Twin Blades: The Reaping Vanguard review
Twin Blades: The Reaping Vanguard, tells the insta-tale of Angelika, a giant-eyed scythe- and gun-wielding nun who must save her village from a zombie invasion. How’s that for an impressive log line? As ridiculous as the story sounds, there’s really no need to take it to heart, because Twin Blades is not a narrative-based game. In fact, it’s as simple a hack-and-slash as you can get.
The anime-stylized game follows an off-kilter church, of which Angelika is a nun, that protects its village from hordes of zombies which attack it nonstop. The surrounding area isn't safe. The people aren't safe. Only Angelika is there to save them and kill hundreds and thousands of zombies, sometimes one by one with her scythe, and other times in larger numbers with six different weapons, from a meager pistol to a holy gun that literally shoots spiritual power.
Gameplay is simple: Players must go through nine different levels, most more than once, and kill all the zombies therein. Three levels include boss fights. As players progress, the zombies become more powerful and more numerous, but they never really get smarter. At a certain point, the scythe takes too long to kill them and only the Holy Beam will kill a large group quickly. Movement is controlled through a virtual d-pad, and there are only two attacks, with the scythe and the equipped gun. Angelika holds all of her guns, and sliding the gun indicator on the top left will switch weapons.
All weapons are upgradeable through collected zombie hearts. Yes, the game's currency is zombie hearts. Every zombie you kill adds to your pool. There are six upgradeable guns and five upgradeable traits. Upgrading them all easily costs over 2,000 hearts, so things will get bloody.
As a simple hack and slash, Twin Blades is a mediocre. It's brain-dead simple and similarly mind-numbing in terms of gameplay, until the end of the game where it actually takes some skill to stay alive. Two of the three boss-fights are quite difficult and require both thought and skill, so weaker players won't necessarily win on the normal or hard difficulty settings. In a sense, this is a full-fledged grind-based game, though it may seem slow in the start.
Twin Blades also features a survival mode, which pits Angelika against an unlimited number of zombies over a 31 levels, with an ever-increasing difficulty. This mode is fun, but like the campaign takes too long to really get difficult and interesting.
Suffice to say, Twin Blades: The Reaping Vanguard is not a bad game at all. It's not great, and certainly won't push your mental capabilities whatsoever, and at times the touch-controls will be frustrating and cause you to die. Nevertheless, it's an average title, fully featured with great artwork and excellent design, all for a wonderful price. There are few games that put all this together in such a neat little package.