Blinx has been one of those games where I have been asked on many occasions, is it any good? So here is my review of the much debated Xbox game. First of all the character Blinx was created by the very same person who created Sonic, so already the game has an interest as Sonic was a huge success for Sega and now has spread to many other formats including Nintendo, I certainly never imagined that would happen 4 years ago.
Blinx is basically a feline. His job and others like him is to work in a ‘Time Factory’. This factory monitors time and if any problems occur someone is dispatched to that world. This is where Blinx comes in. One world is being attacked by some unusual looking creatures and stealing time crystals. Unfortunately the crystals turn into monsters and the city is overrun with them. Everyone in the factory is warned to close off this world as it is deemed too dangerous. Blinx however takes a deep breath and comes to the rescue of a Princess who has also been kidnapped in the same world, so some incentive there. Blinx has the same sort of Sonic elements of platform except this game has added a so called 4th Dimension. That dimension being time control. This has been a feature that the Xbox technology can provide which earlier systems could only dream of. The time feature has it’s puzzle elements such as if a bridge falls down in front of you, you can use the ‘rewind’ time control and see the bridge we build itself allowing you to cross. Time controls however are not unlimited. By collecting different coloured and shaped crystals you have the chance of matching 3 out of 4. Once these are matched up you gain the relevant time control. If you collect 2 crystals of one type and 2 of another you lose all the crystals and have to find more.
This is a very frustrating element to the game as you can run out of crystals, get to the end of the level where the goal is inviting you to enter, except there is a door blocking your way and requires a time crystal, but guess what? there are no more to be found so there is only one option… You ready for this…. To restart the level. To say this is a game that people of all ages would like to play the system is not very forgiving. Graphically Blinx has some jaw dropping moments and all the levels are nicely detailed. Blinx with it’s real-time fur looks scarily like real fur, but graphics aside the game has many flaws which really should have been removed before entering the store shelf. The monsters, and this is how the game refers to them, as ‘monsters’ are not exactly the most scary thing you will ever see. They look more like Clowns on beach balls, green space-hoppers and flying ant eaters. This fact I can let pass as they still are enemy. Flaws I can’t let pass are the camera angles. This has always been a big downfall of many 3D platform games in the past and Blinx has suffered the same fate it would seem. There is nothing worse then a green blob bouncing over to you, and the camera rather then face the enemy to make shooting easier, it is likely to take quite a bit of manoeuvring just to aim and by that time you have probably been knocked over.
Another problem of the game is revealed. Unlike Sonic where collecting rings gave you a chance by loosing the rings and only when you had no rings could you be killed. Well in Blinx the slightest of pats on Blinx’s back results in the most pathetic of falling over and there goes a life. Another flaw shoes itself (you seeing a pattern here?) In a very fun to watch scene Blinx rewinds automatically to a few seconds before being killed. Your trouble’s are not over though as you have only a few seconds to get your head together and fire, this again is not always possible and you die again. Rather then jumping on enemies like sonic, Blinx sucks up garbage which he can store and then use on the monsters. This again becomes tedious as you can simply run out of garbage in an area and a quick death will follow. I really feel that this games deserves some praise but there are so many frustrating areas to what should have been a great game that any positives are only minor in the games favour. Ahh the music, the music is perfect, very Sega and Knights into Dreams type music which I always loved on the Sega Saturn. It is as if with this title they have the ingredients to make a fantastic and maybe a character identity for the Xbox but the cake has been taken out of the oven much too early and this results in a sour taste in my mouth.
There is only so much anyone can take of this type of frustration, £40 is a lot for a drinks coaster. Good instructions at the start of the game, but the time controls take a bit of getting used to as this is a new concept.
The game concept of time is a really good idea, but it has been executed poorly and Blinx will now collect dust on my shelf. Blinx 2 has a challenge on it’s hand if they want to get rid of so many frustrating elements and make it more fun and playable for all ages. A chance to create a great game has been missed!