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BloodRayne Betrayal: Recent Bites Assessment – Assessment

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Definitely not the evaluation I believed I would be writing.

I really feel like I would carried out sufficient of those Assessment FAQs that an explainer paragraph most likely is not obligatory, however simply in case you are unfamiliar with the format, here’s an example. I typically fall again on the Assessment FAQ format after I’m having bother placing collectively a extra conventional evaluation, as was the case right here.

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Hey Zach, you appear down; what’s up?

Yeah man, the final couple days have been tough. I’ve been revisiting a recreation I remembering having fun with—kind of—again in 2011 and discovering that now, in 2021, I’m not having a superb time with.

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Effectively that’s no good, what’s it?

BloodRayne: Betrayal, which has been re-released on trendy programs with some new options as BloodRyane Betrayal: Recent Bites.

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Is that the sport with the horny dhampir with scythes on her arms?

Yeah.

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So that you’re telling me {that a} half-dressed vampire lady slicing monsters to items isn’t profitable you over?

Surprisingly, no.

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Wow, this have to be severe. First, although, I don’t actually do not forget that recreation. Clarify…as you’ll a toddler.

Right here’s the elevator pitch: Betrayal is a 2D character motion recreation through which BloodRayne travels by pretty massive ranges, slicing up monsters as she encounters them (which is commonly) after which traversing platforming impediment programs in between fight encounters.

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Okay that every one sounds completely effective.

It does, doesn’t it? And actually, Rayne’s fight prowess will not be one among my points with the sport. On the contrary, she shines in battle, with a stunning variety of flashy assaults, a touch, and the flexibility to each suck the blood of her enemies (to realize well being) or infect and weaponize them towards different baddies. She additionally has an enormous pistol and, later, a badass warmth ray.

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So the fight is sweet?

It’s, though it will get somewhat bit rote at occasions. There’s a points-based system the place you’re rewarded for decimating your foes rapidly and stylishly. You may principally ignore this, as a result of it looks as if you must be unreasonably good at this recreation to hit even probably the most beneficiant time bonuses. Encounters usually simply wind up feeling like kill rooms that go on just a bit too lengthy, with a number of rounds of enemies showing in each combat.

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Do they ever shake up the formulation?

Typically you’ll have environmental hazards to take care of, like a noticed blade overhead, poisonous sludge round you, or cannonballs being shot your method. Often, you need to use this stuff to your benefit, which is cool. The fight isn’t boring, although, and once you actually get into the groove, it’s a pleasure.

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Okay, so fight is okay however perhaps will get somewhat boring. How’s the platforming?

In a phrase, horrible.

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Uh oh.

It’s like WayForward knew that the sport couldn’t simply be eight hours of killing monsters—which is true—in order that they tried to take Rayne’s fight moveset and apply it to platforming sequences that develop into more and more demanding. The issue is that the controls are just a bit too unfastened for what they need you to do.

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Possibly give me an instance?

There’s a sequence in the direction of the center of the sport the place Rayne has to outrun an enormous buzzsaw whereas leaping and dashing between platforms that lower in measurement as she goes, and a few of them transfer, and there’s instant-death poisonous sludge beneath her. The controls aren’t as exact as they should be, although, so that you wind up underneath or over-shooting the platforms, or sprint on the unsuitable time, or by chance fall after you’ve landed since you assume she’s not totally on the platform.

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Or one other time the place, within the last degree, Rayne has to bounce throughout poisonous sludge by air-kicking floating bugs which can be a set distance aside, oh but in addition there are laser beams that can shoot between bugs, so she has to leap, assault, bounce up, sprint to keep away from the laser, hit the following bug proper on the cash, bounce up, sprint to keep away from the laser, and many others. All this may be completely serviceable besides that Rayne is in shadow, as are all foreground components, however as an alternative of the background being white or mild purple—you recognize, colours the place you may nonetheless see the foreground—it’s a picture of dancing flames, which is each too darkish and too motion-heavy to adequately see something within the foreground (which, as a reminder, is black). It’s horrible degree design.

Neither of these sounds enjoyable, particularly the second. What’s happening within the last degree?

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Yeah so the ultimate degree is principally Rayne escaping the fortress (spoilers?)—the foreground and all of the characters are black, the background can also be black aside from the dancing flames, and the digital camera is tilting left and proper. And also you’re anticipated to carry out acrobatic platforming sequences and many fight encounters the place enemies overlap, or mix in with the again/foreground. I obtained by it, and the second half of that degree is not almost as egregious, however good lord that first half. 28-year-old Zach may need powered by one thing like that out of some sense of satisfaction, however 38-year-old Zach accepts that unhealthy selections have been made in that last degree.

If there’s a persistent platforming theme, are there collectibles?

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There are—“treasure” packing containers which can be relatively superfluous and solely exist to spice up your rating, and Crimson Skulls. Most ranges have a minimum of a pair Crimson Skulls, and accumulating 4 or 5 helps you to enhance your well being complete or pistol ammo complete. A number of of the Crimson Skulls are in locations the place you solely have one shot to get them per degree (or you may attempt dying and restarting from the checkpoint). Extra well being and ammo actually helps, however received’t actually relieve your frustration throughout demanding platforming sequences.

So what’s new about this Recent Bites model aside from being on trendy consoles?

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They’ve introduced in Laura Bailey and Troy Baker as Rayne and Kagan, respectively, the unique voice actors for these characters (on the PS2 video games), which is cool. They’ve additionally re-balanced the issue from the unique, which was almost masochistic at occasions, however I believe this alteration principally applies to the fight encounters and the way a lot injury Rayne takes/does. And it is one thing you may flip off on the stage choose screen–although I do not know why you’ll. However for the platforming, even when they did pull again on the throttle someway, 38-year-old Zach will not be as spry or as affected person as 28-year-old Zach.

The rest?

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Beating the sport unlocks an artwork gallery, which is…effective.

You already know, we didn’t actually speak in regards to the recreation’s artwork or music.

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As you recognize, Disembodied Voice, I’m a sucker for 2D, hand-drawn artwork. And Betrayal does, the truth is, look fairly nice. Few research are pretty much as good at this as WayForward is. Rayne’s animation is fabulous and I completely adore her respawn pose and the best way she kicks the door off her transport coffin in case you press Y when she lands in the beginning of a stage. Her fight animation is excessive and nice enjoyable to observe, though I not often had time to understand it throughout fights. Enemies are rather less animate, however nonetheless filled with persona. I used to be a bit disillusioned by the dearth of distinct enemy sorts. If I by no means see one other blue-coated vampire dude once more, it’ll be too quickly. The bosses, although, are implausible—particularly the towering, hard-rocking demon who caps off the sport (earlier than the horrible escape degree, that’s).

Jake “Virt” Kaufman did the music, so it’s already glorious, however he additionally supplies a pleasant gothic-sounding soundtrack that’s distinct from his acquainted Shantae or Mighty Change Drive tunes.

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After you get into the fortress, ranges all are inclined to look fairly comparable, and the sport doesn’t all the time do a superb job of telling you the place you may and may’t land or wall-jump. When it comes to design, you’ll be using Rayne’s high-rising backflip for a stunning variety of jumps that would’ve simply be solved with a slightly-higher regular leap or a brief secondary leap, a la Rachet & Clank or the outdated God of Struggle video games.

Hey, did you play that new God of Struggle recreation?

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I did.

What’d you assume?

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Effectively, it’s not a God of Struggle recreation so I didn’t actually prefer it.

Touché!

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Anyway, Rayne herself is extra covered-up than her earlier incarnations which might be simpler to animate however—since you’re speaking to me—somewhat disappointing. I all the time most well-liked her BloodRayne 2 outfit as a result of, once more, it’s me.

So you probably did…not prefer it?

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I didn’t. I imply, look, I’m a giant fan of tough-as-nails platformers. My adoration for Super Meat Boy (however not its sequel), Hollow Knight, and The End is Nigh is well-documented. However the motive these video games work so properly is as a result of the precision platforming is designed hand-in-hand with the protagonist’s moveset, and also you in a short time develop a way for that moveset and precisely what she or he can or can’t do. Right here, it looks as if WayForward tried to use Rayne’s current fight repertoire to platforming challenges, which completely doesn’t fly. The inconsistency with which her wall-jump will be deployed is a testomony to this—it appears tacked-on, integrated to justify a number of the platforming segments and superficial exploration with out actually profiting from it.

The fight is mostly gratifying, however the scoring system isn’t defined and seems to require superhuman talent (or way more observe than I’m prepared to entertain) to get good grades in. The platforming is mostly depressing. The bosses are quite a lot of enjoyable, although. Betrayal seems to be and sounds nice. Most of the time, although, it seems like work. Tedious, exhausting work. And 38-year-old Zach doesn’t have the endurance for that anymore.

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