Ever sit at your desk and think, “Man, what the hell am I doing at this desk? I should be out there making a name for myself in the world!” Well, if you get access to things you shouldn’t have, you CAN make a name for yourself. I am, of course, talking about Bleed. But does Bleed succeed in its quest for dominance and making a name for itself?
The two words that can be perfectly used to describe is “COME ON!” This is one of the hardest games I have ever played. The last time I felt like this was playing Super Meat Boy over two years ago. Bleed is in all ways a throwback to the days when video games weren’t as easy as they are today. By not as easy I mean extremely difficult. Seriously, this is Mega Man territory Bleed is entering into. But there is something respectable and intriguing about it that doesn’t make it a lost cause.
Bleed is a classic shooter that is reminiscent of Contra and Mega Man and is a welcome breath of fresh air in the Xbox Indie catalogue. You play as Wryn, who decides to take down the current heroes as they have all lost their way and become washed up has-beens. The controls are extremely simple, left analogue stick moves, right analogue stick fires, LB switches weapons, and the right trigger is the jump button. With controls this simple you’d think that the game would be simple, right? Well, at times it can be fun, and other times it can be down right infuriating. There are only several levels, but there is enough replayability value here to make it last long, and like Mega Man and Contra, you’ll want to keep playing this game, especially if you are one of those types who like to beat games on the hardest difficulty. I, on the other, hand played the game on normal and I found myself wanting to both rage quit and smash my controller at least nine or ten times.
The five dollar price point may cause apprehension when you think of other indie games you can get for the same price, made by more established companies, but I can say this is one of those games that is extremely hard, yet very satisfying once you beat a level. The closest game that I can think of to associate with this is Super Meat Boy, another indie game, and as much as I hated how hard it was, I loved it all the more. One of the many good things about this game is that no matter how many times you die you have unlimited continues, but if you die at the middle of one of the checkpoints, you have to start all over again, which may make some of you angry. Don’t worry, it’s made me very angry.
The visuals are cartoon-y, and thankfully they work with the game’s direction. The audio is pretty much a throwback to classic games of yesteryear, and it actually works to some extent. The story, while being very thin, is funny enough to not be taken seriously. The difficulty, while being very rage inducing, tests your hand eye coordination, like the games from the arcade era. As much as I hate this game, I still really want to play a sequel, so go buy this game because it’s one of the best on the Xbox Live Indie Game market. I hope there is a sequel so I get to enter this world again. At least for Wryn’s sake.