GAME NAME: AeternoBlade
DEVELOPER(S): Corecell Technologies
PLATFORM(S): PS4 (reviewed), 3DS, Vita
GENRE(S): Action, Side-Scrolling
RELEASE DATE(S): August 18, 2015
AeternoBlade is a side-scrolling 2D action game where you “hit” enemies with the eponymous AeternoBlade, a sword with magical time altering properties. I’ll spare you the long-winded paragraphs that will usually include the phrases “it all falls apart when…” and “It’s a shame the controls are so terrible because…” and just let you know right now that this is an objectively bad game.
You will walk to the right, occasionally jump, and slam on the square button to swing your sword. There’s no real impact, though. Cutting through air and an enemy is an identical experience. You also don’t move while swinging your sword – and since the animations are long and locked in, you get to watch the whole thing. This terrible combat system is coupled with small hitboxes in the enemies you will be frustrated by, so you’ll need to stand as close as possible before starting a long animation.
AeternoBlade is a Vita/3DS port, and does it ever show graphically. It’s as if there was no optimization or upconverting done. Everything is made in that blocky, low-poly look that screams Wal-Mart Bargain Bin. $10 will get you AeternoBlade and two sticks of Old Spice, which is a much better investment because at least one of those things will make you more socially accepted. The audio fares no better. We’re treated to zero voice work (even though there are pages and pages of dull hammy exposition) and generic guitar riffs for most stages. Bosses get the typical low-octave brooding organs, then you fight them to the tune of flat/sharp guitars with dumb titles like “Kill ‘Til The End” and “Desperate Revenge.”
The big gimmick of your sword controlling time means that you can make some enemies walk backwards sometimes. Also there are platforms that you can manipulate using this silly trick, but why anyone would subject themselves to willingly playing through these stages more than the minimum number of times is beyond my comprehension.
Even menu navigation is a pain. Instead of being able to tap up or down and go up or down, you need to hold the button to slowly move a clockwork wheel to the appropriate title. There’s just no reason for that.
AeternoBlade is so desperately bad that I even wrote a Top Ten List about it. I would love for you to read it. Here it is…
10 Things Nobody Has Ever Said About AeternoBlade
You won’t believe number 4!
10. “Yes, GameStop employee, I am here to pick up my reserved copy of AeternoBlade!”
9. “You know what would be awesome? Porting a handheld game with no graphics improvement!”
8. “I can’t get AeternoBlade’s terrific music out of my head!”
7. “No, see, his arms are supposed to clip through his clothes because he’s a wizard.”
6. “Braid’s time-travel gameplay method, but way better!”
5. “PS2-quality graphics are the next pixel art, and AeternoBlade is the vanguard of this movement!”
4. “Kids hate autosaving, a checkpoint system that requires manual saves is what all the AAA games are doing now. Don’t you read CGW?”
3. “Metroidvania is cool, but what if we made it better with unresponsive controls and bad collision detection?”
2. “I think this game needs more purple light pillars.”
And the number one thing nobody has ever said about AeternoBlade…
1. “You should buy this game.”
You really shouldn’t.