When I was a kid, I used to love ninjas and the history that went with them. I watched a lot of films and played video games like the Last Ninja series on the 8-bit computers. When an email dropped in my inbox about a ninja title coming to consoles, I was naturally curious and excited. The title in question is Within the Blade. This was released on the PC on steam a few years ago and now made it’s way to the consoles, I had to try it out and see how it plays.
Developer: Ametist Studio
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Release Date: 16th July
Thanks to the publisher for the review code.
Within the Blade is a run and swordplay game. You take control of Hideaki, who is a part of the Black Lotus clan. You must defeat the Steel Claw clan who have decided to team up with demonic forces to help them take out all the clans in a civil war taking place over Japan. The story is not long or complex, but this does not take anything away from the game. How you play the game and finish the missions is up to you, depending on your play style and you can even play a stealth campaign if that is your thing.
The game has chapters and this are made up of levels, with each one having it’s own goals. And of course, the game has end of chapters bosses, which was common on this style of game back in the old days. Being a ninja, you have a lot of skills and also weapons which include grenades and good old fashion hand-to-hand combat. This can’t be completed with just hack and slash tactics as it needs more thought and planning.
As you progress through the chapters, the end of level bosses gets trickier. Fear not as you do get some help. Throughout the chapters you pickup random items which can be used to craft smoke bombs and poisons, which are very useful. The visuals are nice and the game is great fun to play. Console controls work well but they were not great explanation on the tutorial and can get confusing as the corresponding button don’t match the in-game action, but only a minor issue which is easy to get around.
Within the Blade is a great old-school feel platformer. It was originally a Steam game and was released on early access before final release. It has transferred to the consoles very well and makes for a great, fun game to play. I would recommend this game.