looking for an easy fantasy fix. Even if it doesn’t excel in any particular area, it never fails in any either. Couple that with a laid back microtransaction implementation and you have a game that is certainly worth checking out.

BLADE XLORD
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

When all is said and done I think BLADE XLORD is a fine addition to the mobile game space. Accessible gameplay and adequate storytelling allow it to appeal to players looking for an easy fantasy fix. Even if it doesn’t excel in any particular area, it never fails in any either. Couple that with a laid back microtransaction implementation and you have a game that is certainly worth checking out.