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Blinx The Time Sweeper
Blinx cover
Developer Artoon
Publisher Microsoft Game Studios
Release USA October 7, 2002

PAL November 8, 2002
JPN December 12, 2002

Genre Platformer

OverviewEdit

Blinx the Time Sweeper is the first game on the Xbox about Blinx. 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 the world. The game revolves around Blinx's (then-near-unique) Time System: Blinx is outfitted with a magical vacuum cleaner, known as a Sweeper (or TS-1000), with which he can exert some control over Time itself; slowing, speeding up, recording, reversing or stopping its flow entirely.

PlotEdit

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. (By paying attention to detail, The Player can see that Blinx is the only Time Sweeper with a small bell on his jacket.) 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 Sweeper and proceeds to the chamber in which the time portal leading to B1Q64 is kept in. Although the rest of the Time Factory staff are against it, Blinx heads there anyway, and dives into dimension B1Q64 through the Time Portal moments before it closes. He then travels to several parts of the world, fighting the time monsters, and recovering the resulting crystals in a desperate attempt to save B1Q64.

After a long journey, he manages to catch up with the Tom-Toms and the princess in the Dome of Momentopolis. He follows them towards the main room, which is surrounded by several time crystals. Suddenly, a light emerges in the center of the Dome's platform, causing the Tom-Tom Gang and the Princess to freeze, and circle the light, along with the rest of the time crystals. Blinx, however, remains unfazed, and is forced to watch the scene. The combination of time crystals, Princess, and Tom-Toms creates the final time monster: The Time Golem, which can use time controls as well. Before Blinx can fight it, The Time Golem rewinds time, and forces Blinx to fight four previous bosses (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 Time Golem (Which appears to be an advanced version of the Gatekeeper with its stone armor removed), wins and saves the sleeping princess while letting the Tom-Toms escape.

With the Tom-Toms gone, and time beginning to flow in B1Q64 again, Blinx remains content that his mission is complete. As the Princess wakes up in the bench she was placed in, Blinx reluctantly says goodbye, and leaves. The Princess tries to follow him, but he jumps into a Time Portal anyway, and ends up back in the Time Factory to be welcomed by an applause from the other Time Sweepers. An announcement from the Mother Computer explains that World B1Q64 will not be cut off from the Time Factory, and Blinx is congratulated by the CEO of the Time Factory. It is possible that Blinx is given a promotion, and a new sweeper for this accomplishment.  After the credits roll, the player sees a message written by the princess (Her real name, Princess Lena, is revealed at this point as well). The message says that Lena has the time crystals that Blinx collected, and that she will use them for the most important thing of all. Using the time crystals, she rewinds the ending back to the part where Blinx is about to leave. Before he jumps in the Portal again, she wakes up, gives Blinx a hug, and thanks him.

Blinx the MascotEdit

GameSpy suggests that Blinx was proposed as a possible mascot for the Xbox system, rivaling Nintendo's Mario, Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and Sony's Crash Bandicoot, 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.

ReceptionEdit

Blinx received decent reception by critics and public. Reviews were, for the most part, average. GameSpy included the game in its "Most Overrated Games Ever" feature. 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. 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".

IGN claimed it was the best game of E3 2002, according to the back of the box.

Multiple people from across the Internet have all praised the music, due to it being one of the first platform games to include New Age music.

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