Ah, the 360 indie market of olde.
The original Capital Wasteland, where there were no rules, and no mercy. The dreams were covered by the filth and the dirt of the streets, people looking for that easy cash from gullible Minecraft players, and the pre-pubescent teens looking for boob-filled adventurers. It was ultimately depressing but when you found that nugget of gold among the mud, it was bliss.
I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMB1ES!!!1, Mount Your Friends, DLC Quest and the fantastic Kodu Game Lab. All of these, and a little bit more, showed that the Indie Game idea from Xbox wasn’t a useless venture. Another hit was BLEED, a platformer from Bootdisk Revolution which showed a sleek-n-shine not seen for a while in the XBIG market.
BLEED tells the story of Wyrn, a woman with a big heart and an even bigger arsenal of weapons at her disposal. She has one simple dream, to be the best videogame hero out there, but there’s the issue of 6 who are better than her. So she comes up with one simple plan, and that is to kill every other hero in her way, naturally. She grabs her flesh-shredders and runs after them.
I never played BLEED when it came to XBIG, so I cannot really say whether there has been an upgrade to it. I can only merely assume that Bootdisk and Digerati, the publisher, worked on stuff since its 2012 release, which would explain the price hike of 100%. Even then, it wouldn’t really matter since you mostly get what pay for with this.
7 levels are contained here, and can all be completed in less than an hour, which was the developers’ intention, I believe. It’s trying to be an NES tribute and it shows, with the bite sized levels, the poppy chiptune, and the absolutely awful platforming, which we’ll get to. Where it has been upgraded in the gun play itself, which sounds superb. Bullets and Rocket’s fly past you to create bass-heavy BOOMs and the satisfaction of blowing these robots apart with such strong firepower is overwhelming.
The bosses are also brilliantly designed. Highlights go to Bunny Rockette and Gibby & Stu, both of which test your skills in the ways that proper bosses should and could, if developers and publishers weren’t afraid of the player coming across a challenge. The final boss fight against your rival is also another highlight, with him practically mirroring your play style, you have to figure out the own flaws in how you play, it’s superb.
What Bootdisk created here is so to-the-point that if anything else was added, the fusion they crafted would be ruined. It’s Mega Mans’ charm, fused with the skill ceiling and stupidity of Contra and the movement system of Ninja Gaiden. While it’s an attempt at creating the perfect NES tribute title, but touched up graphically, that attempt only captures the feel and not the essence.
The aformentioned movement system, for example, is hot garbage. Wyrn boasts a bloody quadruple-jump/boost, which has to be aimed with the right stick, which is also used for shredding monsters to pieces with your weaponry. Therefore, when the game introduces the mechanics of jumping and shooting at the same time in order to avoid death, you get an incredibly fiddly and annoying experience, trying to come to grips with this bastardized control scheme.
The ranking system can also get lost in a field of needles. The more lethal your progression, the higher your rank will go, reaching the esteemed “S” ranking. However, if you take even a single hit throughout the level, that rank is gone and it goes back to “D”, which probably stands for “Dunce”. I personally don’t agree with this because one mishap in the middle or end could ruin an otherwise perfect run. Devil May Cry got it right with just keeping it to a combo system. Here, it’s just pointless.
Aide from an Arcade mode, which tests your skills by trying to 1CC the game, and a Boss Rush mode, that’s it. There’s isn’t a whole lot of content here, but for what is on display, Bootdisk has attempted to polish to a mirror shine. Has it worked? I think not, and for the price tag of 10 bucks, I wouldn’t be surprised if you felt ripped off.
Where BLEED works is in the nostalgia trip it attempts and the satisfaction of the boss fights that follow. Where it doesn’t work is the awful control-scheme and almost everything else in between. This is a fast-paced punch to the gut that will be over before you truly enjoy it and there’s simply not enough for me to get into here.
A shame that BLEEDs dreams are so high and its outcome is low.
Half of the time, Bootdisk created a new Mega Man. The other half is basically a higher class Bubsy.