Hoo Boy. If they were a pair of cartridge games back in the mid-1990’s for the SNES, Genesis or any other console of that era, I’d bet we’d see Bleed Complete Edition ($27.99) pop up on a few action game of the year charts back to back. That said, both games can absolutely compete with today’s high action games thanks to tried and true great gamplay. Both titles are gloriously over the top, non-stop, throw everything at you and watch you jump insanity with seemingly endless levels, 2-player co-op, boss fights that will whiten your hair and replay value way off the charts. There’s also a sense of pure unadulterated fun here that keeps things flowing through all the gameplay modes making even the easiest difficulty somewhat challenging for novice players.
Don’t let the simple looks fool you at all, kids. Both games will smack you around, lay down covering fire and drop all sorts of ordinance on your head if you attempt to take it easy. Badass heroine Wryn can take it as well as dish it out, but it’s up to your skills to keep her alive to fight another day. The gal wants to be a hero and certainly has the chops, as you can see below:
Developer Ian Campbell (aka Bootdisk Revolution) drew influences from all over the gaming map, tossing elements from classics such as the Contra series, Gunstar Heroes, a few arcade bullet hell shmups and more. The game is also packing a very solid sense of humor right from the get-go. Wryn’s got a kill list full of bosses to take down (a Kill Bill reference) and the game is pretty much her doing just that while trying to blast or avoid all sorts of heinously cute kitties, robots and other very well-armed baddies, sub-bosses and bosses. In between stages, there’s a cartoon news show that drops in some amusing bits that don’t wear out their welcome and yes, give your fingers a chance to cool off before more mayhem begins.
The game thankfully nudges you into things with the first stage being a sort of training level that evolves into a boss battle, and before you know it, you’re sucked into the game and camped out in front of your TV. Both games feature deceptive level design where you may think you’re at the end of a stage thanks to a hefty amount of combat followed by a boss fight, but then the level continues because that crafty boss you beat up on was more of a sub-boss. In addition to her shooting skills, Wryn can briefly slow time and dash, allowing her to avoid multiple enemies and/or dodge projectiles. Trying to play this as a “normal” run ‘n gun can be done to a point. But if you’re not using all of Wryn’s moves and learning to perfect them, the game is actually going to be much tougher.
The great thing is, in both games you’re never given that easy a time (well, other than those aforementioned brief pauses between the action), but despite the fierce challenge, it’s easy to keep a smile going. As with those classic arcade games, you’re getting two games with a load of replay value as well as more modes you wouldn’t find in an arcade machine back in the day. Eh, this review doesn’t do these games much justice at all. Just grab both either digitally or physically (as far as I know, that limited release two-pack is still only available at Play-Asia for $39.99, so don’t fall for an ebay scalper trying to rook you) and you’re all good to go.
Will there be a Bleed 3 to wrap things up? I sure as hell hope so.
Score: A- (90%)
Review code provided by the publisher