The Game Tutor Grades Blood Alloy: Reborn
When Blood Ally: Reborn first appeared in my sights I kind of thought it was a game in the vein of Contra. What Blood Alloy: Reborn actually is, is a 2D score attack twin stick shooter set in one of 3 arenas that sees you last as long as you can against waves of every increasingly difficult and numerous enemies.
The game has a strong 16-bit visual style and looks good unfortunately I am not a great fan of the camera which rather than centre around the character like most games in this genre seems to always be playing catch up and as such you are forever not able to see things off screen that you really should be able to. Equally this camera catch up actually made me feel a little motion sick at times which is incredibly rare for a 2D game but the developers have stated this is something they are going to be fixing.
As you play the game you gain levels which allow you to unlock new levels and gear. There are a lot of different gear options in the game which mix things up but sadly there are only 3 levels and while the levels are different they are simply just themed and relatively small 2D arenas that have the odd bizarre invisible wall.
The biggest issue with the game is simply cost to amount ration at £9.99 (or your regional equivalent) the game is a fairly mid-priced indie game but what is on offer sadly feels like either a demo of a much larger game or a score attack mode added onto a game with a fleshed out campaign. I spent my first few playthroughs trying to work out how to access more of the first stage only to be disappointed when I eventually realised I could not. Sadly you can travel the entire distance of the first map in a matter of seconds.
Gameplay wise it is a mixed bag. The controls are very twitchy and are a struggle to get to grips with. I played the game with both a 360 controller and a mouse and keyboard and whilst a mouse and keyboard was better neither were perfect. Your normally gun does very little damage but enemies require a lot of hits to kill. Annoyingly you must press fire for every bullet which is a very odd choice. Holding down the fire button charges up a charge shot but this takes far too long to charge and is reset when you are hit. Equally the fact you are trying to kill things quickly to keep your multiplier up makes the charge attack almost unusable. There is also a flippy melee attack that reminded me of Raiden out of Metal Gear Rising which you quickly realise is the most powerful attack in the game but sadly using this against anything but the most basic enemies leads to you getting hit in the process. Health is only recovered by reaching a 10x multiplier and then shooting down a robot thing (whilst maintaining the multiplier) but even then you only get 1/3 back and this is a tall order when you have barely any health left, you are unable to use your best weapon. And you multiplier drops every time you sit and try and use the charge attack. The final kick in the teeth is if you manage to finally get some of this health back the only way you can get more is to lose your multiplier and get back to 10x which is totally stupid and against the whole point of the game for a score attack game.
The game does however sound lovely with the official soundtrack also being on sale next to the game. For a small indie game with a lack of content you can’t help but think maybe that OST should have been included with the main game.
The game has a lot of promise and if this was an early access title I would be invested to keep an eye on its progress but as it stand it isn’t. At its best the game feels like an early access title and at its worse feels like a score attack mode inside a much bigger game.
Overall I could see some people would get something out of this. If this is on sale and you like score attack games then it is probably worth a go but for the majority of people there are much better games to spend £10 on.