Blade 2: The Return of Evil was originally on mobile devices, and has now seen a port to the Nintendo Switch. The action RPG sees you go through various maps and stages, defeating waves of monsters. Evil has returned to the world a century after the original Blade game, and it’s up to you once more to save it.
For a mobile game port, the game looks decently great. The cutscenes on their own are quite nicely rendered. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the English text localisation. Glossing past that, the generic art direction makes it hard to tell it apart from other fantasy dungeon crawlers out there. The maps are linear, just with different layouts and locations. The character models are pleasing enough. Depending on personal taste, the models for the playable female characters may look stiff to you.
Monsters don’t necessarily look inspired, but there might be more striking ones later on. It is a fantasy game after all. I didn’t get far enough for the highest tier spells, but the skill effects are at least effectively communicated.
There are 4 playable classes: Gladiator, Assassin, Fighter and Wizard. They naturally have different skill sets, so choose the class that’s most appealing to you. Playing the Wizard, I had access to area of attack spells, both offensive and defensive. The initial cooldowns felt somewhat long, presumably requiring upgrades to be used more regularly.
Button mashing is effective only to a certain degree. Enemies will shine briefly, and if you time it right, you can counter for damage and healing to yourself. Otherwise, you can sidestep attacks. The counters have an area of an effect, so if you manage to parry one in a clumped group, you can send all flying away. The combat is not particularly in-depth apart from the counters. Move through an area and fight the boss, and repeat.
You’ll be hearing the standard fantasy-like music, which isn’t a bad thing. It sets the tone well enough, if not necessarily inspiring. Playing with the Korean voiceovers, I have no complaints about the quality. Attacks and skill effects pack enough of a punch to feel satisfying to use.
Defeating boss monsters can drop loot, like weapons and armour pieces. These in turn have their own rarity levels and various random perks attached. Set pieces can also provide a bonus when you have all equipped. Monsters also drop gold, used in unlocking skills. Skills are on a double-unlock system, where you need to have the appropriate level, and the gold.
The various stages have missions attached. On completion, you get a pop-up and are given stars at the stage complete screen. You’ll likely spend quite a bit of time trying to get full 3 stars, or simply grinding out for gold, gear or levels.
Blade 2: The Return of Evil still very much feels like a mobile-original game, without many changes made to it to make it more worthwhile. It’ll be good for the occasional pick up and play, if it were free. As a full priced game, however, the grind can make it rather monotonous for continuous play. I would only recommend it if you don’t have other action RPG game to play.