Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space

Review

posted 12/13/2004 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: Xbox
The Tom-Tom Gang are a bunch of evil-doing pigs that dress as if they were cast in a Monty Python remake of Road House. Their missions involve your character (which you get to create in the same fashion as the Blinx Team character) sneaking past guards in what can only be described as a bad variation on Metal Gear Solid. Although the Tom-Tom Gang can use weapons like mallets, guns, and rocket launchers, most of their levels revolve around you trying not to be seen. It’s merely a get in, get the treasure, and get out mission, which gets old awfully quick.

Thankfully the Tom-Tom Gang have a few tricks up their sleeves, including a number of super spy gadgets and ways to manipulate space. You can turn yourself invisible to help you slip out of sight or make decoys to get the guards off your scent. As you progress through their story the Tom-Tom’s abilities will become more useful and occasionally pretty cool, but not nearly as useful as what you get on the Team Blinx side.

In fact, the whole pacing of the Tom-Tom Gang missions are so completely different from that of Team Blinx you it could be a jarring experience. What is fast and some-what exciting with one character suddenly turns into a painfully dull experience you’d rather not be going through. Being that these levels add almost nothing to the overall story I found myself constantly wondering why I was even playing them in the first place. This is supposed to be about Blinx the Time Sweeper after all, not the poorly-conceived enemy characters.

Each of the teams gets to experience the different levels, each in their own way. The levels themselves are all pretty bland experiences that seem to riff on a lot of other famous platformers. A lot of the levels start to look alike after awhile, which happens even when the game introduces snow in the most predictable fashion. It’s not that the levels don’t offer new and occasionally interesting challenges, it’s just that they don’t go far enough to set themselves apart. Couple that with some unfortunate level design choices and you have yourself a pretty boring game.

Unless you haven’t picked up a new game in a couple years, chances are you won’t be very impressed with the graphics in Blinx 2. The characters look fine (if not a little on the ugly side), but nothing really stands out. None of the bosses will wow you, and chances are you’ll be more disturbed by the look of the talking cats than impressed. There are a few characters in the game that look downright creepy when they talk, and not intentionally. Still, it’s hardly the worst looking game on the Xbox and the visuals are never so bad you’ll want to stop playing. The game play takes care of that for you.

Although Blinx 2 does feature a number of two-player options it does not feature any Xbox Live support. Instead you get a two player co-op mode and a full on versus mode to contend with. In the co-op mode you get to play with a friend at any time, even if you started the game one-player. Ultimately the only real differences are the puzzles, which are slightly altered to make up for the two players. The versus mode, on the other hand, plays much like all versus modes, where you team up and try to get the most kills. You can have up to four players in the versus mode, but none of the levels are especially flashy and there is no chance you’re friends will ever want to play this over, say, Halo 2.

In a season filled with so many great games, it’s hard to recommend Blinx 2 even if you’re a die hard fan of platformers. The game itself is long, but without an interesting story, fun characters, or even challenging puzzles, this version of Blinx just misses the opportunity to make up for the first outing. Just move on, there’s nothing to see here.



F
Microsoft sneaks Blinx 2 under the radar for a surprise launch, but unfortunately it probably should have stayed lost and forgotten.


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