Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Bleed" Review: All Bad Heroes Deserve To Die

Bleed is a fast-paced 2D pixel-art twin-stick shooter style action-platformer.  Wow, that is a whole bunch of loaded words.  But its also all true.  Bleed is an independent game from one-man developer BootDisk Revolution.
Bleed stars Wryn, a plucky, pink-haired girl action girl determined to become the next great hero.  How will she do itaaa?  Simple: kill the old heroes.  Why?  Because they’re not good anymore.  The best heroes of the world have gone bad in their old age, living off the proceeds of their earlier heroics, and remaining in power due to their reputations preceding them.  Its Wryn’s dream to become the next great hero, and how better to do that than to go and make all those old heroes dead?
Not a hero anymore.
To take her place as the newest hero, Wryn traverses several platforming stages, wielding various amounts of high powered weaponry, acrobatics, and bullet-time to defeat the former heroes and their minions.
Wryn controls with precision, and she needs to to beat the odds.  She moves at a quick pace, with excellent air control when she jumps.  While in the air, she can dash up to three times with complete air control, including the ability to make arcs and change direction.
Not a hero either.
When Wryn fights, well its a twin-stick shooter through and through.  She starts with trusty dual pistols and a rocket launcher, but can unlock more, including a laser, flamethrower, and a badass, bullet deflecting katana.  Press the right control-stick in a direction, Wryn shoots, not much else to know.  And then, of course, is Wryn’s other tool of heroism: BULLET-TIME!  Or rather, slow-motion.  She can slow down time for a short period of time, allowing more fine control over her moving, shooting, and dashing, and its needed to survive.
Wryn fights against exploding cats, giant worms, robot eyes, the insides of a giant dragon.  Each stage is punctuated by a by mid-boss battle against a giant robotic Core, and the gone-bad hero Wryn is there to kill.  These bosses are the real meat of the game.  Each one has its own patterns and tests Wryn's skills and reactions to avoiding their attacks while keeping up the pressure and beating them as quickly as possible.
In your base, opening your doors.
Wryn, she's also a bit self-aware as well.  She knows she's a character being controlled by the player.  She seems pretty okay with that, as long as that player isn't entirely bad at playing, and she'll let them know, on the continue screen, if she thinks you did bad, or it was bad luck.
Bleed also contains other options.  Stages are scored based on difficulty level, deaths, and a combo meter affected by making and taking hits.  A portion of that score is given to Wryn to use on upgrades to her health and slow-motion, and unlocking other weapons.  There's an arcade mode to play through the entire game on a single life.  Multiple unlockable characters give different weapons and slow-motion effects.
Or just running away.
Difficulty levels affect enemy numbers, placement, and aggressiveness.  Thankfully, higher difficulty doesn't affect how much damage Wryn gives or takes, which is often the method used to make things difficult for lesser heroes.  They don't hit harder, there are simply more of them.

But my bottom line, this is a good, short game.  The platforming itself is not terribly difficult, with the primary difficulty coming from dealing with enemies while performing the platforming, and going against the more complex bosses.  And the overall difficulty itself doesn't feel unfair, requiring performance over luck.  Its only a few dollars to buy, and worth the handful of hours it'll take to complete.

A Winner Is You!

Disclosure:  Bleed is available for PC on Steam, Desura, the developer's website, and  Xbox 360 Indies.  This review was written based on the PC Steam release version.

No comments:

Post a Comment