Indie Review: Bleed
Bleed is an arcade shooter and platformer created by indie developer BootdiskRevolution.
- Worth The Time?Yes, it's old-school at its finest.
- Things LovedThe gameplay is tons of fun and the mechanics work excellently, great level design, it's extremely well made, the boss battles are fantastic, there is a good variety of weapons, animation is really fluid, the art style is awesome, the story is light-hearted and entertaining, it has solid replay-value.
- Things HatedHonestly nothing except that it ends while you still want more.
- RecommendationIf you like old-school, arcade shooters and platformers, then Bleed is absolutely a must-buy. There's really no doubt about that.
- Name: Bleed
- Genre: Arcade Shooter, Platformer
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: BootdiskRevolution
- Publisher: BootdiskRevolution
- Price: R45
- Reviewed On: PC
You can pick up the game on its Desura page.
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Bleed is an arcade shooter and platformer created by indie developer BootdiskRevolution. Immediately, you can see that this game is right up the alley of anyone who values nostalgia and the old-school, and it’s hard not to take an instant liking to it if you do. The game puts you into the charismatic shoes of Wryn, a rather deranged girl who wants to be the ultimate video game hero by, well, destroying the Greatest Heroes of All Time to claim the title for herself. Her methods may be crazy, but her intentions are noble as heroes have degraded in this era, and she wants to show the world what a real one is. This setup opens the door for a very quirky, entertaining, light-hearted and funny narrative that you’ll enjoy going through with a smile, especially when those adorable cutscenes show up.
The gameplay of Bleed is fast paced and stylistically fluid. You’ll control Wyrn with the directional keys, and be able to jump and air dash up to three times in different directions, which makes for some really cool platforming. It’s really nice that you can freely control direction during an air dash, so it’s not rigid or static. But it’s not just for the purpose of platforming, as you can also use it to dodge and maneuver in combat, in addition to the awesome Time Slow ability governed by your energy bar. Usually, there isn’t much reason to get excited about a bullet-time mechanic, but Bleed just has a way of doing it that makes it so much fun to use in combat, as the screen zooms in close and the game slows down enough so that you can pull off insane dodges and aerial dives, accurate shots and weave through tight gaps in the face of tons of enemy attacks, which is reminiscent of old-school arcade shooters.
You start out the game with just your dual pistols and a rocket launcher, and as you complete levels you can use points you’ve earned to purchase new ones as well as permanent buffers like extra health and energy. At any time in-game, you’re able to change your equipped weapons, of which you can have two at any one time. There’s definitely a good variety of weapons, and you can unlock them all if you replay stages, try out various difficulty levels, and try to perform well in order to rack up more points. Any weapon you use will allow the game to be fun, whether it be your trusty old pistols, a shotgun, flamethrower, laser rifle or even a katana, which can deflect bullets if you time your swipes correctly. Bleed goes for quality over quantity here, and while it would have been nice to see more weapons, there’s just enough of them to keep things fresh throughout the campaign, and it definitely helps that they’re all effective and cool to use, so you won’t really feel like anything is missing here.
The game is extremely well made, and its mechanics work excellently. It’s just so entertaining to blitz and weave around with air dashes while raining bullets down on your enemies or pulling off crazy maneuvers that somehow end up working. Credit really needs to be given to the great level design and completely frustration-free gameplay, as you’ll never feel like you’ve died cheaply and, if you do meet your end, a checkpoint is usually a couple of moments back. The difficulty is just about right, although you have quite a number of options here ranging from very easy to really challenging. A big highlight of the game is also the fantastic boss battles, which are varied, always entertaining and creative, and that’s definitely impressive considering that you fight two in each stage. It never feels like too much because the pacing is spot-on, and whenever you encounter a boss it feels like just the right time for it. Without a doubt, plenty of talent went into the design of this game, and it shows in all areas of Bleed.
The only issue I had with Bleed was a nitpick really. I felt that it ended while I still wanted more. But if that’s the only “shortcoming” a game has, then it’s done a pretty amazing job and it really is great. Although for its price, Bleed does have a good amount of content. There are seven levels in the main campaign, and there’s definitely replayabilty if you want to try out harder difficulty levels or unlock all of the weapons and upgrades. Furthermore, you can unlock two additional gameplay modes, namely Arcade Mode, where you’ll try and survive the entire game on just one life, and Challenge Mode, where you’ll choose up to three bosses and battle them all at once. Lastly, there are three extra characters to unlock that spice up the gameplay mechanics a little bit for some added variety. Whether you delve into the additional content or not, Bleed is absolutely worth its very reasonable asking price.
Graphically, there’s everything to love about Bleed. It looks really great and wonderfully captures the old-school feel without compromising on visual quality, especially with its animation which is extremely fluid and awesome to watch in action. I loved the art style, and there’s plenty of variety across the seven stages to keep things feeling fresh. There are even action set pieces in the game that are really well-made, and there’s no doubt that Bleed is admirably polished. The soundtrack deserves praise as well, as it manages to be both cute and cool, and it complements the experience very nicely.
Bleed is really an immensely entertaining game that comes with the highest recommendation. It’s just a blast to play, and it’s extremely well-made. If you’re a fan of old-school arcade shooters and platformers, then don’t hesitate to buy this because it’s absolutely worth its very reasonable asking price. Charming, funny and plenty of fun, Bleed is exactly what you want to see in indie.