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Blade Reviewed by Adam Wallace on . Rating: 50%
Blade
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  • Review Score:

  • C
It's a long established fact that nine out of ten games based on a movie tend to suck. The quality of the movie matters little in how well the game adaptation ends up. The disappointment is an intangible quality; it just feels more painful when a great movie produces a crap game. Of course, there have also been great games based on poor movies like the case of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Seriously, I didn't know what to expect when I plugged in the Game Boy Color adaptation of the movie Blade. The movie was average at best, a mix of well-choreographed fight scenes and plot-hole-ridden storytelling. After playing, I consider it a perfect adaptation in that it is just as average as the movie.

The story of the game is entirely different from that of the movie; that does suck since I was looking forward to beating up Stephen Dorff. Instead, Blade, the half-vampire vampire hunter, is hunting a new vampire clan. There are plenty of dialog scenes that are written well. Blade and his mentor Whistler are well-represented. The story isn't that strong, but it does have an advantage. The story changes, sometimes significantly, depending on how you play, namely the order the stages are tackled and how many side-routes are taken. The game is very replayable on that basis.

Blade (Game Boy Color)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Those who had seen the movie know that Blade uses a combination of firearms, blades, and martial arts when fighting vampires. Trying to cram all that into two action buttons would've made the game a mess; so, HAL made the smart move of devoting different stages to the different combat styles. The gunplay stages play like a lightgun-style shooting gallery. It works but is too simple; I simply never got hit on those stages. The hand-to-hand fighting takes the form of a side-scrolling beat-em-up. With one button to attack, one button to block, and both buttons at once to throw glaives, these stages are the best in the game though the enemies don't present enough of a challenge. The sword comes in for the boss fights which play out like a fighting game. Unfortunately, the controls are too stiff for this style. Blocks and attacks are too sluggish, making it too easy for the bosses to wail on the Daywalker.

The game does look quite impressive for an 8-bit release. Blade is well-detailed in both his portraits and his playable form. The animations are impressively fluid, especially during the gun stages. The sounds are decent though the music is too scratchy-sounding. Play the game on mute, preferably with a club mix CD on.

Blade on Game Boy Color was an interesting idea that just needed more time in Whistler's workshop. The different styles allowed Blade to be shown in all ways despite the system's limitations, but the stages and mechanics needed more fine-tuning. Hence, I'm giving a halfway-decent score for a halfway-cooked game based on a halfway-enjoyable film.
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