Friday, July 13, 2012

Game of the Day - Crossed Swords

Crossed Swords is a straight-forward quasi-first-person fighter set in medieval times.  You are looking through your own wireframe and using a sword (and other weapons) to fight off the enemy and rescue the world (or the princess).

The controls are simple but have subtlety that becomes important if you want to do well and stay alive.  Moving the joystick without using any button controls where you are guarding/blocking.  The A button is for attacking.  Moving the joystick while using the A button helps control your strikes.  There are slashes and thrusts and combos, use the joystick and button together to move/dodge/strike/combo.  Pressing the B button by itself launches your magic projectiles.  And finally pressing A and B together combined with different joystick movements does several diff special attacks that the game explains as time goes on.  Oh, and you can also move left or right with the joystick to move away from attacks (stick and move).  One more thing about combat, when you get a good lick in, you have to continue to strike quickly as there is a definite momentum/killer instinct aspect to the fighting.
So the game becomes a lot about the old boxing "stick & move".  You have to block attacks and then counter.  Keep in mind, you aren't moving around freely like in Doom, you are on a certain screen and attacked by several enemies and you can only move slightly left or right.  I saw Crossed Swords described on the internet as "Medieval Punch-Out" and I think that's an apt description.

The game is simple and so most of the fun and interest comes in fighting well and beating your opponents without sustaining too much damage yourself.  As you continue onward, the scenes change and you encounter other characters who give (sell?) you diff items like weapons and other helpful things.

Crossed Swords is a nice diversion, the fighting is good and interesting - it's easy to learn, but also has a lot of subtlety and nuance to master.  And by the way, just so you know, the name "Crossed Swords" in no way refers to a three-way between two guys and a girl.

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