XBlaze Lost: MemoriesOverview -
It's a dangerous path trying to unravel the lore of the 'BlazBlue' universe. Trying to understand what precisely is going on just within the main titles is hard enough, but add in the side stories, and anyone interested in the universe's lore is going to have quite the time on their hands. One of these BlazBlue spin-offs is the 'XBlaze' series, which are prequels of sorts to 'BlazBlue' itself. 'Xblaze Lost: Memories' is the second (and reported to be final) title of this sub-series, and a direct sequel to 'XBlaze Code: Embyro'.
On the bright side, 'Lost: Memories' looks quite good. Instead of using the usual visual novel style of static portraits against a static background, the visuals are more dynamic. Characters move around a bit, and the game tries to show the action that's going on, instead of just describing it. This style is appreciated; it's not fully animated, but it feels as though the developers put more effort into the graphics than most games of the genre are given.
When traversing the halls of the Phantom Field, though, the art style changes to an odd pixel style. It's ugly, and the shifts between the two styles are jarring. It’s not as though all pixel art styles are bad, but Aksys' effort for this title come across as lacking, and as if they were slapped together during the last moments of development.
Much like any of the games of the 'BlazBlue' universe, 'Lost: Memories' has a great soundtrack. The tracks that play during tense times in the title are the best of the bunch, with all the rocking energy that the main BlazBlue titles are known for. As for voice acting, only Japanese voice overs are available, but those are pleasant enough. It's likely that Aksys was under a tight budget for this game, and an English track didn't fit the bill.
'XBlaze: Lost Memories' has the making of a good game. The production values for the audio and video are quite good, and those that have played 'Code: Embryo' will probably want to see what happens next. Unfortunately, the game fails on a major part of its storytelling. Essentially 'Lost: Memories' is going to end up boring and frustrating those who played the first game, but even those who jump in without playing 'Code: Embryo' are going to find the disjointed retelling a challenge to follow. Ultimately, as a visual novel and a sequel to a prequel, 'Lost: Memories' fails to carry an intriguing narrative.
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