Proxy Blade Zero is a hardcore action game with technical combat. Play as Fenrir, a Guardian Proxy Blade, against the armies of King Anima.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (96 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 28, 2014
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Recommended By Curators

"Challenging Character Action game created by one dev team, a cool new twist on the genre."

About This Game

Proxy Blade Zero is a beat them all with technical combat. You will have to think fast to defeat the different enemies you will encounter. Parrying, using your boost and being creative with your combos are essential tools to your survival. Mastering Proxy Blade will require both your wits and reflexes. Be prepared!

Do you have what it takes to stop Anima and his army of rogue machines?

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista or superior
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 5750 1GB or Nvidia GTS 250 1GB
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Xbox gamepad recommended for optimal play
Helpful customer reviews
24 of 29 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
In short, the things like the music and graphics are decent. The graphics are very simple, but you can tell what’s going on, and it has a rather charming style to it. The music is fitting and nice to listen to, but it’s nothing spectacular. The story is almost non existent, it’s a simple “Good Guy is on a quest to stop Evil Guy.” story. So due to the simplicity of the other features, I’ll focus this review on the gameplay itself.

The game is a hack ‘n slash, character action, spectacle fighter, whatever you wanna call it. The gameplay seems simple on paper, but it actually has a fair amount of depth to it. That doesn’t mean you should expect something as deep as say Devil May Cry, or even a simpler Metal Gear Rising. But for what it is, it’s a lot of fun when you get the hang of it.

The game controls as follows: (with a 360 controller)

A - Use
B - Special Stance
Y - Attack
X - Guard
LT - Lock On
RT - Energy

Now, these controls may seem a bit strange at first. That’s one part of the game that’s hard to get used to, using Y to attack and X to guard. Now, if you’re a fan of action games like these, you’re probably used to using X/SQUARE for attacking. NOPE, instead you get the awkward feel of the Y button. When I first began playing it, this was quite an obstacle for me. I frequently found myself guarding when I wanted to attack, or just missing the timing of some moves.

So now that that’s out of the way, I should take a moment to talk about the combat itself. When you approach an enemy, you have a set of options. You can use Y by itself to combo together 3 Basic Attacks, this combo is your bread & butter. You can use Y while holding down RT to combo together 3 Energy Attacks, which are slightly faster and do a little more damage, at the cost of depleting your energy bar. Or you can press B to enter a stance, which allows you to follow up by pressing Y to do a Heavy Attack. You can also follow up to that with B-Y-B-Y for the full combo of 3 Heavy Attacks. X gives you a basic Guard stance, when you are attacked in this state, you parry an enemies attack, and leave them open for an Ion Burst (I think that’s what it was called). This will temporarily stun your enemy, allowing you to do a sick nasty combo on them. Holding down RT by itself lets you boost around and go fast. It depletes your energy, though.

All of the attacks can be used together to form long strings of combos, and doing longer combos fills up your combo meter, which makes you do more damage or something. It works the same as Devil May Cry’s CUHRAZY meter does, filling up more or less depending on what attacks you are using and how much you’re using them.

So, now that the basic mechanics are out of the way, it’s time to talk about what makes it good and what makes it bad.

The game has a very Dark Souls-esque difficulty to it. It’s really hard. Whenever you die, you get that feeling of “Are you kidding me?” and then immediately continue playing, because most of the time it’s your fault for dying. But that brings us to the 'most of the time’ part. Whenever the game feels like it starts to have a good flow, and truly feels like what an action game of this genre should feel like, there’s always something to trip over. Whether it’s the control scheme, the awkward timing of the parrying, or some enemy hitting you in the back and stopping your combo and momentum.

All in all, it comes down to one thing. Is Proxy Blade Zero a good game? No.

The controls are clunky, the flow of the combat is interrupted frequently due to some poor balancing choices, and to top it all off, it has no graphical options due to it being a direct XBLA port. However the game can be fun if you’re willing to see it for what it’s worth; Which is a $2 indie game made by one dev team. (It’s $2 at the time of this review.)

Final Summation:

PROS:

+Catchy soundtrack
+Stylish visuals
+Interesting combat system
+Fun/Unique bosses

CONS:

-No options
-Awkward control scheme
-Short gameplay
-Sharp learning curve
-Repetitive gameplay near the end

5.5/10
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
This was a game I had heard nothing about but took a random flyer on it during the recent Steam sale because it looked interesting and was only $1, and it's been a very pleasant surprise. Created by a lone developer, it's stripped down to focus solely on the combat -- a couple paragraphs of story, simple but functional graphics reminiscent of an uprezzed Unreal, no need to unlock moves, no bloated combo lists, no puzzles to solve, no RPG elements, just room after room of different configurations of evil robots to hack to bits.

Fortunately, the combat system stands up to the weight placed on it. You play some sort of robotic samurai, and can use a mix of standard melee slashes, special moves that work well against unshielded enemies, and powered attacks that cut through shields better but drain an energy meter that you also need to use for rocket dashes. The rocket dashes are one of two main defensive options -- they give you a lot of speed and maneuverability, but no invincibility frames so you have to make sure you actually get clear of whatever's attacking you. The other defense is a parry that blocks any melee attack and chains into an EMP blast retaliation that breaks shields and stuns the attacker, but a missed parry leaves you stationary and vulnerable. There's no scoring system, but effective play has a nice satisfying flow to it, and using all the available tools to pick apart varied groups of enemies is quite fun. It's especially nice to feel yourself getting better at the game when a particular encounter has killed you a few times and you go back and wipe it out with ease (I probably had a dozen deaths on the final boss before going unscathed when I finally beat it).

My biggest complaint is the controls not being remappable -- they're functional for the most part, but have some odd choices that took a long time to get used to (lock-on on LT, parry on X, attack on Y). Besides that, some enemy configurations wind up a bit heavy on passively running in circles while waiting for an opening to go on the offensive.

It's a nice, tight 3 hours (for me at least, playing on normal and getting a few game overs during that time), and ends right when it's explored the combat system and before devolving into excessive repetition. A real steal at $1, a bit more of a gamble at the standard $5, but if it clicks for you it'll justify that price. If nothing else, I'd at least recommend putting it on a wishlist for the next sale or watching for it to show up in an indie bundle.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
"Proxy Blade Zero is a hardcore action game with technical combat."
Truer words have never been spoken.

I mean this as the highest compliment: This game would have been right at home on the PlayStation 2.

As this game was on the 360 first, and the start-up urges you to use a controller, I will speak in such terms.
Y is your Attack. X is your Parry. Right Trigger is your glide (a "dodge" that isn't, but which is used AS a dodge, if that makes sense). That's pretty much it (and then there is a Lock-on with Left Trigger and another button that cycles your targets, but I never use it).

Any enemy that has a Shield can attack while being attacked. A button-masher this is not; you must be discerning in when you do what. Most actions can be cancelled into other ones - still, the game is very hardcore and very punishing of the slightest mistake.

When you encounter a new sort of enemy, the first battle with them is a 1v1 so that you might learn of their techniques. Very quickly, the rooms will mix and match the squads; each battle is challenging in its own way (to be clear, there is no randomness factor, except in the drops). You will die. A lot.
You start with 3 lives. Every time you enter a new room, that is where you will respawn. Enemies can drop Health and Lives - don't count on it. Once your lives are exhausted, you start the entire mission over.

Every aspect of the game is so simple - the main point of the game, the combat, is so rewarding once you can get into the groove of things. It's pretty amazing: Proxy Blade Zero is built around a methodical approach to combat, yet everything about it is so hectic; from watching your Battery Power (used while Gliding) to the stance of the enemy you're focusing on, to rushing to spin the camera around so that you can get a better feel for what you're facing, all while having to react within fractions of a second... I am hard-pressed to think of another game that utilizes its minimalism in such an effective way.

I absolutely recommend this game.

EDIT: The game is short though. That changes nothing, but it's good to know.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 29
When I started this game up I had no idea what to expect. I picked normal difficulty figuring it couldn't be that hard. When I played the tutorial, I thought this game was gonna be super easy. When I played the first level, I enjoyed the challenge. When I played the second, I was so sick and tired of this game putting me through hell. By the end? I just wanted it to end. And then? I came upon the final boss. I had 6 lives left. I figured, I can take this chump. 5 lives remaining. I began to adjust to his moves. 4 lives remaining. I had his moves figured out, and then realized he had a "final form". 3 lives remaining. I tried to adjust to his final form's moves. 2 lives remaining. I got ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off and let my anger entice me into making some stupid mistakes because I saw a way to possibly end the fight quicker. 1 life remaining. I took my patient time and tried my hardest, and my reflexes failed me. No lives remaining. I sighed, I couldn't do it. I was going to lose this game and uninstall it in a frenzy of rage and despair. I got to his final form, I took my time, realizing there was only ONE safe point to attack him every 30 seconds, and so I let the time roll on and I got further than ever before. My adrenaline kicked in and I repeated my formula that had brought me this far. I got him down to a sliver of health, i cheered! But then I made some lousy mistakes, and we both hung on our final slivers. I saw my chance, struck, and won the game, just barely.

Proxy Blade Zero is a challenging third person action hack and slash. You string together combos, dodge enemies at the right times, and adapt to the moves of new enemies who slaughter you upon first contact, but you slaughter by the hordes towards the end.

+The game looks insanely unique graphically. The setting is greatly displayed.
+The combat is smooth, fluid, and responsive. Just perfect for a game like this.
+The enemy variety is more than I expected for a game as short as this.
+The level design is pretty cool. You have to find discs that allow you to open doors until you get to a master key which unlocks the end of the chapter, rinse and repeat until the last boss. With a new surprise awaiting you on every level.
-The game is also extremely short. I beat it in 86 minutes
-The story is really...not there. You have to kill some ultimate bad guy with an army and you mow through his army and fight him. It had no effort put into it whatsoever.
-There is no actual replayability since the level design is not random, but linear.
-The tutorial teaches you how to play the game in xbox controls. I'M A ♥♥♥♥ING PC PLAYER. I DON'T USE A ♥♥♥♥ING CONTROLLER. TEACH ME HOW TO PLAY WITH A MOUSE AND KEYBOARD SO i DON'T HAVE TO CLOSE YOUR ♥♥♥♥ING GAME AND MEMORIZE EVERY LAST ♥♥♥♥ING KEY BEFORE I CAN ACTUALLY LAUNCH THE GAME. And that being said.
-The controls are ONLY visible when you have the game closed. Forget something mid-combat? "♥♥♥♥ YOU" The developers said. Along with not giving you a proper tutorial you have to exit the game just to check the controls, AND to change the graphics. Oh, that too...
-There's little to no graphics options. I know this is a console port but come on. MSAA and that's it? No textures? No Shadows? Lighting? Just that? This is PC. Not xbox. If you're going to do a port, then put some effort into it.

While the cons clearly outweigh the pros, what matters the most is how much fun you're having once you are actually in the game. And I had a whole bunch of fun. This game earns an 7.5/10, brought down that far by its many flaws. But the core gameplay is there, and it is good. But before I give this a higher rating I'd need to see major fixes into all those negatives. If any of the negatives bother you, don't pick this up. This game is abandonware. I have never seen them update this game. If they don't bother you? Then pick it up! It'll keep you entertained for an hour and a half at least. I do hope for an improved sequel.
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
This game is only for hardcore gamers. I could write here about horrible graphic or about painful soundtrack. I even could write here about no plot and short game play but difficult of this game compensates this. I thought i am experienced player but this game show me how wrong i was.
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