Almost every gamer out there has thought once or twice in their life that it would be awesome to be the hero in a video game. Get to save all those princesses, defeat evil armies and their malevolent overlords, and be adored by the entire planet that has just been saved. It sounds amazing, but you can’t just go out and wage war against every evil corporation out there. I mean it just isn’t practical. Plus, going guns blazing and mowing through waves of ‘bad guys’ has to be totally illegal. Luckily for most of us, we can live vicariously through virtual worlds without any implications on reality. However, Wryn is tired of playing games and wants to be a real hero, and she will go to any length to do so.
Bleed is a platformer developed by Nephilim Game Studios and published by Digerati Distribution. It tells the story of Wryn, a girl with a huge dream-to become the greatest video game hero of all time. Tired of sitting around and being a nobody, Wryn wanted to make a name for herself. This sent her on an adventure through creepy caves, monster-infested mansions, and even the belly of a dragon (yes, you fight through the insides of a dragon…what is more badass than that?) Wryn is determined to be the best in the world and will stop at nothing to make her dream come true. Can you achieve her goal and be the greatest hero of all time?
The game mechanics of Bleed have the player controlling Wryn throughout various environments destroying enemies and in the end reaching a final boss. The game has seven different stages and some stages contain a sub-boss about halfway throughout the level. It is good to know that Wryn has a humongous arsenal of weapons. From rocket launchers to shotguns and dual pistols to even flamethrowers, there is something for everyone and each weapon acts and effects bosses differently. There is also a combo system similar to one present in Devil May Cry and the higher the combo, the more points you will earn. These points go to upgrading your health, your energy, and adding more weapons to your armada. While health and weapons are pretty self-explanatory, the energy meter is a bit different from what I am used to. The energy meter allows Wryn to go all Neo on the enemies and bend time to her will.
Besides the main story mode, Bleed provides an arcade mode and challenge mode. The arcade mode goes all Old School on you and asks you to beat the entire game with only one life. That’s right, no health regeneration, no health pick-ups, and seven straight levels without saving or dying. Now doesn’t that just sound like hell…I mean nostalgic, yeah let’s go with that. Challenge mode on the other hand is a fun mode, in which you face off against bosses of your choice trying to learn their pattern and master the fight to prepare for the perfect arcade run. Or, if you are feeling brave, you can wage war against three bosses at the same time. Don’t worry, it is only one of the hardest thing to do in this game and you get nothing for it (other than an achievement).
The visual aesthetics have a sketch book vibe to them and this is brought together with images of Wryn drawing in her notebook every once in a while. I felt as if the game was an illusion that Wryn made through her drawings. It felt as if she jumped into a story that she was creating and would explain why she wanted to become the best hero she could be. The visuals were also very retro, reminding me of game like Contra or Metal Slug. I can’t really say much about the soundtrack. It was upbeat and provided some intense music during the boss fights, but it really wasn’t anything to write home about.
If there is one thing that I would stress to anyone about this game is the unbelievable difficulty curve that is present. I played through the game on the Easy setting so I could get through it quickly for the purposes of the review. I then dabbled in the challenge mode and arcade mode. All was fun and good, but then I tried to play the game on Normal to see how it was. It was ridiculously difficult, way more than it needed to be and that was just on the Normal setting. I couldn’t imagine if I play on Hard or even Very Hard. This game gave the retro feel and the difficulty sure as hell adds to it. I understand the game wanting to be difficult, some games have that façade, but when a game provides various difficulty settings, the lowest one shouldn’t be the only one that is fun to play. It just shouldn’t be and I don’t understand at all why this game has this large of a difficulty spike from Easy to Normal.
All in all, Bleed is a fun little title that can be very difficult at times. I would recommend picking it up if you are wanting a retro-style title for a cheaper price. It’s fun, fast-paced, and quick to pick up, but it may be a bit difficult for most.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review
Final Score: 7.5/10
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