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Which October Game Are You Looking Forward To The Most?

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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
7.7
Visuals
7.0
Audio
5.5
Gameplay
8.5
Features
8.0
Replay
8.5
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox
PUBLISHER:
Microsoft
DEVELOPER:
Artoon Studios
GENRE: Platform
PLAYERS:   1-4
RELEASE DATE:
November 16, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
Blinx: The Time Sweeper

 Written by Ryan Genno  on February 04, 2005

Reviews: These cats can control time and space, all my cat does is lick herself!


It's another week, so here is another video game about time traveling. Blinx 2 is the sequel to the promising yet ultimately mediocre Xbox exclusive Blinx: The Time Sweeper. There wasn't really anything too horrible with the original Blinx; it was your typical cute 3D action platform game about a cat that had the ability to alter time. It was a unique concept, but the game was too straightforward and linear in game play department and the controls were not very user friendly either. Blinx is back for another try and part 2 looks to fix some of these problems by including updated features such as the new customizing options, and there is even a multi-player mode as well. Blinx 2 may look kind of weird - and it is - but this game may surprise you too.

The story begins when a group of cat/human race called the Time Sweepers suddenly get attacked by their old rivals, a pig/human race know as the Tom Tom Gang. Although the Time Sweepers have defeated the Tom Tom Gang before, this time the gang had shattered a giant crystal and they had special shields making them invincible. It looks like nothing could stop them from waging war throughout time. The only hope for these Time Sweeper cats is to use their time travelling skills to search for missing fragments of the big crystal and save. Unfortunately, collecting crystals sounds like every cute video game I played for the last 20 years, so the story isn't too compelling.

What is interesting though - instead of controlling Blinx the cat this time, you now control one of his buddies. You get to name and fully edit a group of four cats that can be used in single player, co-op, or multi-player modes and you can do crazy stuff like mess around with their colours or make characters fat, skinny, and much more. Cat customization isn't exactly the feature everyone has been waiting for, but it didn't hurt either. Not only can you control the heroic time altering cats, in this day in age where everybody wants to be the bad guy, in Blinx 2 you also get to control a group of greedy yet cunning Tom Tom pigs.

The cat stages feature more VCR-like platformer action while the pig levels have more sneaky stealth oriented game play. Once you complete a few missions the game gives the option to switch between the two stories in a cool twist, so the game has its fair share of variety. Where the game starts to fall apart is with the awkward lock on system. You can hit the L button to try and lock on to a target, but I said try for a reason. Even if you can see an enemy in plain view the game may or may not let you lock on to that enemy and that means it is possible to waste important shots at the wrong targets. It was just too hit and miss for my liking.

Another thing I didn't like was the rather average graphics. Although it was cool to see some neat rewind and slow effects here, I also noticed there are some unwanted slowdown effects when the game play gets too busy in a heated multi-player match. The sounds in Blinx 2 are sure a mixed bag as well. Some of the music works well for the game of this type, but whenever there are voices in the game opposed to text, the acting is so bad that it forces you to yell at the screen in disgust.

Bottom Line
Despite some problems with the iffy lock on system, lack lustre presentation and the average story, Blinx 2 is still an overall fun title. I really like the whole time altering system and a view from both sides is interesting as well. The new multi-player is confusing at first and there is no LAN or Xbox Live support either, but it was still a welcome feature that can be good for parties. Blinx 2 is a solid platformer and in my opinion it is definitely one of the sleeper hits of 2004.


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