Feb 25, 2012

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BloodRayne: Betrayal Review

I remember hearing about the Bloodrayne series a long time ago when I used to watch G4’s X-Play. I know that the main character, Rayne, is a lot like a female version of Blade, and that she and her father are in some kind of feud, because one hates the other, or something like that. Luckily, this is all you need to know to play the latest in the Bloodrayne series, Bloodrayne: Betrayal.

The game is mostly about Rayne as she infiltrates an underground castle. For some gamers this should ring a couple bells. This game reminds me of Castlevania in so many ways that if someone didn’t tell me the title, I would have thought it was Castlevania. The game plays through fifteen chapters and will probably take you an afternoon to complete, give or take how many times you die. (More on that later.)

Betrayal is a hack-and-slash, 2D side-scrolling platformer. The gameplay is pretty basic. Button mash until something dies, button mash until a group of something dies, jump here, jump there, rinse and repeat. Unlike some 2D hack-and-slashes, there aren’t many button combos you can perform. You can mash the attack button for blade attacks, quickly bite a bad guy, then make them explode, or just bite them to suck their blood and regain some health. You have to use this simple set up to the limits by knocking enemies into the air for air combos or using your gun to take down the weaker enemies so you can focus on the harder guys. This game keeps you on your toes at all times. One misstep could cost you. You can also back flip to reach higher platforms and treasure hunt for secret items. While that sounds simple, this game will kick the crap out of you.

This game is insanely hard. It may seem easy at first, but trust me, it gets harder. Just making it to the end of a level will require knowledge of every possible combo and all your wits. Betrayal likes to throw enemy after enemy at you and give you a surprise after that. One minute you’re bashing vampires and the next you’re dodging giant saw blades. It also grades you at the end of each chapter depending on your score. The game fails you so much, I was happy just to get a C on the seventh chapter. For some, this is a godsend. Difficulty may not be on the level of Dark Souls, but it still kicks your ass just enough to make the game fun. There is one spot where you have to do a long jump from platform to platform. The problem is Rayne doesn’t know how to long jump. It took me a half an hour and about ten deaths in a row to realize what I had to do to get across, and even that took an extra five deaths just to try to make it.

After you finally make it to the end, that’s it. There aren’t any secret levels or anything like that, but you can revisit any level you want to try raise your score for the leaderboards. There are also hidden skulls throughout each level that you can find.

I love the way this game looks. The characters are beautifully animated and the backgrounds are even better than that. The animation almost looks like Betrayal could be a Saturday morning cartoon. Along with this great animation, the music is pretty good. It’s not memorable, but it is very reminiscent of Castlevania as well. Merge these things together, and you have a artistic looking game that could be one of the best visuals I’ve seen in a downloadable title.

Bloodrayne: Betrayal is that game for one who loves a good challenge. For me, this game is great, based just on the art style and music alone. Thanks to the game’s hard-as-nails difficultly, it seems longer than just five hours, which is good for a downloadable title. Despite its flaws, Bloodrayne: Betrayal is still a fun title that deserves a download, especially if you like Castlevania.

BloodRayne: Betrayal
Platform: XBLA (Reviewed), PSN
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: September 7, 2011
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Publisher: Majesco
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
MSRP: 800 MSP/$10


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About Aaron Howard

Currently trying to get 100% completion on Final Fantasy XIII-2 and catching up on White Knight Chronicles II. I love all kinds of games especially RPGs. Writing, gaming, and movies are pretty much my life. Follow me on Twitter for more! @aaronpsp5 Xbox Live: AARONPSP PSN: AARONBUFFY