Blinx The Time Sweeper
| The Final Say!|
Blinx The Time Sweeper
reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 25
Review Score: 8.9/10
Quite possibly the most innovative game to yet grace the XBox console, Blinx
the Time Sweeper is the first game to fully utilise a vital piece of XBox
equipment: The hard drive.
Recording every single moment of the game
onto the hard drive is no small feat considering that gameplay doesn't stutter
or falter as a result of all this activity. Incredibly every single move you
make for each 10 minute time sweep is replayed at the end of each level which
is pretty impressive in itself but bearing in mind that Blinx can actually
alter and distort time, then it's another ball game altogether.
Blinx The Time Sweeper Features
- Players 1
- Dolby Digital 5.1
Blinx is part of an organisation that
monitors and protects the orderly flow of time. Quite like in Back to the
Future, if there is a problem then Blinx or one of his Time Sweeper buddies go
to that place and take out the Time Monsters created by the rift and restore
Their tools of the trade are called time
sweepers but to you and me they just appear to be extravagant vacuums. The
beauty of these is that not only are they used for day to day work restoring
time, they can also be used as offensive weapons. Each 'sweeper can carry up
to 5 items and it's important that you know what you carried last as you
actually go around the level sucking up items that you can use as missiles
throughout the game.
The size of the object vacuumed determines
it's damage level to the monster you are fighting. For example, if you are
about to fight a huge monster then you should make sure that the last item you
sucked up is very large as that lampshade ain't gonna do anything! The last
item you vacuumed is that first item the timesweeper will shoot. You have been
In order to manipulate time, you must
collect the time crystals that are scattered around and about each and every
level. Collecting the crystals in a certain order will reward you with a time
power that can be activated by holding down the B button. The cool thing about
this is that all action onscreen stops and a control similar to that of a
video recorder appears that lets you activate a time control.
Use and conserve time controls wisely as
when the game progresses you will need them more than ever. The first few
levels certainly ease you into using the controls and getting used to the
overall control system, but the game does certainly up the ante as you go
The game is linear in it's
progression meaning that you can't skip to one level without finishing the one
before it. It makes sense in this case and also helps you prepare for the
challenging boss level at the end of each lot of 3 levels. It is imperative
however that you do go backwards and redo levels at times in order to find more
gold and secrets to purchase upgrades for both Blinx and the Time Sweeper
Graphically, Blinx is absolute pure eye candy. Multiple effects have been used
to great purpose and the use of lighting and particle effects look fantastic.
Real time shadows give credence and realism to the movements of the ingame
characters. Animations are superb and do the creatures justice.
Monsters are created from
left over time crystals are have different attributes and appearances. Attacks
to Blinx will vary and if he gets hit even once then you better hope that you
have some replays up your sleeve which can be found scattered around levels in
the form of hearts. Once hit, if you have a replay, the game will 'rewind' back
10 seconds allowing you to avoid the mistake that caused Blinx' death. It's
amazing to witness and a real innovation as far as gameplay ideas go.
You can only store up a
limited number of time controls throughout the game and this will increase in
time. The effects used when activating one are nothing short of spectacular.
Pausing will freeze play throughout the game except for the movement of Blinx
himself, allowing you to attack or dodge things at your leisure. There is a
countdown letting players know that the time control is about to run out so to
get done whatever you have started.
Apart from all the monsters, you also have to
contend with members of the Tom Tom Gang who are intent on stealing the time
crystals for their own needs. Blinx has to take these bad guys out as well by
aiming his Time Sweeper and shooting items that have been previously sucked up.
I found that there were some issues with aiming the 'sweeper and often I would
miss what I was going for. Not enough to fully diminish gameplay but enough to
be occasionally annoying. Also Blinx himself doesn't move that quickly when it
comes down to gameplay. That is not to say that there are animation issues as
there are not, the cat just doesn't seem to want to go beyond a loping trot and
when there is a time limit it does get rather teeth gnashing at times.
I wondered why as I was
playing this game that I didn't feel myself connecting with the main character
as I am a sucker for platforming type titles and others of that genre on PS2 and
GameCube have had my attention for hours on end, desperately trying to complete
the next level. Blinx has the looks and attributes to be a mascot type figure
for the XBox however I think that for the most part, he won't reach the stature
of Mario or Crash Bandicoot for one very simple reason. He doesn't have a
storyline ongoing in the game giving him a soul of sorts that endears to the
There was not much in the way if anything of storyline progression upon
completing levels other than the new level becoming accessible. Even failing to
complete a level only gave you a 'game over' screen, whereas in other
platformers such as Jak & Daxter (PS2), Daxter would look over your fallen body
with some smart comment. I think that maybe Artoon spent more time making
sure that the techno side of the game was immaculate, and apart from some dodgy
camera angles it is, and not enough time developing a fleshed out character with
storyline to appeal to gamers. The fact that he didn't even speak English went
against him as well.
Maybe they will take heed of this in Blinx 2,
which I certainly hope is on the cards. Deliver a fully fleshed out character
that will knock our socks off with story and character development and Blinx
will be a worthy mascot for the XBox. Until that time however, it looks as
though we'll just have to give the Master Chief from Halo fur!
Blinx is revolutionary in
it's design and for collectors is an important title to have in your collection,
pretty much the same way that Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2 were, and actually for
somewhat similar technical reasons. Metal Gear Solid used the memory card to
distract the player later in the game by making reference to choices made
throughout the game. Blinx is the first XBox game to actively use the hard drive
as a source of entertainment generation as opposed to a convenient oversized
Add Blinx to your collection today for some innovative and fun filled gameplay!
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