Boreal Blade from Frozenbyte is a team-based melee fighter now out on Nintendo Switch. Is it worth your time and money? Find out in our Boreal Blade review!
Frozenbyte ninja launched Boreal Blade without any warning, letting everyone know about the game, and that it was out and ready for download on Nintendo Switch. It was an interesting way of releasing the game, which is why I got in touch with the team at Frozenbyte to talk a bit about the game, in general, . Before I go any further, I did want to mention that the game is available for $19.99, and it has a free demo you can download which offers an interesting twist: those that download the demo will be able to play in an online game hosted by someone with the full version of the game!
Boreal Blade is a single-player/team-based melee fighter in which the overall premise for battles is that they’re not battles but debates! Debates are regulated battles in an arena. Only the bravest and skillful of warriors participate in making communal decisions. The gods, they say, speak through the warriors participating in the debates, and those that are victorious are the ones that champion the truth. Whichever cause was defended by the losing team is, therefore, considered as heresy.
You can participate in player vs. player duels, as well as in Deathmatch in which the last player standing wins. There is also a Team Deatmatch variant in which teams of up to three players face against each other. Another option is Boreal Battles which take place over multiple rounds in which two teams face-off, with those that are defeated being eliminated from the battle to see which team can win the most rounds. The last battle type is Boreal Claim in which one team is the attackers, and the other is the defenders who must capture and defend three areas, respectively.
You’ll move around with the left analog stick while using the right one to look around you. Your weapon can be sheathed and unsheathed with the D-Pad, attacking with the ZR button. If you hold down the ZR button for a bit, you will charge up a more powerful attack, which you can tell from the way your weapon will take on a red hue. You can also throw weapons with the L button once your fury bar is full. Attacking is only part of the equation, so you’ll need to pay attention to what your opponents are planning to do so that you can be ready to dash or roll out of the way, perhaps kicking after doing this, and then moving closer to unleash a deadly blow. Blocking is also a must, so keep your finger ready over the ZL button so that you can block as needed!
There is a nice variety of weapons available for Boreal Blade. There are one-handed weapons which are lighter to use and offer a good and fast attack while keeping one of your arms available for using a shield for some additional coverage – just remember that shields can and will break. Two-handed weapons are harder to block, which is a good thing since they’re slower to use than one-handed weapons. Pole weapons are deadly and offer a longer range, but if you miss or are fighting more than one opponent at once, you could be easily defeated.
Before you dive into a local wireless match or an online multiplayer battle, I suggest that you first go into the tutorial so that you can learn the basics as you get the hang of how things work in Boreal Blade. Here you can explore a small area where you will get to pick up a weapon from the ground and use it to slash at some big branches that are in your way. You’ll also get to roll around, sprinting into action to catch up with your opponent, eventually entering a one on one duel to test if you’ve been paying attention.
Something you always need to consider is that each weapon will have a different damage output for each hit that you land, and that charging your attack will increase the damage you deal. Each weapon also has a bleed attribute, which translates into for how long an opponent will bleed after being hit. The longer you charge up your weapon before attacking, the longer the bleed period will be, which is great since bleed will deal ten extra damage per second to your opponent.
Attacking is certainly a must if you want to win in battle, as it will allow you to deal damage to your opponents or to their shields, but you should also keep in mind that every time you successfully block or parry an attack, you will gain some health as a reward. A proper block or parry will turn your weapon blue, so be sure to pay attention to that so that you can learn more about what the right timing is when trying to block or parry your opponents’ attacks. And while you’re doing this, perhaps you might want to see if you can land a hit on an opponent’s head as this will deal additional damage.
You can customize your character by selecting its genre, voice, head, body, skin tone, hair and its color, facial decor, and its color, emblem, and helmet, chest armor, gloves, and leg armor die. As you level up, you will unlock additional options for your character. You can also change your loadout for battle with different weapons, helmets, gloves, leg armor, and chest armor. You can also add a jar of smoke that will reduce visibility, a fire flask that can be thrown on the ground to set the area ablaze, or a healing potion that can be thrown at your teammate or on the ground to heal some health.
Something else to consider is that there are three different levels of armor and how they affect stamina and armor boosts. Stamina boosts will make your character faster, and it will also get a boost to stamina regeneration. An Armor boost will allow a character to sustain one hit per boost without being harmed. There’s light armor which weighs much less than the other armor options, allowing you to move quickly while having two stamina boosts. Medium armor offers more protection against attacks, without being too cumbersome to move in while wearing it, giving you one stamina boost and one armor boost. Heavy armor, as expected, greatly protects your character while lowering your overall speed of movement, which is why you get two armor boosts, so your character needs to be hit twice before any real damage can be dealt to it.
Frozenbyte has mentioned it will continue working on Boreal Blade, listening to player feedback, and adding new features along the way. As is, Boreal Blade is a fun condensed team-based arena battle game on Nintendo Switch available at a budget $19.99. I was always able to find a match, and once you’re in you’ll probably be playing for a while since the game offers an experience bonus for playing consecutive matches, with all players sticking around for a new battle once a winner was announced.
This Boreal Blade review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Frozenbyte.