Title: Blood Alloy: Reborn
Version Tested: PC
Available On: Steam, Xbox One, Wii U and PSN
Developer: Suppressive Fire Games
Publisher: Nkidu Games Inc.
Official Site: http://www.bloodalloy.com/
Release Date: March 2nd, 2016
Where to Buy: Steam, Xbox One, Wii U and PSN
Blood Alloy: Reborn wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Here was a title that was suppose to be fast-paced, action packed and addictive through a leveling system to unlock more items and weapons. Although these themes are present, I still wasn’t satisfied with the final product. Maybe the turn off was due to how the game seemed like it was thrown together in a rush and distributed to the public at full price ($13.99)? Having doubtfulness in my own opinion, I decided to do some further research as I reached an unsettling conclusion toward my final score.
Initially launched as an unsuccessful Kickstarter project under the original title Blood Alloy, the development team Suppressive Fire Games seemed as if they didn’t want to quit on the 2-D side-scrolling, action project. Thus, the studio reworked the title and released the ‘Reborn’ edition on Steam. Although, I have never heard of Blood Alloy before reading the promises of the Kickstarter; I wondered if the title should have ever been Reborn at all.
Let me break everything down for you. There are three levels (not counting the tutorial) which are playable but only one can be accessed at a time. These levels are not worlds but petite, arena-sized maps with limited amount of exploration. However, the level design of each stage was well thought out from battling on factory rooftops to jungle trees and floating wood chips. No single player missions are found in Blood Alloy: Reborn. Surviving waves upon waves of countless enemies is the goal; along with separate mini-quests achieved by performing certain moves or obtaining a number of kills. Equipment can be unlocked but only a total of nine abilities can be expanded upon. Furthermore, over 60 items (music, weapons and levels) can be procured which should enhance the experience. Even though my explanation of the content seems like a substantial amount to strive for, the pace of progression was the downfall.
I found the lack of willingness to sit through endless waves of robotic minions bothersome. Every death I achieved made myself less interested in wanting to continue. The depressing result wasn’t because I was repeatedly kicking the bucket, but the absence of a clear objective did not maintain my thirst for better results. I had no urgency to progress through each failure or acquire experience through leveling up. The AI enemies didn’t assess the situation either – even if they were continuously attacking me from all sides. I felt the enemies difficulty level was supposed to increase the longer I lasted (it kind of did) but the improvement was so small it could be unnoticed. In some areas, I could stand in one place for a minute and nothing would attack me at all. The leveling bar hardly had any effect as I would watch it slowly increase – setting back the thrill to progress.
The final problem I encountered was glitches. Now, this isn’t necessarily the worst mistake picked out in Blood Alloy: Reborn but definitely an issue to be addressed. On several occasions I was stuck shifting through my equipment slots – basically a screen where the player can equip certain abilities obtained throughout the game – and backing to the main menu; regrettably, both tabs would merge together forming a whole mess of things. I would then have to reset the game – multiple times. Other complications were character model issues with collision effects from roll dodges or the main character being caught in a wall.
The positive evidence seamlessly holding the 2-D shoot ’em up together was a number of tricks and flips done throughout each stage. The tutorial found on the main menu screen does a fairly good job of explaining the certain abilities. There are several powers and acrobatic skills to be used – a total of 5 or 6. These consist of running along the walls/ceiling, using blades to repel enemy attacks, dodging and slowing down time, shooting normal or charge blasting shots, and jumping or sliding. A plethora of wacky chaos can ensue when attacking the foes.
Graphics found in Blood Alloy: Reborn copy the same style as older SNES titles like Super Metroid and Mega Man X. Explosions of robots and the blaster effects had satisfying animations. The soundtrack was incredibly loud. Pulsating dance beats and rhythmic bass made the combat situation seem like an immense rave of bullet-filled chaos. This softened up the painstakingly long gameplay experience by livening up the mood.
Blood Alloy: Reborn has potential through its fast-paced, hack and blast survival gameplay but only if the developers are willing to keep working on the title by offering more. A $13 value doesn’t make Blood Alloy: Reborn anymore appealing to the audience – unless more content was accessible. The lack of content, the harsh difficulty found in progression and certain glitches made me lean away from a high score for this title. If released as Early Access, then I would find the price to be a little more reasonable but due to the current state I can’t recommend picking this up until the game is improved upon.
- Gameplay: The control scheme is masked as an entertaining experience but overall doesn’t fulfill any enjoyment.
- Graphics: Achieves the stature of classic genres from legendary Super Nintendo games.
- Sound: Dance/house mixes while blasting metal cyborgs was the only thing worth killing anything too.
- Presentation: Would have presented itself better if more content was available for the price was given.
- Acrobatic moves are entertaining to perform while destroying robots.
- Level design has variety when engaging enemies.
- Soundtrack felt like a dance party.
- Not enough content for the price.
- Glitches can easily be spotted.
- Boring wave spawning
- No point in fighting without a purpose behind it all.