It wouldn't be hard to write Blades of Time off as a botch of a video game. Its fantasy plot is entirely forgettable, its rousing and heroic score is mixed so weirdly that it often sounds like it's filtering in from an upstairs bedroom, and its voice acting is the kind of thing people lose Equity cards over. Its character models are dead-eyed and endlessly recycled, some of its central mechanics are implemented with staggering awkwardness, and several of the game's environments feature particle effects of such bizarre over-ambition that they reduce the frame-rate to single figures just when things are starting to get exciting.
There's a lot that's wrong with Blades of Time, then, but if you fight through the drab early levels, there are also a few things that are kind of right about it too. This isn't a game that you'd necessarily want to go out and buy. OK, it's probably not even a game that you'd actually choose to rent. But if you were, oh, I don't know, left it in the will of an eccentric uncle, say, it would probably be worth taking for a spin before you traded it in.
With that ringing endorsement still echoing in your ears, let's get down to basics. Blades of Time is the 'spiritual successor to X-Blades' - a turn of phrase that means the developers have ditched the cel-shaded art, changed a lot of the story elements, but left you controlling a mirror-world version of Ayumi, the pants-and-bra hack-and-slash heroine whose character design barrels straight past the point where she might be sort of sexy and heads deep into that strange emotional territory where all you want to do is get her a cardigan. She must be freezing.