Thong Wrong: X-Blades Demo

RPS is all about fighting underdog’s corner. Walker’s adventure games. Alec’s board games. Jim’s beard. As such, when we saw a PC demo of the much-maligned console action/adventure X-Blades had been released, I had to try it out so I could properly champion it if people’s cruel words were really misunderstanding the true depths of a woman in a thong running around with swords and yelping. Because they could be. I mean, people missed the point of the divine God Hand. Maybe this is is really a total treasure? I play it to make sure…

Of course, no, it’s rubbish.

It’s basically a fighting-centric Tomb Raider, with Lara Croft injected with all the distilled likeability of Paris Hilton. And more of that later.

What’s likeable about it? I like its graphic style in the cut-scenes, using a cel-shaded look like the recent Prince of Persia reboot which adds a certain elegance. Or, at least, as elegant as the bethonged character can look. I like how you collect souls and exchange them for special abilities, some of which look pretty fancy, even in the demo. Here’s one, looking fancy.


Boom! indeed.

Bar that… Christ, its violence is repetitive even within the demo. If you can’t hold interest for three fights, you’re screwed for a game. But really, the fatal flaw is the lead, who in this brief meeting manages to be as dislikeable a character as I can remember. She’s so genuinely obnoxious, you wonder whether they’re going for some grand piece of satire where we’re meant to be laughing at the lead… except if it is, they don’t go far enough. She’s a treasure-hunter who’s the best she is at what she does – except what she does does clearly doesn’t involve working out how to wear trousers.

(I appear to be hung up on Ayumi’s arse. I may be, but not nearly as much as the developers clearly were.)

The demo climax? The lead find an artifact. Is warned away by a big monster – not attacked, bless him, the kind caring fool who didn’t realise what a total cow he was dealing with, but merely warned. If she takes it, the world is in peril. The lead shrugs – it was a long walk to get here, and she’s not going home without it. She touches it, has enormous force enter her body, and now the boss reluctantly has to kill her to prevent the aforementioned world-threatening. Lead doesn’t give a toss, and proceeds to get into a big fight mocking him all the while for keeping her away from her trinket.

Wot a cow!

Here’s an idea for the developer. If you make a sequel, make it about hunting down and killing her. You’ll sell a million. Hell: you’d sell a million to me alone.

You can buy it from their shop, if you like. I wouldn’t. Play the demo for car-crash potential, if you must.


  1. TelefonHonda says:

    Horrible cutscene ahoy!
    link to

  2. Chis says:

    This would almost be bearable… but yes: “Paris Hilton, treasure hunter”

    Can I vomit now? What a car-crash of a game…

  3. Stew says:

    So it’s a boring God of War ripoff with tits? Gotcha.

  4. Lim-Dul says:

    Stew – no, no, no – it’s not God of War with tits. It’s God of War with a naked ass. :-P
    The developers absolutely focused on the ass, not on the tits this time around.

    You can see one of the guys that usually do Unskippable on The Escapist (Graham) appear in a cross-over event and review X-Blades Zero-Punctuation-style here (and mention the ass many a time):

    link to


  5. pepper says:

    I want to run far away after seeing the cutscene from Escapist, it feels too much Like your playing Paris Hilton, which is a bad thing.

  6. OldManTick says:

    I think Heavy Metal FAKK2 was the best game for thongs. The farther you got in the game the less clothes Julie wore, at least ion her torso.
    plus the level design of the cave in the demo where the designer modeled a woman’s spread legs and everything at the intersection in the cave walls.

  7. Cedge says:

    I played this quite some time ago. I have never encountered a less likable “protagonist.”

    Utterly wretched game.

  8. OldManTick says:

    I went over to levelords blog and googled up the image he had posted
    link to

  9. hydra9 says:

    Hmm, why does it not surprise me that Levelord designed that?

  10. Tei says:

    Too consoley.

    I pass.

  11. Deadend says:

    At PAX, I ended up making fun of the game because the main character had a look on her face that seemed like she had Downs. She also had some weird not shorts on under her thong in the picture. I thought the game looked hilariously horrible, now I hear it’s just horrible, such disappointment.

  12. mujadaddy says:

    I see no thong in those screenshots.

  13. Schadenfreude says:

    @ Gravatar OldManTick:
    How was it that FAKK2 was good for thongs if the changes in clothing happened in her torso? I hate it when people don’t take these issues with the proper seriousness =(

    As an ass man myself, I have to say I kinda support X-Blades for finally bringing some attention to the preferences of my people. Enough with the boobs, I say, gaming needs more ass. And not the saggy male ass of Dead Space either.

    Of course I have to set the voices to russian so to avoid the english actress’ squealing. And also that way I’m safe from understanding any of the nonsense that’s going on. WIN!

  14. Cedge says:

    Haha! I haven’t played FAKK2 in years, and I don’t remember that cave wall at all.

    I rather miss Levelord. Too bad he’s not really working on the sorts of games he used to anymore.

  15. tmp says:

    According to the linked demo page at gamershell, the lead is supposed to be “a stunningly seductive yet tenacious heroine”.

    I don’t think it means what they think it means.

  16. cjlr says:

    Of course I have to set the voices to russian so to avoid the english actress’ squealing. And also that way I’m safe from understanding any of the nonsense that’s going on. WIN!

    Yeah, that’s probably the best way to make it approaching playable. Complete dialogue incomprehensibility. After all, all you need to know is, here’s something in front of you: kill it.

    Now if only it was that easy to make the actual gameplay playable…