Artoon
Microsoft
Action
1
10.09.02

Blinx: The Time Sweeper


As someone who loves to see innovation in gaming, I was excited to first hear about the key innovation that Blinx brings to the table- the use of the Xboxís hard drive as an actual gameplay element. I figured that, if used correctly, it could usher in a nice amount of games that truly made full use of the Xbox hardware. I never could have imagined how bad things would turn out.

Graphics

The graphics are the lone highlight of the game, sadly. The character designs are atrocious, as they look like something out of a cheap Disney movie most of the time. But if youíre a fan of big, giant blobs as enemies, this is the game for you. On the upside, everything in the game is chock-full of detail, which adds a sense of realism to the game that would otherwise be missing. Youíll be able to see every facial expression made by Blinx and the enemies in the game. Youíll also be able to see the blobs ripple, which is a pretty neat thing to see. The bosses in the game look fantastic as well. Despite the horrid character designs, the overall look of the game is fantastic. If you look past that, youíll be in for a visual tour de force.

Sound

Itís time to start the sliding scale of game quality, because the sound is the second-best thing in the game, which isnít saying too much. The music is pretty cheery throughout, which does give the game a pleasant sound to it, but it tends to be a bit generic and lifeless, which is definitely a bummer. The sound effects are pretty horrid, the only decent one is the sucking sound of Blinxís time sweeper (the glorified vacuum he carries around.) Aside from that, the bouncing effects (from ye olde blobs of doom) are decent enough, but since youíll be hearing them throughout the game, they are QUITE annoying in the long-haul.

Gameplay

Blinx is your basic 3D platforming adventure game, only with a nice, gimmicky twist. Thanks to the Xboxís hard drive, you can do all sorts of time-based commands in the game, like rewinding past a death, or redoing something so you donít die, or stopping time to defeat the enemies that only take one hit to get rid of in the first place (which is pretty much all of them.) Now, this would probably be a very fun feature to use throughout the game if the power-up system to make use of it wasnít so poorly executed. You see, in order to activate any of time commands, you have to get power-ups that are specific to that command. Seems simple enough, right? Well, sadly, itís not that simple. You see, if you happen to touch another commandís power-up, you lose all of power-ups you collected for one command. For example, say youíre in the middle of collecting some rewind power-ups, and to get the last one, you have to go to an area with a rewind one mixed in with other command power-ups. Well, if you happen to even touch another power-up, which is quite easy to do since they are usually put into close clumps, youíre out of luck. You have to re-collect all the power-ups needed for the rewind command again. This, as bad as it is, is made worse due to the power-ups not regenerating. It just throws yet another wrench in the works, and manages to make things even less fun than they already are.

The gameís shoddy controls donít help matters much. You canít aim the time sweeper and walk at the same time, which means you have to constantly load up the time sweeper with garbage (the weapon of choice) whenever you can or else youíll be left with no way to defend yourself. This is made even worse thanks to the one-hit deaths in the game. Thatís something that should have gone out with the 80s. Itís a shame that Artoon chose THAT part of classic platformers to bring back instead of that fun gameplay stuff that folks tend to enjoy.

Replay Value

Well, the one-hit deaths and un-fun gameplay certainly donít lend themselves well towards replaying the game. The gameplay is barely exciting enough to warrant a single play through the game, let alone more than one. This game can be quite enjoyable in short bursts though, but if you play it for any significant amount of time, you will probably grow tired of it.

Bottom Line:

Blinx is one of the worst 3D platformers I have ever played. All the innovation in the game is for naught due to the sloppy execution, which is a shame since the game had a lot of potential in theory. Hopefully another game down the road will rectify the problems this game had, without adding more of itís own, so that the concept can be done well. As it stands, Blinx just ends up getting by on its gimmick. Aside from that, it has nothing that sets it apart from other 3D platformers.

-Jeremy Peeples




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