When playing a game, you sometimes have to think of it as a home cooked meal. Now in my experience there are two ways to eat this meal. The first is to savor the meal. You try and take in every aspect of it enjoying the taste and smell of every bit. The other is the home cooked meal you never want to eat. The one you dread your parents make you eat and tell you it is good for you. The only reason you finish it is because you feel your parents are looming over you and will be upset that you didn't finish your plate. X Blades unfortunately is the latter. This game has no redeeming qualities to it.
With what little story you experience during your play of X Blades, there seems to be one during the opening credits. A treasure hunter by the name Ayumi, self proclaimed "the best there is" is just off the heels of her latest expedition. She's in a shop selling off her latest treasure when she finds a similar looking piece sitting in the shop. Her curiosity getting the better of her, she decides to put them both together. After the room is covered in a black fog and the nice old merchant is taking by a dark creature, which Ayumi doesn't do anything to help him, the two artifacts form a map and she is off on her next adventure.
Any kind of innovation could have been utilized to make this a better game, but none was taken whatsoever. This game is a basic hack and slash at its core. Using Ayumi's gun blades (twin swords that also double as dual pistols) is not a treat. It is simply a means to get to the next level. If the hacking and slashing of a hack and slash game isn't even enjoyable, then the game has failed its first priority. If you want to say this game is trying to be a Devil May Cry clone, then that is giving it praise it doesn't deserve. That series had style behind its action. You could launch people in the air with your sword, juggle them with your guns and deliver a few more sword swipes before they hit the ground. Or you could launch yourself in the air with your opponent, hit them with your sword and slow your decent while you put bullets into them. In X Blades, your ground opponents are firmly cemented on the ground. Not even performing AN AERIAL MOVE will launch them into the air, only yourself will fly up and you will feel embarrassed for doing so. Combat isn't just redundant, it is down right just annoying. In other games, you'll fall into a certain combo chain that suits you and you'll fall into a repetitive input of it and it'll still look stylish to the eye. Here, it's just mindless button mashing and you'll only be using the one button. There is no real combo system for the combat, just hitting the sword attack button over and over and over until hopefully all your opponents around you are dead. In the end, if your button is still working by the end of this game, your controller is sturdier than I thought.
Voice acting is another terrible aspect of the game. When first hearing Ayumi's voice, you'll probably think to yourself: "I didn't know Paris Hilton was doing voice acting work for video games." The lines delivered have no substance and all of the "acting" delivered is bland. At one point you wouldn't be surprised if the characters on screen reached behind them, pulled out a script and tried reciting their lines off book. The deliveries of the lines were stunted and the overall dialogue was just poorly written. At times you'll want to hit the mute button on your remote control. And that isn't the only sound faux paus that is experienced in this game. The music and dialogue try to fight each other over priority of which is heard so when you get lines delivered by characters during combat, they each blend together and it's impossible to hear anything coherent.
Graphics for this game looks very much outdated. It almost makes X Blades look like a game that was ported over from the PS2 days. You wouldn't be surprised if this could be playable on the Wii. There is not collision detection between enemies and your character rarely reacts when taking damage. There were some moments where I found myself dying or dead from enemy attacks and I hadn't notice because my attacks never once slowed down. There are also clipping issues with objects in the game. After destroying objects, Ayumi can walk through them while objects clip through her body. It's a poor design flaw and should have been addressed during the designing of this game. Also level progression is a thing of annoyance. Rather than try and develop more levels of different quality and look, the developers at Gaijin Entertainment decided to created a set of levels with what seems as and end point, but then make you finish the last half of the game by backtracking, only this time, the sun is setting so it has an "evening" feel to it. This is just laziness on their part. If it was decided to make the game shorter by making the first run of the stages the end point of the game, it would have been appreciated a bit more because you wouldn't have to spend additional hours playing this drivel.
The ability to buy and use spells is a common system for these types of games. When defeating enemies, you collect souls that you can use to purchase spells and healing items you can use. It's hard to actually get this system wrong and thankfully X Blades gets it right. The uses of spells are conveniently placed on two of the primary buttons and two of the shoulder buttons and different types of shots for your guns are designated on the D-pad. Perhaps the best thing about this game is the Bestiary menu in the pause screen. In it contains all the enemies you fight and the weaknesses they possess. It makes it better because it streamlines the trouble of having to decipher how to go about fighting enemies and there by cutting back on the time you spend playing this game and that is saying something. If the best thing about the game is something you find in the pause menu, then it is not worth playing.
In the end, X Blades is just downright terrible. It shouldn't be played, it shouldn't be rented and it shouldn't even be looked at. It's not a top notch clone of successful series, but more of the failed experiments of clones that are left in incubation tubes in science fiction movies because it is an utter failure. Don't waste one cent of money or one ounce of time on it.