[Review] Rainblood Chronicles: Mirage

Published on December 17th, 2013


If DMC had a Wuxia cousin, this would probably be it.
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This side-scrolling hack and slash tells a Wuxia tale of two swordsmen, Soul and Shang. Wuxia meaning ‘martial hero’ and pertaining to the adventures of martial artists, this game does not lend from its Chinese theme, so much as crash headlong through it. Developed by a small indie company dubbed S-Game, Mirage made its way from the shores of Singapore to the Steam store last month, and it’s definitely a breathe of fresh air in the indie side-scrolling scene at the moment.

Action is fast paced, engaging, and will keep you mashing your keyboard into the nigh. However there’s not much replay value for me here, but then again not every game does. It feels as if there’s something missing in Mirage, like we’re not being told something, and you get left feeling like a small speck in the midst of a vast and unexplored background that you can’t help but wish you could explore. There are 8 stages to fight your way through, and whether you play for the story or not, it will certainly keep you entertained.

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You have to work to find the story, and for those who blast through their games will be left distanced from the game itself, having no idea who is being spoken about, or why they should care. Take your time, and if you’re the type to really engross yourself in collecting as many fragments of a narrative plot, Mirage will deliver.

Once you get the hang of the control system, you’ll be away, but it’s not for the faint of heart and may lead to button bashing amongst the impatient at first. Thankfully you can also customise the controls, which may be of use to those with smaller hands. Once the initial adjustment has been made to the controls you will have no problem with them. The combat system you use encourages the use of a series of combos, creating powerful, and individualised attacks, which make for two very separate fighting styles for both Soul and Shang.

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Well stylised, the art looks good enough, and so long as you’re not an art snob you’ll see merit in it. Drawn in an anime art style, the backgrounds and characters have a unified theme, which makes Mirage lovely to play as it knows exactly what it is, and doesn’t waste any time trying to be anything but a hack and slash based in a Chinese setting.

Dialogue is spoken entirely in Chinese, not being a native speaker I can not tell whether the voice acting is good or bad, but in some cases this is a godsend. Not being able to interpret the language removes the opportunity for poor performances, instead you’re left to read the thickets or text that pop up. This is no detriment to the game, but some may find this offputting.

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The steam page claims that there’s local co-op, but this is restricted to dueling a friend, not playing through the story with them, which is a tad disappointing.

This game won’t blow your socks off, but is well enough made to make for a fair few hours of fun. If the story was more accessible, and easier to break into, it would have made for a more memorable experience.  However if you liked Devil May Cry or Muramasa: The Demon Blade, this will tickle your fancy.

Thoughts? Comments? Can’t stand those pesky subtitles?
Use that comment box below.
Escapingirl.

 

Mentioned in Episode 19: http://readyplayertwo.co.uk/episode-19-the-microwave-of-malice/

Available on steam for £11.99 : http://store.steampowered.com/app/240660/
All images courtesy of Origo-games : http://www.origo-games.squarespace.com/

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