Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi enters the world of tower defense with Blade Guardian
When word first hit that Hironobu Sakaguchi would be bringing his considerable talents to mobile devices, legions of gamers found themselves sitting on the edge of their seat. What sprawling, majestic epic would he create? This was the creative genius who birthed the Final Fantasy franchise, after all. And then it happened; that first “epic” was actually an arcade-style surfing game called Party Wave.
It’s ok. We were confused too.
As it turns out, Sakaguchi-san has a pretty good feel for what makes a good mobile game – even if it’s not what his fans might be expecting. The second iOS release from his studio Mistwalker again caters to traditionally mobile sensibilities, though this time it veers much more in the direction of the strategy-loving gamer. That’s right – we’re talking tower defense.
Mistwalker’s Blade Guardian is a tower defense game that, despite looking like a run of the mill TD, offers plenty of challenge and some unique twists that should make this one an absolute must-play once released.
We’ve recently had a chance to go hands-on with Blade Guardian, and were pretty wowed with the smart design of the maps. Players are limited to only five different tower types (though each gets stronger with upgrades), and will need to use these to create paths to funnel enemies through – much like gamers did in FieldRunners. The difference, though, is that enemies can spawn from different camps on the map – and your base can sometimes be located pretty close to the spawn points.
The other thing that should help set Blade Guardian apart from the competition is the titular Guardian itself. A robot that you can add to your team by shooting down a vehicle that carries it, the Guardian will instinctively make his way towards one of the spawn points and attempt to obliterate it. If it encounters enemies along the way, it will engage them instead – eventually falling apart once enough damage has been taken. Luckily, the Blade Guardian has a little trick up his sleeve that lets you dictate his actions first hand.
If you’d rather turn the Blade Guardian into a mechanical ball of death, destroying everything in its path, you can take manual control of the robot using tilt controls that would feel right at home in Super Monkey Ball. The trade-off for all of this power is that it really will destroy everything in its path – your own defenses included – so you’ll need to develop some finesse when controlling this roly poly sphere of savagery.
Can’t wait to check Blade Guardian out yourself? You won’t have long to wait. Mistwalker is targeting an October 1st release date and a 99 cent price point. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the App Store to snag it the moment it comes out, or better yet, get notified on your phone as soon as it’s available for purchase courtesy of Gamezebo’s Wanna Play app!