Charles T. White
Bluefire: When Hollow Knight Met Zelda
Have you ever felt like you just don’t have a platformer in your life? You’ve already beaten Mario Odyssey, Ratchet and Clank, and Ocarina of Time-three times already. Well this review has you covered because the 3D-platformer Bluefire might be the game you’ve been missing all your life. Developed by ROBI Studios and published by Graffiti Games, Bluefire entered my life on August 17, 2021 and didn’t leave it until August 21, 2021. I just remember being so glued to the game that I almost forgot I had other duties to do like (meet-up with friends). This lovechild of Hollow Knight and Ocarina of Time: Zelda is a “gem” that needs to be talked about...luckily I’m here.
The game starts off fairly simple as you are a mysterious swordsman who woke up in a lab and must embark on this journey to unravel the mysteries of Penumbra. Lore is revealed to you in the weapons you collect, people you talk to, and through a reoccurring Hero who guides you throughout your quest to take down the big bad Shadow Queen. As you can see, the game’s storytelling approach is akin to Hollow Knight with limited information about the character and Penumbra but it gets more Zelda-like with being outwardly blunt about what’s happening near the end of the game. I personally liked the story, although it does have some hiccups. Initially I thought you had to save all the fallen gods of that game’s world and then defeat the Shadow Queen, only to have myself save two-out-of-the-six gods and then fight the Shadow Queen’s bodyguard before facing the final boss herself. The plot felt kind of abrupt and incomplete near the end of the game which I would have to say is this game’s weakest point.
Progression in Bluefire is tied to these challenges called “Voids.” In order to gain more hearts, you will have to complete these “Voids” that will truly test both your platforming skills and your patience. I’m having bad thoughts just thinking about “Douklans Leap” again. These “Voids'' are not only worth it to complete for the new hearts but if you successfully complete all 16 “Voids,” you get a special robe that will come in handy while fighting the Shadow Queen. You can also upgrade your character by obtaining spirits which will get you new moves or abilities you can equip onto your character to really shake up that basic-ass combat. There are also cosmetics you can buy to change up the way your swordsman looks and I’ll say this: the infinity robe is the best one (look it up).
After finally beating the game after 5 days, I started to wonder why I felt this sense of accomplishment once the game was over? Then the answer hit me harder than my mom’s cooking on a Sunday morning: the game had an end. What do I mean by that? It felt like I did all the important things in the game such as all the main quests, side quests, and “Void” challenges. I was able to complete it all within a certain amount of time and not waste my time playing the game until some expansive DLC (downloadable content) was going to come out. The game had an end goal set and once it was over you were essentially done. It was after playing Bluefire that I realized that I don’t need to play games with some long expansive DLC constantly dropping, I just need a game with a good story and even better platforming. Bluefire has weaved its way into my heart and hopefully, after this review, it will weave its way into yours.