rev: A Blurred Line

I downloaded A Blurred Line (2.1) over the weekend while setting up a gaming PC after reading several glowing reviews of it on two online RPG Maker lists. While I had expected an experience similar to the contemporaneous Endless Nova, Ib, and the aborted Neophyte-series, I was ultimately disappointed. Despite an intriguing first act, A Blurred Line was a buggy mismatch of various games types from RPG to side-scroller appended to a discontinuous, contradictory, and ultimately unfinished plot. Yes, this game, that was first released back in 2001, was just the first installment of two- or three-game series that was abandoned. While I will replay the game just to acquire characters that I didn’t get during my first play-through, and to max out their levels, I doubt my sentiments will change.

Pro:

  • The city and factory stages were well-executed.
  • The dialogue was okay, except for the romantic scenes.
  • Interesting music tracks.
  • Interesting usage of randomly situated robots as merchants.

Con:

  • The inability to skip cutscenes and conversations.
  • Way too many flashbacks.
  • As opposed to Endless Nova and The Elder Scrolls, A Blurred Line isn’t an “open world” game. Depending on your actions you will miss out on a lot of the story and/or characters.
  • Not sure why Talan, the protagonist, was just a boy and his love interest was a 24 y/o woman who acted like a teenager.
  • Romantic dialogue was something a teenager came up with.
  • Short, confusing, incomplete plot.
  • Obvious usage of the Doom theme, twice!
  • The inability to change party members.
  • Acquired/absorbed abilities were not permanent. (They actually are, but it takes the character several successful absorptions to retain such abilities permanently. The console item will show this skill growth.)
  • The invisible robot boss was cheap.
  • The Kersh battle was cheap. Even with a glitched party with four characters, all at Level 20, he was impossible to beat due to a plot contrivance.
  • Kersh was a veiled Sephiroth clone. Contrary to the original, it was possible to have Kersh in your party. Even then, while Kersh was a cheap boss, he becomes woefully underpowered once he joins your party until he acquires powers.
  • Buggy. When one of my party-members was supposed to be kidnapped during a battle, the game actually kept that character in my party and then replaced Talan as the primary character. Not only that, this character would randomly stay on my screen during cutscenes. Of course, I didn’t complain during the battles when my original protagonist would’ve fought and possibly died alone.
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