[Nintendo Switch] Blade Assault Review
Blade Assault from Team Suneat, JanduSoft, and PM Studio is a new 2D action roguelite on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Blade Assault review!
Blade Assault from Team Suneat, JanduSoft, and PM Studio is a new 2D action roguelite on Nintendo Switch. You’ll take on the role of Kil, a member of the Resistance who is fighting against the evil and corrupt military of Esperanza. Your quest begins at the end. After being trapped, your companion Bit manages to sneak in and break you out. Your mission is to defeat the evil leader of the whole thing, but after a handful of minutes, you realize that Kil certainly bit more than he could chew.
You’ll get a chance to learn all of the basics during the intro gameplay sequence as soon as Bit frees you. You’ll control your character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as you run through each area. You can jump and double jump with the B button and dash with the A button. Dashing is very important because it will make your character invincible for a short period of time, allowing you to avoid incoming laser or melee attacks in a single move. As you defeat enemies, you’ll get to collect energy, which acts as your MP.
Your normal attacks will be mapped to the Y button, with your skill attack set to the X button. Your skill attack will use some of your energy. If you press and hold down the Y button, you can charge up a more powerful attack. You can also use a sub weapon attack with the ZR button. This is another attack that will consume some of your stored energy. Just collect as much energy as possible so that you can use it during some of the more challenging segments! Pressing up will allow you to interact with objects. Pressing down will let you talk to other characters.
Your weapons can be improved, and it’s how you’ll be able to progress further and further in the game as you take on the whole roguelite cycle. You should keep an eye out for any materials that you can bring back to Hank to help you out. You’ll start your journey with a flame-red blade that you can boost by improving its attack speed, critical hit rate, and energy drain power. You can also unlock two other weapons that will have different passive boosts to consider, such as a base increase to your critical hit rate or an improvement on your base MP total.
With this one being a roguelite, you’re expected to know that content is procedurally generated as you go, so you won’t know exactly what you’ll be going up against as you move from room to room. Speaking of which, there are different room types for you to consider as you play through Blade Assault. You could find a Healing Core room that will reward you with upgrades that can boost your max HP and HP recovery rate, increase both your max HP and MP or greatly boost your HP recovery. Find an Electric Core room, and you can upgrade your subweapon to inflict shock or boost your critical damage.
When exploring an area, you should make it a habit to slash at everything around you. Doing this will reward you with shards, which act as one of the in-game currencies for Blade Assault. You can use this to open small chests in each room so that you can purchase items for things such as increasing your movement speed or boosting your attack power for a few seconds when you start a battle. You can also use this to purchase food that will grant you things such as a reduced cooldown for your skill or even lower the damage you take. As you can imagine, the better a meal, the more expensive it will be.
Another of the in-game currency options is a premium one that resembles a gold coin. Again, this is also earned based on your performance and does not require any microtransactions. Gold coins can be spent to unlock additional weapons or to unlock and improve character traits. Character traits are split into attack, defense, and support traits. By spending your coins, you can improve your melee attack and attack speed, increase your HP, reduce melee damage taken, decrease dash cooldown by a tiny bit, increase movement speed, or boost sub weapon attack power. Each of these can be upgraded over and over up to a set max, so the more you play and the more gold coins you get, the better your character will get.
You’re not alone in the Resistance in your fight against the evil military. By collecting cubes, you’ll be able to give gifts to the different characters you’ll meet back in the city after each of your runs – did I mention this one is roguelite? With over a dozen characters to meet and befriend, and with some of them having different levels of friendship, you’re going to be playing this one for a while… that is if you’re the type of gamer who likes to 100% a game. Oh, and you can totally play as some of them instead of using Kil!
I do have to mention that the game has plenty of loading screens for you to work your way through, which feels a bit odd when taking this one for a spin on the Nintendo Switch. Changed screens? Loading. Is a cutscene about to play? Loading. Is that cutscene over? Loading. Finished a mission, and you’re now being sent back to the city? Loading. Got into a peculiarly large limo where you’ll get to meet Gears dealer Honk? Loading. At least you’ll be able to buy some extra gear from Honk after loading! Some concessions have been made in order to get this one up and running on Nintendo’s console since it also features a lower resolution and framerate compared to the Steam version, but it doesn’t get to a point where your enjoyment of the action is affected.
Blade Assault is a fun 2D action roguelite with a solid art style and fast-paced action that will keep you busy with its gameplay loop. Roguelite games are not for everyone since they can lead to a bit of repetitiveness burnout, but when things click, you can find yourself playing for hours. As is usually the case for PC to console ports, the text feels a bit tiny, so hopefully, this is something that can be patched and improved. And if you’re having trouble with beating all of the enemies as you try to stay alive, you can always go into the settings menu and activate Easy Mode. What this will do is halve the damage you receive while boosting the damage you deal by 50%. Blade Assault is out on Nintendo Switch at a $17.99 price.
This Blade Assault review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PM Studio.