[PlayStation 4] Within The Blade Review
Within the Blade from Ratalaika Games and Ametist Studio is an old-school infused 2D stealth/action game on PlayStation 4. Check our Within the Blade review!
In Within the Blade on PlayStation 4 from Ratalaika Games and Ametist Studio, you’ll take on an old-school infused 2D stealth/action game with some RPG elements. You’ll explore feudal Japan as a ninja, using your abilities to stay one step ahead of your opponents. You can find materials that will allow you to craft shurikens, poison, grenades, and more. Your trusty blades will also always be at the ready so that you can use them in close-range combat to deal the killing blow that will keep you going.
It’s 1560 AD, and Japan’s last Shogunate has lost all control over the land, which sends many areas into civil war. You’ll be playing as Hideaki, a member of the Black Lotus ninja clan, to find a way to not only bring peace back to the land… but also vanquish the demons that have arisen during the turmoil. The game uses a minimalist pixel art style, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not going to be a gory journey in your future.
You’ll control Hideaki with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, which allows him to run on the floor as well as over walls. He can jump and double jump with the X button. You can combine this to double jump and then run over a wall so that you can reach a higher ledge. You can swing your sword with the Square button. Your sword can also be used to block and deflect attacks from your enemies by pressing the Triangle button. Dash by pressing the L1 and R1 buttons, and you can quickly dash to the left and right, respectively.
You can also use a hook to climb upwards by pressing the Circle button, or you can also use it to go all Scorpion and pull an enemy towards you so that you can kill it in an instant. To attack enemies from far away, you can switch between your available items with the L2 and R2 buttons so that you can throw your shuriken or kunai from a safe distance. This will be crucial for staying alive during sections of the game that are a bit more crowded. Weapons and tools have a durability gauge you need to be aware of, or else they might break at the worst of times.
As you defeat enemies, you can gain experience. Gain enough, and you’ll level up, gaining experience points. These can be used at the dojo to unlock new skills after completing a level. To make the most of your potential growth, you should be very careful as you take on each stage so that you can finish them at a fast pace, without being seen, without taking any hits, all while getting as many kills as possible. This will net you the best bonus in coins and experience points so that you can speed things up.
You will get to see some of these skills during the tutorial segment of the game, where you’ll learn all of the basics. The first skill will be assassination, which will allow you to quickly and silently kill an enemy without having to fight it. You’ll also learn to combine dashing with your attack and your assassination skill to defeat enemies in one hit. If you press the Square and Triangle buttons at the same time, you’ll jump while slashing all around you, dealing considerable damage. After getting a taste of this, you can then see how you want to progress through the game’s skill tree.
The skill tree will allow you to add the skills mentioned above, as well as boost your character so that it can survive through the increasingly more difficult levels. You could increase your ninja’s vitality so that it can withstand more damage, add resistance to fire so that it takes less damage from it, make it so that your enemies cannot block your attacks, add an extra carefulness to your step so that you don’t trigger traps or mines as you walk over them, boost the accuracy of the shuriken you throw, and more.
The coins you collect can be used to purchase items and recipes at the different vendors you’ll meet. Recipes are required in order to craft new items, as long as you have the recipe and the required ingredients. You could craft poisonous power, bombs, mines, health potions, and more! You can also purchase new weapons to aid you on your quest. When doing this, you need to value a weapon’s price and see if it’s worth it based on its durability, damage, critical hit rate, and penetration factor.
This one being from Ratalaika Games means you can expect to find a Platinum trophy to add to your collection. The list includes objectives such as getting your first kill, killing 100 enemies, beheading ten enemies, killing an enemy using an assassination move, killing a Ronin boss, crafting anything, making a purchase, killing five heavy samurais, using your sword on bamboo, collecting 500 and 1,000 coins, killing an enemy using shurikens, killing an enemy using a metal ball, killing an enemy in melee mode, killing an enemy with poison, killing an enemy with fire, and more.
Within the Blade is a fun, old-school infused 2D stealth/action game you should check out on PlayStation 4. It offers an easy-to-understand gameplay system you can expand on with the experience points you get for defeating the many enemies in your path and the bosses you’ll battle. Add the crafting system that will allow you to obtain recipes to create items to heal your wounds or to attack your enemies, and you have a fun game that will keep you busy at all times. Within the Blade is out this Friday on PlayStation with a $10.99 asking price.
This Within the Blade review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Ratalaika Games.