Since its launch, the Xbox has been blessed with quality first person shooters and racing titles, but does not quite have the same impact in the platforming genre. With Gamecube’s Mario franchise and Jak, Sly Cooper and Ratchet & Clank franchises on the PlayStation 2, Xbox only has Blinx, who on his first outing did a less then stellar job. So now the cat is back and he is ready for action in Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space. Is this the game to bring a great Platformer to the Xbox? Read our review to find out!
One of the biggest problems I had with the original Blinx was not that it was a bad game because the game mechanics in the game were all there, but you see what I didn’t like about it was it was just not fun. The key to a platforming title in my eyes is to make an enjoyable character and throw him into an enjoyable game and that’s something that the original Blinx just failed to do. Never in the original did you get attracted to Blinx as a character, and never did you really care what happened in the story. Well now Microsoft decided to give Blinx another run this time with a few different twists, but are the twists enough?
You see, in the original Blinx the story was made around one particular cat that had the ability to mess with time. The story behind the game was just not all that interesting, never really getting you engrossed in the characters. Now in Blinx 2 you are given a story that involves the Tom Tom Gang who control space and the Time Sweepers who obviously control time, both going after the Big Crystal. What the story attempts to do quite often is incorporate a lot of comedy relief to lighten the mood of the game, which is done quite successfully.
The game now is actually "Blinx-less", which means you actually won’t be playing as Blinx, which is a good thing. You now get to customize your very own feline friend into a whole lot of different styles on how you want your character to look, and the customization is actually quite deep. What’s even more bizarre about the game is that you actually will switch sides from the Time sweeper’s to the Tom Toms, and back and forth. Both of the sides have a very unique way of going about their business. Where the Time Sweeper’s are equipped with a very handy vacuum that picks things up and launches them at enemies, the Tom Toms prefer stealth by using some really neat tools to get through the levels.
For the most part the game consists of a lot of puzzles and a lot of action. Speaking of the puzzles, they are much too easy for the game, and never really pose much of a challenge. You see the game gives you so many hints as to what to do to complete the puzzles, which really takes away all of the challenge that would be found in completing the games various puzzles that are found in the game.
What I found to be the most odd about Blinx 2 is that lack of difference when playing between the two different character types. Sure they have different abilities but the controls are basically identical. This really times away from the overall experience because you never really get the satisfaction of playing with two different types of characters. Also I never really grasped the idea behind playing with the two different characters in the first place as it seems as though you are fighting an endless battle since you are fighting for both sides. This really has boggled me from start to finish, as I would have much rather have played as one side or the other, instead of both.
The game also incorporates some multiplayer support, which really isn’t all that interesting. The multiplayer is played in split screen format for up to four players in some very lackluster experiences. The game performs not as well as many would hope in the multiplayer format and really doesn’t offer a whole lot to do. With that being said there is the ability to dig into some co-op action, which is actually quite entertaining.
Overall Blinx 2 is a game that improves upon the original system but just hasn’t got the platforming genre down yet. The game is still missing some key ingredients, mainly a challenge, to really drive people into the game. Although it’s not a bad game its still far from perfect.
The biggest thing that the original had going for it was the graphics, which was absolutely beautiful. The game did a great job of incorporating some great character designs and environments to make a pretty good looking game. So does Blinx 2 improve on the visuals?
This time around, Blinx 2 is back and better in the visual department then before. As mentioned earlier, you get to customize your character to look as you want them to and this customization actually looks really good, with a whole lot of detail and some very unique looking styles. The environments have also been improved giving gamers a much more colorful and detailed experience. This is the one part of the game that really stays consistent throughout.
I think the biggest accomplishment the developers made with Blinx 2 was how consistent the game stays to the theme, which really helps the overall performance of the game in the long run. Although this isn’t the best looking game on the Xbox it’s still very impressive.
The one part of Blinx I disliked the most is how repetitive and downright boring the game got. Although Blinx 2 isn’t a whole lot better then the original, it does offer some more entertaining experiences. The puzzles in the game are one of the more apparent downsides as they fail to offer up much of a challenge, but some of the combat in the game can be quite good. What really sets this game up well though is the co-op mode which is by far the best feature added to this game.
Microsoft in my eyes is still without a mascot and is still without a great platforming title, as Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space just doesn’t offer up enough to fill the void. This game is one I would only recommend to fans of the original or those who are desperately seeking a platformer for the Xbox.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.