Genre: Action, Adventure
Compatibility (headsets): PS VR2
Platforms: PlayStation Store
Release date: December 20, 2023
Developer: Ikimasho Studio
Price: 27 $
Tiger Blade is an action, adventure Korean game, created by Ikimasho Studios, also famous for “Star Shaman”, that takes you through a cyberpunk-infused Seoul, combining the allure of neon-lit skyscrapers with the gritty reality of its backstreets.
The game, while not flawless, certainly delivers a punch. It’s a rollercoaster of intense combat, a gripping storyline, and a distinctive soundtrack that sets it apart.
Setting and Story Details
Diving into the setting and story of Tiger Blade, you’re immediately immersed in a Neo Noir-inspired Korea, playing the part of a Korean action hero embroiled in a high-stakes heist.
Entering the world of Tiger Blade feels like diving into a gripping movie plot. You’ll navigate a story riddled with betrayal, adding a cinematic touch to your adventure. As the protagonist, survival becomes your top priority in this dangerous realm, with the game’s mechanics putting your reflexes and skills to the test, emphasizing the stakes.
However, it’s worth noting that the storytelling aspect of the game could use some improvement, which slightly hampers the overall experience. Despite this drawback, Tiger Blade manages to provide a captivating peek into a Neo Noir Korean setting, making it a venture worth exploring.
Gameplay Mechanics Explored
If you’ve played Until You Fall, Tiger Blade’s gameplay will feel familiar. The progression system revolves around defeating different enemies to unlock the next level, akin to the structure in Until You Fall. What sets Tiger Blade apart is the critical role timing plays in its combat.
In this game, mastering the rhythm of your sword strikes and pistol shots is key to taking down foes effectively. It adds a layer of skill and strategy, making every encounter in Tiger Blade a unique challenge that goes beyond simple button-mashing.
Additionally, survival in Tiger Blade heavily relies on the strategic use of cover. Hiding behind objects not only shields you from enemy fire but also gives you a moment to plan your next move. Whether it’s a swift sword slash or a well-aimed bullet, each action requires careful timing and execution.
While the game demands swift reflexes, it equally rewards you, providing a sense of accomplishment with each conquered challenge.
The game’s ten missions can be played at your own pace, with the option to take breaks when needed or scout the levels for collectibles. However, after the first run and the story has played out, the game becomes about achieving target times and topping leaderboards, adding a replay loop offered from speed-running, which we enjoyed a lot.
We really enjoyed the fact the Tiger Blade offers something for the fans (like us) of speedrunning. The excitement of exploring traversal mechanics is showcased in the dynamic slashing of obstacles and the clever utilization of a grappling hook. Success in speedrunning hinges on quick reflexes and skillful navigation, adding an exhilarating dimension to the experience.
The game is easy to understand and pick up, but it is challenging to master, offering a balance that keeps players engaged and invested. The game also supports tracked controllers, adding to the immersive VR experience
Challenging Combat Features
Every enemy you face in Tiger Blade presents a unique challenge, each with its own distinctive level of difficulty. Their health points are clearly displayed, indicating the number of hits required to take them down. Some foes are even bulletproof, requiring you to cleverly utilize the katana. This adds an extra layer of complexity, turning each combat scenario into a thrilling puzzle.
The significance of not getting hit cannot be overstated. With no health regeneration, every hit carries weight. This places a premium on tactical evasion and deflection, especially as blocking bullets becomes more challenging as the game progresses. It’s a constant balancing act that keeps you on your toes, reinforcing the strategic element of Tiger Blade’s combat system.
Graphics in Tiger Blade
Tiger Blade offers great graphics and sharp and detailed close-up visuals. While some distant objects may exhibit a bit of shimmering and blur, it’s not excessive, preserving the overall visual integrity of the game.
The game’s environments are meticulously crafted, providing a rich and immersive backdrop for the intense action. The developers took their art and design team on a location-scouting trip to Korea to ensure the game’s settings were as authentic as possible. The result is a series of enemy-filled marketplaces, docks, alleys, and streets that players can slash and blast their way through. The character models and animations are also noteworthy.
In terms of performance, the game runs smoothly on the PlayStation VR2. The game’s graphics are optimized for the VR platform, ensuring a smooth gaming experience.
The sound design in Tiger Blade is equally impressive. The mix of fiery hip-hop and K-pop tracks in the soundtrack adds a unique flair, complementing the game’s Korean roots. Engaging sound effects during combat and traversal heighten the thrill of every move. Whether it’s the sound of bullets ricocheting off your katana or the hum of your grappling hook, it all adds an extra layer of immersion.
Criticisms, Improvement Points and Audience Reception
The game mechanics and progression in Tiger Blade are innovative, requiring strategic thinking and quick reflexes. Yet, it’s not for everyone. Its high difficulty and physical demands may deter casual players, while the repetitiveness may irk seasoned gamers seeking varied experiences.
Despite Tiger Blade’s captivating aesthetic and engaging gameplay, it’s not without its share of shortcomings.
The game’s primary weakness lies in its story, which felt underdeveloped. An expansion of the story could have provided a more immersive experience, fleshing out the protagonist’s motivations and the world around him.
The game length was also a point of criticism. It felt too short, leaving me desiring more content. This issue is further amplified by the game’s price point, which seems high for the amount of gameplay offered.
Although Tiger Blade offers a unique experience with its blend of arcade action and neo-noir aesthetics, it could greatly benefit from a stronger narrative, extended gameplay, and a more reasonable price.
With these improvements, Tiger Blade has the potential to shine even brighter in the PSVR2 landscape, even though there are plenty of other upcoming action VR games in 2024.
The game has a rating of 4.04/5 in the PlayStation Store, with most of the feedback being very positive.
In the end, Tiger Blade on PSVR2 is an adrenaline-fueled journey that tests your reflexes and strategic thinking.
Yet, it’s essential to note that Tiger Blade isn’t a one-size-fits-all adventure; the elevated difficulty level may not resonate with everyone. However, for those seeking a pulse-pounding challenge and an immersive journey, the game’s unique blend of visuals, music, and gameplay offers an adrenaline-fueled experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression.