The gameplay doesnít redeem it either. After a character creation system that actually had me pretty excited -- lots of classes and lots of stat customization reminds me nostalgically of the old Wizardry
games -- I was plopped smack down into an ugly-ass game with little to no gameplay. Sigh. Your troupe of four people, consisting of a leader and three others that follow dumbly directly behind, traverse the world on pointless quests, starting at the Roadside Inn. Blaze & Blade
has the potential to be a good RPG -- most quests are pointless anyways, right? Well, um, no. The first problem you may have is configuring the controls. They were obviously for a console game, so I whipped out my control pad and set up the buttons the way I wanted them. I played a bit, and tried to go back to adjust the controls. I pressed the wrong button on the controller, though, and poof -- the controller turned off. Problem was, the keyboard was off too. The game accepted no input from my computer whatsoever. I had to Ctrl-Alt-Delete the bugger. Whee.
When you finally get going, Blaze & Blade basically consists of running up to enemies that magically teleport in from la-la land and smacking them with your weapons. Since only the lead character uses spells, and using spells is an ordeal in itself, you probably want to go the total brute force method. Your other characters are entirely useless, only attacking enemies that are standing right next to them (with the exception of the Ranger), and as such tend to die. Of course, since theyíre brought back to life on a regular basis, you learn not to care. And then thereís the time that one of my characters just decided not to move any more. I couldnít switch to them; I couldnít go off the screen with them on it, or anything. Bugs suck, especially when the game behind them doesnít do anything to make it worth playing past the bugs. Itís sad that such a nice setup is marred by absolute crappy gameplay, but thatís just the way it is.