Tag Archives: x35mm

The Coming ‘Dawn of the Ronin’

UK Developer x35mm‘s Dawn of the Ronin may not exactly be ‘new’ news to you (he’s been teasing images and clips for quite a while), though it does give me the excuse to formally reintroduce (or possibly introduce) the game and put some of the truly breathtaking screenshots and videos on display. Combining two of my favorite things, the Samurai and Unique Visuals, DotR is easily among the most beautiful and anticipated releases coming later this year.

Showcasing the game’s iconic lighting and shadowing.

While the developer’s last game, The Blitz (review), used the same style to good effect, this title is definitely a better fit for the visuals and action that frames it. Set in and around Osaka, and focusing on the fight with the powerful Tokugawa clan, you’re looking to avenge and revenge through some old world beauty and wild countryscapes that just might make you reconsider your life choices… No, no, the focus is definitely on combat.

The above video shows off a ‘cage fight’, using placeholder enemies and for the ‘climbers’ in the background, though the intent is there and provides a clearer view of the battle system, which looks to mimic the fight style of the samurai, and yes, dismember and spray as much blood as possible… swords aren’t for kids.

Dawn of the Ronin is nearing the final stages of development, and is aiming for a late September release. You can follow the developer for updates, and really, just look at the screens below. Damn, death shouldn’t be so pretty.


Dawn of the Ronin - Screen2

Dawn of the Ronin - Screen3

Dawn of the Ronin - Screen5

Dawn of the Ronin - Screen6

Dawn of the Ronin - Screen7

REVIEW: The Blitz

If considered as a historical project or artistic piece, The Blitz (80 MSP) would fail to engage; its setting is twenty years too early to reference the wholesale bombing of Britain by the Luftwaffe, and I sincerely doubt UK readers can muster up any warm and fuzzy feelings regarding that time in history. It was a terrible event in a longer chain of terrible events, bookended by even more terrible events, as wars always are.

This isn’t meant to turn into a downer of a review though, as of course we’re here to talk about videogames. The Blitz isn’t a treatise on the horrors mankind is capable of, it’s an extremely easygoing arcade title that’s almost exactly the same as the C64 classic, Super Blitz. If the idea of building demolition, set to a jazz / piano soundtrack, has a calming effect on your nerves or sounds like an ideal vacation, The Blitz may be heaven-sent. You’re also a pretty strange guy / gal, but hey, no judgment.

Simplicity and silhouettes are the running theme, as the only button you’ll use is the ‘A’ button. Playing as bombardier, you’ll work to destroy cities of varying size and height against a color-changing background using distinct lighting and a graphical style that will be seen and put to much better use in the studios’ forthcoming Dawn of the Ronin.

The Blitz has no enemies, no penalties, no limit to the amount of bombs you can drop (on a delay) or stages, and no score is kept. Your plane will fly from left to right, right to left, and you will time your releases to level the field. That is all. Of course, the difficulty rises with the stage number, giving you more targets and / or taller buildings that threaten your flight path (the plane dips in height with each pass you make), though it’s generally low-impact gaming.

The Blitz - Screen

Even with that relative ease, I would have liked to have seen a fast-forward button for speeding along the process. The game has a few ‘last brick syndrome’ moments with stubborn buildings, extending levels longer than need be thanks to a slow plane and turnaround time. There’s no stage select or saved progress either, meaning you’ll need to play through the whole thing (a slog) each time to reach the more difficult urban layouts.

The fact that there’s very little here makes it tough to grade. You’re better off passing if you’re looking for something a bit stronger and more involving, as the downtime between bombing runs and the bombing itself will start to feel like watching paint dry. If you’re in the mood to watch the world collapse and burn down around you with as little pressure and commitment as possible, though, The Blitz fits a very specific need.