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Blade Kitten Preview

By Neilie Johnson, 3/16/2010

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There's lots of crossover between games and comics—witness every superhero game that's ever been made—but how often is a comic created specifically to establish a new video game franchise? Krome Studios' upcoming action side scroller, Blade Kitten (which started out as a comic series) stands as a testament to creative thinking when it comes to introducing the gaming public to a new idea. Sprung full-grown from Steve Stamatiadis' (AKA “Space Captain Steve”) head, creator of Ty the Tasmanian Tiger and creative director of Krome Studios, hero Kit Ballard is the hottest half-feline bounty hunter this side of the Korunda System.

We got to see and play Kit in all her sassy, cotton-candy-furred glory at this year's GDC. We also got to meet the man himself, Space Captain Steve, an enthusiastic, personable guy who's managed throughout the ups and downs of game development, to keep his sense of humor. It's a good thing too, since Stamatiadis has also authored the game's script, which runs the gamut from sarcastic witticisms to outright corny jokes.

The first thing you notice about Blade Kitten is that the second you pick up the controller, you can play the game. The movement scheme is extremely simple (in the best possible sense of the word) with all actions context sensitive. Everything you'd want to do: walk, sprint, climb or slide is done merely by moving the left thumbstick the way you want to go. The second thing you notice about it is that it looks amazingly good for a PSN game. Done in a cell-shaded style reminiscent of Sucker Punch's Sly Cooper, the artwork is deliciously colorful. The similarities don't end there because with its ahem...”sly” wit and acrobatic gameplay, you might come to think of Blade Kitten as Sly's second-cousin-twice-removed.

The game's storyline occurs three years prior to that of the comics and sets the galaxy's cockiest cat-girl to tracking ne'er do well baddie, Terra-Li. The pursuit leads Kit to planetoid Hollow Wish, where she discovers her simple bounty is merely a symptom of a much larger problem. The GDC demo treated us to cutscene glimpses of Kit's elusive bounty, as well as an unapologetically old-school approach to collection and platfoming. Along with her bigass sword (which floats conveniently behind her) and her sidekick Skiffy, Kit bounds through the environment, collecting datapaks, chests, “skiffs” and coins to buy weapons. She can also fight armored enemies and build up her attacks until her face turns red on something that looks suspiciously like a rage meter, allowing her to perform fancy, slow-mo critical attacks. If Kit's health gets low, she can stop for a minute and block, creating an impenetrable dome shield around her while her health regens.

Aside from combat, we also got a look at the in game shop, which allows Kit to buy weapons, armor—all the usual gear—as well as turn in baggies with goldfish in them, which for some reason understood only by Space Captain Steve, are the most valuable items in the game. The game so far looks like it's going to be a really entertaining PSN title—scratch that—a really entertaining title in general. And how couldn't it be when Space Captain Steve (he revealed) wrote the entire game listening to pirate sea shanties? Blade Kitten--coming your way this spring on PSN.



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