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Blinx: The Time Sweeper
Blinx - The Time Sweeper Coverart
Developer(s) Artoon
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studios
Platform(s) Xbox
Release date(s)
  • PAL November 8, 2002
  • JP December 12, 2002
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone (E)
PEGI: 3+
Media/distribution DVD

Blinx: The Time Sweeper is a platform game developed by Artoon and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was released for the Xbox on October 7, 2002. A sequel, Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space was released for the Xbox in 2004.

Introduction

Advertised as "The World's First 4D Action Game", Blinx is a third-person platform game, in which the player controls Blinx, a Time Sweeper, on his mission to prevent the end of dimension B1Q64. The game revolves around Blinx's Time System: Blinx is outfitted with a magical vacuum cleaner, the Time Sweeper (or TS-1000), with which he can exert some control over Time itself; slowing, speeding up, recording, reversing or stopping its flow entirely.

Plot

In Blinx: The Time Sweeper, the player takes on the role of Blinx, an anthropomorphic cat who works at a facility known as the Time Factory. The Time Factory is a facility located outside of Time, dedicated to the creation, distribution and maintenance of the flow of all time throughout the universe. When glitches or corruptions in time are found, the Time Factory dispatches Time Sweeper agents to locate and correct them. Left unchecked, temporal glitches can manifest themselves into malevolent Time Monsters, roaming freely among dimensions, distorting everything with which they come into contact. When a gang of evil pigs known as the Tom-Tom gang begin stealing and destroying Time in dimension B1Q64, it becomes temporally unstable to the extent that the Time Sweepers decide that it is safer for all dimensions if the supply of time to B1Q64 be halted, suspending it and its inhabitants indefinitely. When Blinx receives a message from a young princess trapped within the doomed dimension, Blinx grabs his Time Sweeper and dives into dimension B1Q64 through the Sweepers' Time Portal moments before it closes.

After he manages to catch up with the Tom-Toms and the princess, they suddenly freeze and get spun around. This creates the final boss which can use time controls as well, so it forces Blinx to fight four previous bosses by using REW (all of which are the harder vesions of the ones that you fight in rounds 1, 2, 3 and 5). After he defeats them all again, he fights the final boss, wins and saves the sleeping princess while the Tom-Toms get away. Then he jumps into the Time Portal and ends up back in the Time Factory to be welcomed by an applause from the other Time Sweepers. After the credits roll, the player sees a message written by the princess (her real name, Princess Lena, is reveled at this point as well). Using the time crystals Blinx gave her, she rewinds the ending back to the part where Blinx is about to leave. Before he jumps in the Portal again, she wakes up and gives Blinx a hug.

Time Controls

Blinx Time Controls

The Time Sweeper Blinx possess places six different Time Controls at his disposal. Five of these time controls are based on controls commonly found on VCRs and the sixth, RETRY, is unique.

To gain Time Controls, Blinx must first collect Time Crystals. The Time Crystals appear as shining, floating, spinning crystals in the game world. Blinx can collect the Time Crystals in any order, but when he possesses four at once, they are converted into Time Controls. If Blinx holds three of a particular Crystal, he gains one use of that Time Control. If Blinx holds four of a particular Crystal, he gains two uses of that Time Control. Other combinations are discarded.

Time Controls are stored in the Time Sweeper, up to the maximum number of Time Holders Blinx possesses. Blinx must have a Time Control use in his possession in order to activate it.

Blinx can trigger any of these first five Time Controls at any time:

  • REW - Two purple chevrons pointing to the left. Time Crystal - Purple 'plus'. This causes time to run backwards for everything in the world except Blinx himself. Bridges and other elements previously destroyed can be restored with this Time Control no matter how long ago they were destroyed. Useful when there is a stream with a one-way current or you need to go up a waterfall.
  • FF - Two orange chevrons pointing to the right. Time Crystal - Orange pyramid. This causes time to run rapidly forwards for everything in the world including Blinx. During FF, Blinx is invulnerable to damage from time monsters or environmental hazards: any contact will cause FF to be cancelled, and Blinx will be unharmed.
  • PAUSE - Two light blue rectangles. Time Crystal - Blue crescent moon. This causes time to stop for everything in the world except Blinx. Scenery elements are frozen during PAUSE, and can be jumped on to reach hidden areas. Also, he cannot use switches and jump pads.
  • REC - Green circle. Time Crystal - Green diamond. The first phase of REC is 10 seconds of 'recording' time, where Blinx is invulnerable to all damage, and can move as normal. When 10 seconds has elapsed (or Blinx has been lost to an unrecoverable environmental hazard), the world and Blinx will be rewound backwards for 10 seconds, and the same period of time will be played. During this 'playback', the actions taken by Blinx during the 'recording' will be shown as a green ghost, allowing for enhanced combat tactics to be used, or puzzles that would require two players to be solved(such as a seesaw).
  • SLOW - Yellow triangle pointing to the right. Time Crystal - Yellow star. This causes time to run slowly for everything in the world except Blinx. Scenery elements are slowed during SLOW, and can be jumped on to reach hidden areas.

There is a sixth Time Control, called RETRY. This Time Control cannot be triggered manually, it is triggered automatically when Blinx is knocked out by an enemy or lost to an infinite chasm. If Blinx holds no RETRYs when he is knocked out, the game is over.

  • RETRY - Red heart. Time Crystal - Red heart. RETRY causes everything in the world, including Blinx, to rewind to a point where Blinx should be safe.

Blinx can hold any combination of REW, FF, PAUSE, REC or SLOW up to the number of Time Holders he possesses. He begins with three Time Holders, but you can gain up to 10 as the game progresses. The Time Control RETRY requires a special type of Time Holder, called a Retry Holder. Blinx begins the game with three Retry Holders, but can hold up to nine (an allusion to the lore that cats have nine lives).

In each stage, Blinx must travel from the Start Gate to the Ending Gate, eliminating all Time Monsters that exist on the stage. Each level has a time limit of 10 minutes.

Bosses

There are bosses Blinx has to fight at the end of all 9 rounds. The bosses are stronger forms of certain enemies that Blinx sees in the same rounds that the bosses are in. Every time a time monster is defeated, it drops gold that will disappear after a period of time.

  • Dust Keeper- Appears in Time Square. The Dust Keeper is a yellow blob monster with no legs but a big round blobby texture with numbers all over its body and has a normal sized body with arms. Its head has a short green beard with its fangs sticking out and horns on top. The Dust keeper carries a staff that creates trash to throw at Blinx. Its attacks involve shooting trash, launching a 16-ton weight and other trash or jumping on Blinx.
  • Kerogon I- Appears in Deja Vu Canals. The Kerogon I is a giant frog like monster with fangs, a lizard tail followed by spikes, and a pointy arrow shaped thing on the top of its head. The Kerogon I's attacks involve shooting trash from its mouth, and jumping up in the air to land on Blinx. The Kerogon I cannot be hit in the face by trash because it eats whatever Blinx shoots at it and gets bigger and slower. The only way to defeat the Kerogon I is to attack from behind the best way to defeat it is to use either pause or slow to get behind it and shoot.
  • Molesaur- Appears in Hourglass Caves. The Molesaur is a fish monster that has three mouths. The Molesaur hides underground and attacks Blinx from below. It can be hit easily when it eats one of the small platforms. It is also known as Sandworm.
  • Dust King- Appears in Forgotten City. Looks just like the Dust Keeper, but is red and has 2 staffs. The Dust King was seen in the introduction scene of the game. The arena is in midair made up of hexagon shaped tubes. The Dust Herder can do the same attacks as the Dust keeper but it has more attacks. It can shoot rapidly and constantly bounce toward where Blinx is standing. When half of its life is gone, it has one staff.
  • Juggernaut I- Appears in Temple of Lost Time. The Juggernaut is a robot made of slime using junk as its parts. The slime robot's face is a pig nose shape with two arrow pointing downward on each side. The arena is a stone square platform surrounded by a spiked floor. The Juggernaut I can transform into a ball and roll at Blinx. In ball form, the robot is invincible. When the robot gets hit, some of its parts disappear and 3 robotic slime balls appear from the robot. In the level, the robot can make a total of 12 slime balls. When the robot transforms back into a ball, any remaining slime balls revolve around it. The Juggernaut I is defeated when all of its parts are gone and all what is left is the face that slowly fades away.
  • Kerogon II- Appears in Mine of Precious Moments. The Kerogon II is orange. This giant frog here, has the same attacks as Kerogon I like eating projectiles. The difference is that Kerogon II charges at Blinx instead of jumping on Blinx. When the Kerogon II has a red aura around it for more than 5 seconds, it will charge at Blinx and follow him. This attack is extremely unavoidable unless Blinx shoots trash into the Kerogon II's mouth to make it big and slow, or use the slow time crystal. Shooting the Kerogon II from behind ought to beat it.
  • Hydrosaur- Appears in Everwinter. This giant blue fish creature is very cowardly and hides a lot. The Hydrosaur's battle field is a big icey and snowy arena. The Hydrosaur can jump out of the water and create a shockwave to blow Blinx out of the arena and into the freezing water. But if Blinx does not fall in, he can use a pause and then hit him. The only other time the Hydrosaur is vulnerable is when it is eating the snow clumps. Every hit after the second the Hydrosaur takes, it destroys one platform of the arena which Blinx stands on so Blinx better choose wisely! It is also known as the Ice King.
  • Juggernaut II- Appears in Forge of Hours. This robot has red slime now. As Blinx enters the arena, the metal pig nosed face appears, it forms a humanoid slime body, then takes every piece of junk off the arena, forming the robot. The arena is a circular machinery platform that moves and changes in different ways. Juggernaut II in ball form is twice as big as the last one, and might roll towards Blinx more than once. Unlike Juggernaut I, Juggernaut II is not vulnerable until all three slime balls it creates are destroyed. After the first hit, it starts controlling the arena and making it move. Juggernaut II starts losing its color once half of its life is gone. Just like the Juggernaut I, its face is all what is left then fades away when it is defeated.
  • Mystery Boss- Appears in Chambers of Time. This rock ghousty thing is almost impossible to defeat. When Blinx catches up with the TomToms on masive chains they sudenly stop and turn around. Blinx carries on going towards the arena; all he sees is a couple of stones. The stones then start to float and form a ghostly body with the little arm detached from the body is floating and the big arm attached it has a clock for a eye slowly changing all the coulours then it takes all of the player's current crystals and controls then sends the player back using REW to fight the bossses from stage 4,6,7 and 8 after the player defeats them the player will be in the shop. If the player collected all the Cat Medals, the player can buy the Ultimate Sweeper lvl 4 to suck up sand 16 ton weights and water if the player can't afford it or havent got the medals buy the Flame sweeper it will set the boss on fire do increase the damage the boss can re-steal your crystals and use them against you the clock on it will stay a time crystals colour for a period of time (1 to 2 min) before using it. It can also spawn bombs that are about to explode. Quickly use pause to suck up 1 bomb before it absorbs the crystals power then find its weak spot and shoot it after defeating this boss it will glow white and light will shoot out from it then it will explode revealing the princess in a transparent bluey bubble then the credits will roll after blinx goes back to the time factory where he will get a big welcome home party!

Blinx the Mascot

GameSpy suggests that Blinx was proposed as a possible mascot for the Xbox system [1], rivaling Nintendo's Mario, Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog, Sony's Crash Bandicoot and Atari/Namco's Pac-Man since the main character of Halo: Combat Evolved (Master Chief) was considered too violent (and also lacking in identity behind a visor). Due to the game's unpopularity, it never achieved the suggested goal and Master Chief is unofficially seen as the mascot, though Blinx was in fact proposed as the mascot for the Xbox in Japan for a while.

Blinx was seen in the "You are watching..." bumper that appeared after every show on the Nickelodeon GAS network. [2]

Reception

Blinx received decent reception by critics and public. Reviews were, for the most part, average [3]. GameSpy included the game in its "Most Overrated Games Ever" feature [4]. Although the graphics were generally praised, the game's execution, notably the control method, was considered to have resulted in the game being too difficult.

Saleswise, by 2003, 156,000 copies were sold.[5] In 2003, Blinx also entered the Platinum Hits range (as part of the all-age Platinum Family Hits).

GameSpot editor Greg Kasavin gave it a fair rating, noting that players get a sense of relief from completing a level, rather than enjoyment or satisfaction. Electronic Gaming Monthly scored it 7.5/5.5/8: the second reviewer found the game to be tedious and repetitive, but the third believed that "issues aside, the unique style and play mechanics make [it] stand out".[2]

External links

Notes

  1. http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/xbox/data/561518.html
  2. "Blinx: The Time Sweeper". Electronic Gaming Monthly. December 1, 2002/September 15, 2003. Archived from the original on March 10, 2004. http://web.archive.org/web/20040310175055/www.egmmag.com/article2/0,4364,1498875,00.asp. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
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