Bleed 2 Nintendo Switch Review by SwitchWatch
Developer: BOOTDISK REVOLUTION
Publisher: Digerati Distribution
Release Date: March 8th, 2018
File size: 175 mb
Bleed 2 is the first game I had the honour of playing for SwitchWatch. Due to being very overexcited while writing this one, there was always a constant concern lingering within me. Taking a dive into cold, unknown water is never easy in any field. But I am very glad I did more than just poke my toes in it and was given the opportunity to do so. As the first female member of the team, I am especially proud that my debut review will be Bleed 2.
I have not played the first Bleed, and you do not need to do so, either. Part 2 does indeed pick up where the story left off in Bleed, but you will catch up real quick since it is not a heavily story-driven game. Action and challenge is again the main point here.
So, it comes as no surprise to returning players Wryn is still the same cool, pink-haired girl she used to be in the previous title. As the game begins, she sits in front of her videogame console when a loud noise is heard outside. Sounds like trouble…! With duty and curiosity in mind, she jumps up to give you a little tutorial on the controls as her journey to prove she is still a hero starts!
Ian Campbell, the only man behind the curtains of Bleed 2, did an excellent job of delivering a sequel where Lady Wryn can prove her status of being a hero again. She is well-known by now; her entire fights against various bosses and evil-doers are reported on in little news articles. You can even watch events unfold live on a television broadcast about the invasion of aliens as Wryn fights against them with a dramatic turn of events. The news is hosted by a fellow resembling a sunflower. Anyone who played Bleed 1 will recognise the anchorman for sure! It is a cute and unique way, in my opinion, to spice up that pixel fun even more from the beginning!
Of course, Bleed 2 holds to its roots. Heavily inspired from the SNES era, you get great guitar riffs and upbeat sounds to the maximum. All of the tracks are packed full of nostalgia and tailored perfectly to the atmosphere. It likes to serve to the player. You won’t get tired of those catchy tunes, and with a good variety of songs you never will as well. I found joy in listening to some music tracks while writing this review, too!
The sounds of flying bullets or the slashes through air and enemies by your katana are as satisfying as they used to be in Bleed. Did I mention it really feels great to dash through the air, too? The reason for that is how crisp the sound is. The game does not lack great effects while dashing through the air. Giving Wryn herself a real voice in intense battle is a great improvement in my opinion to underline her bubbly personality better than in the previous title. And hearing the endless hail of bullets or rockets blasting through the environment makes you simply feel amazing! (Even greater if they’ll hit their target, too!)
Not to forget, letting our little bundle of energy jump high in joy after a victory and hearing her feisty laugh is just the best treat for me!
This game has a charming 2D pixel art style and is a nice improvement over the original one. Comparing them, you can notice that the environment got richer in its appearance. The visuals are brushed up and vibrant as the colour of Wryns hair. The homage to the 16-bit-era looks really nice. You might have seen more spectacular titles, but all the characters have personality in their unique looks. Bleed 2 manages a perfect balance between visually appealing levels and always knowing what objective to achieve in them. If you compare both titles, it is crystal clear that Bleed 2 benefits from its prequel in level-design and its appearance. Enemies appear more detailed and so is the background which will pass relatively quickly while you battle your opponents. You will probably often miss them because you are so busy all the time. Don’t get me wrong. After seeing footage of Bleed, the background looks great – but somehow it touches up a notch in the sequel.
The screen often gets so busy that you will be grateful for Wryn’s obvious hair color. Nevertheless, it runs fluid like a waterfall. No matter if you play in handheld mode or on a TV screen, the performance is consistent and smooth. I am glad this port runs as well as the first Bleed does. If you are defeated by an enemy, you won’t mind too much. Like Wryn says in the game “No worries! You will be back in a sec!”. Essential in a fast paced game that this indie gem is and to not kill off the fun.
Coming around the corner with nothing new in the bag, the game feels great, and according to Juan’s review, the former one did, too. The controls are basically the same. You use the sticks on both controllers as you blast your way through the seven new levels. Wryn has the ability to slow down time again, and it is important as ever to use your triple jump abilities in battle as before. With few improvements on that, I will not dive too much into this and repeat a story that Juan already told.
Bleed 2 is Challenging but also Forgiving
What I am dedicating a little bit more depth into are the various modes Bleed 2 has to offer. While the story mode makes a serious attempt of stopping you from rescuing the world in its four different levels of difficulty, you will encounter new bosses as well as some who will remind you of former ones. Campell knew what he was doing while designing his levels by preventing you from getting frustrated with a forgiving checkpoint system. However, battling became less appealing for me because of that. Replay value is high, but there is just not much of a chance to prove yourself. After completing the story mode, you can do another difficulty setting, and you will unlock more characters and weapons to start the next round of Bleed 2.
If you fancy even more of a challenge, you can try your skills in Arcade mode. You can pick between having the full selection of weaponry and characters or starting as it would be your first game ever but with only one life. You can also play Endless mode which the title is pretty self explanatory. You pick easy, normal, hard or very hard and jump right into the action. When you pick the optional “challenge” in the menu, you can enter your desired degree of difficulty and up to three bosses you want to battle. You can pick the ones that made you scream in agony or the ones you quite enjoyed beating the hell out of.
Eight Unique Weapons
There are many ways to beat your opponents. You can equip up to eight different ones, from a katana up to a chainsaw or a rocket launcher. Each one of your picks provide various benefits and pitfalls, so you can adjust it to your unique playing style as well as adapt to the weaknesses of the baddies you face.
I have not played it myself, but Bleed 2 offers a mode where two players can actually fight together. There is only an option to play local multiplayer, though. Nevertheless, I did some digging around and found out, that it runs very well.
Now to the important point: Is this game worth your hard earned cash or not? I thought a lot about that point and came to the conclusion that I love this game. It is fun, addicting and made me withdraw from the group chat the boys and I have to discuss our work quite often. A code was kindly provided for review purposes to SwitchWatch, but putting that aside, I would have bought this game but possibly because I don’t already own the first game.
Do not get me wrong, I can recommend this game wholeheartedly But, if you were able to play Bleed on any platform before, Bleed 2 does not offer enough new features to warrant a full price purchase. As this is my time with the Bleed series, I had a blast with it. Ian Campbell really did a great job, but that story mode was a little too easy on normal. You could beat it in about one hour. The prequel was like that also so just bear that in mind. If you already own the first then this will give you more of the same and could have done with some online modes.
* A review copy of this game was provided by Digerati Distribution.
Interesting and fun boss fights
Smooth controls, great music
Very short story mode
Online multiplayer is missing
Overpriced, even with high replay value