Blades Of Vengeance
How do you follow something like Fisher-Price: Perfect Fit?
With a (not sarcastically) good Sega Genesis game of course!
Yes, Blades Of Vengeance is actually decent!
In many ways, it’s even better than decent: it’s pretty darn great.
For one thing, it’s called Blades Of Vengeance, which sounds either like a late sequel to that ice-skating Will Ferrell movie or some low-level metal band your dad would look at you weird for enjoying.
Or, of course, a random Steven Seagal film about some dude punching other dudes into paper-thin walls.
Quite simply: it sounds amazing.
Also, it’s basically a Gauntlet game except not with a top-down view so more like Gauntlet Legends on the Dreamcast, I suppose, but as a straight-up side-scroller and without elves. You get the choice to play as a sword-wielding Huntress, a Warrior or a Sorcerer and, although each character has his/her plus points and minuses, it’s not too difficult to guess which character most teenage boys probably chose back in the day:
Yeah, sorry Dumbledore.
You’re sitting this one out.
Besides, she’s way faster than the others so it’s really a no-brainer.
The plot of the game is about as straight-forward as you’d expect: some evil dragon lady has conquered the kingdom with her army of ghoulish monsters and some wizard sends you on a quest to put an end to her reign of terror by slicing anything that moves.
It’s soon after you start playing the game that you realise you’re essentially playing inside a Judas Priest album cover as you’re faced with all sort of, often silly-looking, demonic creatures and walk around fire-filled levels wearing not very much at all.
I mean, look at this:
Is this not the most dignified way to cross a fire river which shoots fireballs at you?
Sorry Red Sonja, there’s a new badass lady in town and she will float along fire rivers looking cool and completely uninterested.
She will slice fire demons in half at the crotch.
She will wait for tiny adorable fiery danger to come to her while posing like she doesn’t give a damn, holding her sword up the entire time as if to say:
“Here’s your death, fire fools. Do you want fries with that?”
She will kneel and use her magic to defy Satan himself!
Whether he shoots laser beams out of his eyes or not.
She will kneel and pray for little naked red guys with Captain Caveman-style mallets because she respects her foes, no matter how insignificant or how quickly she disposes of them.
She will kneel and bash bats in the face with her blade because…
Who’s gonna miss one bat?
She will kneel and wait for deadly spiders that are too short to kill to conveniently jump up so she can shoot at them.
For she is: THE HUNTRESS.
Come to think of it, she does kneel a heck of a lot in this game.
That’s a little odd.
A little Z-odd, even.
That explains it.
Anyway, there are potions you can pick up along the way, and power-ups, of course. And just when you think this Huntress couldn’t possibly be more awesome, she puts on an armour and starts shooting things with a crossbow.
Totally looks like a shotgun, by the way.
I wish they’d gone fully down that anachronistic route and got the characters to pick up all sorts of crazy weapons like plasma rifles, muskets, uzis, water pistols, you name it. But then, I guess, it would start resembling an Ultima game too much and there are more than enough of those to explore as it is.
As cool as that crossbow is, though, it’s not exactly ideal for disposing of short reptile dudes.
Guess it’s back to kneeling.
The game itself is actually rather challenging and not easy by any stretch but it looks so good, it’s so much fun to play and the soundtrack is enjoyable enough that, even if you get stuck, you’ll still want to keep playing and complete it somehow.
Good luck getting out of situations like this one, though:
Though Blades Of Vengeance is very derivative, it’s still pretty creative and its nutty villains alone are worth the detour. These, after all, include evil birds that pick up stuff, even random dead folks, before dumping them on your head.
I had a hilarious screenshot for that but I decided not to include it.
Oh, alright then:
Look at her acting all high and mighty now she’s wearing clothes, pointing and laughing at some poor naked guy who still has strength, somehow, to hold his arms upwards.
This is after we saw this humble Huntress climb countless ladders in her underwear, by the way:
The bosses can take a few hits to defeat so make sure you use the right weapons and use the right magic against them otherwise you’ll be fighting these guys all day.
And because this is a game and 90% of all games include a villainous Big Giant Head you have to kill, here we go:
He’s pretty creepy, at least.
As a Big Giant Head, though, he’s limited to one inch on the far right side of the screen so you’ve got plenty of leg room and therefore plenty of space to throw around silly weapons.
Unfortunately, he’s not the final boss.
Just when you think you’ve beaten this game, it turns out that there’s still that dragon gal to beat.
Luckily, she’s one of those bosses that looks huge so is instantly intimidating but that, in essence, demands the same type of relentless hitting as all the other bosses.
Finally, the dragon destroyed, your Master regains his powers and rids the land of all its remaining monsters as the credits roll, thereby bringing an epic, really cool 16-bit swords & sorcery game to a close.
What more can I say about this one? It’s just a good, very entertaining, great-looking game that deserves to be rediscovered by more people. Sure it’s not unlike most fantasy games you’ve played but it’s still a solid game AND it’s got a 2 player option so why not give it a go?
Now be good and do what I tell you: first you kneel.
Then you play Blades Of Vengeance.
(Oh, and if you’re naked: climb a ladder.)
(It makes climbing ladders not naked look foolish.)