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Dual Blades is an enjoyable romp through tournament fighting. The effects are well done, the animation is solid and though the scope of the game may be limited, the challenge is definitely there.
Dual Blades is a 2D weapon-based fighting game in the vein of traditional titles such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Weaponlords. However, since this game features over eight unique characters, each armed with their own personal melee weapons, such as swords, staves, and knives, Dual Blades has more in common with the latter. With gratuitous amounts of blood and brutal finishing moves, Dual Blades more than earns its mature rating, wearing it like a badge of honor over the body of a bloody and cut foe.
If you're the kind of person who tends to squeeze the most out of fighting games, you'll find that Dual Blades is a somewhat brief and limited adventure. The gathering of many different gameplay styles is interesting, but they're never brought together in a manner that begs to be mastered. As such, Dual Blades is better for those seeking vicarious thrills or a game that friends can play without hours of basic instruction.
Dual Blades is a prime example of how too many good ideas can be a bad thing. It’s got the fighters-chasing-weapon-for-immortality story of Soul Calibur. The parrying maneuvers, special attacks, and other gameplay mechanics are ripped from King of Fighters, Street Fighter III, and Guilty Gear. However, the lacking controls and questionable hit detection kills off much the technical aspects of the fighting. At least the game has the bloody graphics (or at least a pathetic mockery of them) from Mortal Kombat. Sadly, none of these aspects are implemented well enough to make the game worthwhile. Instead, it’s little more than a fighting game with an identity crisis.
The game might not be a terrible fighter, but it doesn't do anything to get people to recognize its own design elements. The characters and locations are extremely generic and the gameplay isn't much more than a slower-paced version of Street Fighter-meets-Samurai Shodown. Only if you're an absolute fanatic for all things fighting should you bother with Dual Heroes.
I don't blame Vivid Image for seemingly choosing to ignore the modern gaming era, in which it's almost impossible for smaller developers and publishers to produce competitive and compelling titles, but I just wish the company had converted one of its Amiga classics (all of which, especially Time Machine, still hold up) instead of producing a fighting game that looks and plays like it's ten years old.
Considering the quality (and amount) of fighting games on the GBA, Metro3D really dropped the ball here. It’s not enough to just make a Street Fighter imitation and hope that it will sell well, especially when it looks as bad as this game does. While there are some mildly bright spots in this title (mainly in the gameplay), Metro3D definitely needed to put more thought and resources behind Dual Blades.
In Dual Blades it’s a duel to the death as all-mighty immortality is at stake. Alperen, the World’s Greatest Warrior summons all combatants past and present to release the immortal curse or face death. Alperen possesses the ultimate prize, Dual Blades, a mysterious sword that gives powers beyond belief and bestows the coveted immortality. It’s a battle for challengers to gain the Dual Blades or die.