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Blades of Fury (iPhone)

For: iPhone

Flattery will get your anything

Product: Blades of Fury (iPhone) | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: iPhone | Genre: Fighting | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (adhoc), Bluetooth | Version: US | App version: 1.0.6
Blades of Fury (iPhone) iPhone, thumbnail 1
Mr Miyagi taught us in The Karate Kid that technique alone isn't enough to pull you through a battle. Spirit is what gives you the edge.

Blades of Fury may not have the soul of a top-tier fighter, even though its gameplay is most definitely of the calibre. Wax on: stunning graphics, great fighting mechanics, and loads of replay value. Wax off: a generic, recommissioned style.

There's no denying the game's derivation from lauded brawler Soul Calibur, though at least it draws from a superb source. Similarities between the two titles go well beyond sharing the same weapons-based battle format to a roster that's nearly a mirror of Namco's game. The mad jester Machiavel mimics the moves of Voldo, Elwyn mirrors the vixen Ivy, and there's even a holy knight by the named of Arthur.

For Blades of Fury to appropriate its roster in this way is questionable: the means by which it reconfigures elements for touchscreen play, however, is not. Easily understood fighting techniques and fluid controls constitute a highly playable, fun game.

Battles play out in 3D, a press up or down on a virtual D-pad sliding your brawler to into the background or foreground respectively. The perspective shifts whenever you move to the front or back, essentially adjusting the view so that the fighting feels 2D.

Like any fighter, your goal across all modes is to knock your opponent out of the ring or out cold. Mashing virtual buttons unleashes a variety of basic hits that, when paired with the D-pad, enable you to execute a range of attacks at low, mid, and high zones.

There are even magic attacks that require tactical charging, as well as defensive techniques and other combos that provide Blades of Fury with a surprising depth.

These are all best pulled off using the game's virtual icon control scheme. A gesture-based method is offered, but frequent unresponsiveness leaves it ill-equipped for frenetic fighting. The configuration of the buttons in the icon option isn't perfect - the guard button is slightly too small and should ideally swap places with the magic button - but it's an effective setup.

Equally well-established is a slate of modes including Story, Arcade, Survival, and multiplayer Versus. Since each of the ten characters possesses a unique ending, there's incentive to play through Story mode several times. Unlockable outfits also sweeten the deal. Without even touching multiplayer, you could easily sink a few hours among the solo modes.

Fortunately, you don't have to rely on single player for your fighting fix. Blades of Fury wisely supports both peer-to-peer Bluetooth bouts and wi-fi fights. Unfortunately, Bluetooth doesn't work and requires an update in order for proper play.

Even with an assembly of great features, graphics, and gameplay, Blades of Fury only goes so far with its borrowed design. A few inspired elements is acceptable, but the game goes overboard with too many similarities. It's a superbly crafted game that just lacks the originality needed to win the fight.
Blades of Fury
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 10 September 2009
A high calibre fighting game with stunning graphics, great mechanics, and solid controls that simply imports too many elements to be truly great in its own right
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