Blades of Time (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Action-adventure, Hack and slash
Developer: Gaijin Entertainment
Publisher: Gaijin Distribution
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Blades of Time (Switch) – Review

Site Score
Good: all the attacks and effects look good
Bad: Many performance issues
User Score
(5 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.4/10 (5 votes cast)

Blades of Time was primarily released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and a month later on PC in 2012.  The game combined hack and slash gameplay with some time control and the concept was pretty neat for that time. The game received some mixed reviews at that time, but in Japan, it received an eight out of ten. What might have helped is that you play as a gorgeous treasure huntress that’s scarcely dressed. Gaijin Entertainment has chosen to remaster this hack and slash game for the Nintendo Switch to offer a sturdy adventure on-the-go. But does it have what it takes to compete with the modern games of this time?


In Blades of Time, you play as Ayumi, a gorgeous treasure huntress wielding both swords and guns. The game starts with her stuck on a dangerous island with a lot of mystery to it. Ayumi appears to have arrived with her partner called “Zero” but it’s not clear how they arrived at this mysterious island. The island is rich with bounty, but it’s also caught in Chaos magic. After communicating with a strange voice emanating from an altar, she receives special powers and abilities that she needs to use to survive and discover the island’s many secrets. After some time, this voice turned out to be the “Spirit of the Dragon”. From this point on, the story progresses with small cutscenes or telepathic communication between Ayumi and the Spirit of the Dragon. Ayumi also likes to talk a lot to herself about the area and everything she encounters in this adventure. The most important ability Ayumi receives is the ability to control time itself. This allows her to make clones of herself that will repeat the last actions she made. You need to use these powers to solve the many puzzles that are blocking your way through. On the way, she’ll need to defeat a lot of demonic beings and machines on her path with her trusty swords and her newfound powers.


The graphics of this game look great, even on the switch. All the special effects that come with using skills and attacking your enemy look awesome. The environment is also very detailed and sets the mood perfectly, but not everything is great in this department. When there are a lot of enemies that are using attacks, combined with your own skills, the game doesn’t exactly run as smooth as it was promised in the announcements. It was promised that the game would have a steady frame rate because enough adaptations had been made for the Nintendo Switch device. But in many occasions, the game appears to stutter a lot and can also freeze from time to time.


Blades of Time is fully voiced, but it has a bit of a feeling like it has been copied from another source. When people talk, it also looks like it’s not synchronized with the moving of the people’s mouths, but this could be because it originally is a game from Japan. The game’s music is the original music, you know from the older versions on the older consoles.


Blades of Time is an action-adventure hack and slash game that will place you in the shoes of Ayumi, a sword-wielding huntress with magical powers. The gameplay appears to be easy at first, but after some time invested in this game, it could have been a lot better. It’s clear that it’s a port of an older game as the controls and combat physics lack quite a lot against newer games released on the Nintendo Switch.

The combat is basically strung together by some button bashing combos by pressing mostly one button, the sword attack command. You can put some variation in these combos by combining it with a kick attack, but most of the time, you are just bashing that Y button to attack your enemies. Ayumi can use a dash command that will put her out of harm’s way for a moment, but it mostly appears to go further than you would want to yourself and you will remain still for a short while before you are able to move or attack again. A good thing of this dash move, is that you can lock onto enemies, enabling you to dash immediately to your opponent and start hitting them, so this usage of the dash skill is somewhat more efficient. Unfortunately, there’s no block command to defend against incoming attacks, so getting hit or dashing your way out of attacks are the only options. Pretty disappointing for a game released at this time.

With a few fast enemies around you, battles will get very complex as incoming hits won’t be noticed that easily by any movements your character makes. You can mostly notice it by paying attention to your health bar. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up dying easily as your health will drain a lot before you even notice it. You can heal with a healing command. By finishing downed enemies or maxing out your rage bar, a new health potion will be available to use during battle. The rage bar gets filled by hitting your enemies with attacks. This rage bar is also the energy source for your magic attacks. The rage bar has three skulls on it. If it reaches these skulls, you can use one magic attack. If you have it filled up to two of these skulls, you can use two magic attacks, and so on.

After progressing a bit in the game, you’ll reach another altar. You will automatically stop there, and the essence of your enemies will be absorbed by this altar and it will then grant you a skill. Most of the time, there are two skills to choose at each point. After acquiring these skills, you’ll be teleported to a secluded area where you can try out your newfound skills. Here, you can’t be killed and you are free to practice your skills. After performing the skill you’ve learned a few times, you’ll be sent back to continue from where you left off. Not every attack you learn at these altars will use rage to be performed. Some are performed by executing a specific string of commands, and these can be destructive as well. Choose wisely to acquire the best skills suiting your battle style.

The most important skill Ayumi has, is the ability to use Time Rewind. This skill lets her rewind the time and leaves behind a clone that will copy the last actions you performed before you activated it. The longer you hold down the skill’s button, the longer the time will rewind. When your clone is copying your last actions, you can roam around freely. You can also use this in combat, rewinding the time around you and rewinding your last actions, resulting in a clone of you performing the combos and skills you already performed, while you are also attacking your enemies, resulting in teamwork with yourself. This can also be the solution to places where you need to stand on two different places at the same time.

Unfortunately, the game’s not stable enough to keep on playing fluent while doing this. The game will freeze for a bit before you activate the Time Rewind skill. The game will stutter after entering a new area after a loading screen, and it will even freeze or stutter in cinematics. The publishers claimed that the game would utilize the Dagor engine, that would also support the cross-platform Vulkan API that was said to make sure that the visual quality and the FPS rate of the game would stay high, even on a mobile device, which is absolutely not true. The Time Rewind skill creates multiple clones of Ayumi and lets you act simultaneously with these clones. This puts a heavier load on the console than the game normally does, while the game already runs bad, this will make it worse with more freezes and laggy gameplay. The game was said to be still performing smoothly with this increased load on the console’s hardware, but this turned out to be the opposite. Plus, you can’t just shutdown this game if you want to play another. This will always result in a crash with the error “The software was closed because an error occured”. it will also freeze every time the console is put into standby mode and you have to shutdown the game (with a crash) and restart before you can continue playing.


Blades of Time appears to be a nice hack and slash game with nice graphics and interesting combat, but the load on the graphics engine seems to be too much for the Nintendo Switch and the combat is all but innovating as the basic attack commands are performed by using only one button. Yes, you can combine this with many magic skills, but they utilize a rage bar that needs to be filled before you can use it. Later on, you’ll unlock new skills that won’t use any resources, but combining normal attacks with these abilities just doesn’t feel smooth. Altogether, Blades of Time isn’t all that bad but it isn’t great either. For fans of the original title this could be a fun game to play, if they’re willing to settle with the performance issues the game has at this point, but for gamers who are used to the smoother games that come out nowadays, it’s better to wait for a good sale before buying this one.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.4/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Blades of Time (Switch) - Review, 2.4 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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