Blade Hunter fuses classic side-scrolling beat 'em up gameplay with modern MMORPG features. Alpha players will take one of three unique classes - Knight, Rogue, and Valkyrie - into battle, each with an arsenal of powerful abilities. Thanks to time-tested combat mechanics, players of all skill levels will be able to execute aerial combos on a wide array of enemies, including screen-spanning bosses inspired by myth and legend
Blade Hunter runs in a browser window using Adobe Flash, which I’ve generally found to be less responsive than I’d like when trying to input commands. The controls in this game are almost entirely mapped to the keyboard. I had a second or two of insecure panic when I had to take my right hand off the mouse, but soon enough using both hands on the keyboard to play the game felt natural. The only difficulty I had in terms of controls was that the system didn’t seem to respond well to chaining different attacks, making it difficult to follow up special attacks with a series of regular combo attacks or to launch an enemy into the air, jump, then juggle them in the air (a pretty fun move when the controls cooperate).
Since Blade Hunter is an intentional reference to an established genre of game, and a mash-up of genres that has already been tried and well-received, there isn’t much about it that screams innovation. It avoids being painfully derivative of what has come before, but I didn’t see much in my playtime that made me feel like it’s blazing trails. The gameplay is comfortably familiar, which is a pleasant feeling but doesn’t earn high marks for this section.
There was an issue with the input lag that I mentioned before, but I honestly couldn’t tell if it was a problem getting the commands from the keyboard into the game or if the rhythm of combat was such that I just needed to be more careful about pacing my attacks. When I was chaining together combos of my basic attack, ti seemed like I could rack up huge combo scores. When I tried to mix in a jump or a special move on the fly, however. I found myself having to tap the appropriate button a few times before my rogue responded. I guess I could chalk it up to the old skillful control mastery versus button masher debate, but I wish the controls were so responsive that I didn’t even have a second thought about it.
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