Thanks to Digerati for the review code
Title: BLEED 2
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 03/08/2018
In this section to the action-packed BLEED, you take control of Wyrn once again, as she’s now the World’s Greatest Hero, facing competition from a new threat known only as The Top Villain of them all! So instead of going after heroes and dethroning them, the main goal is simply to go through the stages and stop this new evil!
While at first it appears to keep the same visual style from the original, Bleed 2 significantly improves upon every aspect of the older presentation, from a cleaner UI during gameplay, to the dull chiptune music being replaced with high-intensity rock music. The sprites are also a bit more detailed than before and the backgrounds are way more interesting to look at than they ever were in the original installment. Wyrn also makes grunts every time she attacks now, but I never found them to be much of a bother.
Having reviewed the first Bleed very recently, I’m going to refrain from going over gameplay mechanics I touched on in that review as for the most part a lot of the aspects of that entry are back, but like with the presentation, a lot of the aspects I weren’t happy with in the first game are significantly improved for the better, the biggest change for the better being the increase in consistent checkpoints. Instead of a checkpoint only activating every time you enter a new screen, (even in levels where that could take quite a while due to the size of some of the levels) they now activate pretty much whenever anything of significance happens, such as a miniboss encounter, a screen transition, making it far enough in a screen, it’s a lot more balanced in a way that makes the game a lot more fair in the main single player mode, since if you end up dying you can try and try again right from where you left off.
The style ranking system from the first game also makes a comeback, but this time it’s a lot easier to build up to the S ranking, and now just finishing a stage with that alone won’t give you one for the overall stage, as you have to remain consistent with your skills to actually get it for the whole stage instead of just in the style category. (thus making S Ranking stages just as challenging as in the original, but not to the point of being super ultra precise on the easier difficulties)
Co-Op also makes a return, but the game’s made for it in mind this time around, as shown by the fact that most enemies will launch purple or yellow colored bullets towards Wyrn, (even in single player mode) and reflecting the attack back at the enemy using a melee weapon will only work if the projectile or enemy is the same color as the player. This means that when combined with the improved checkpoint system, Bleed 2 turns into an incredible multiplayer experience, as it requires both parties to work in sync while sharing a life bar, but in a way that feels a lot less stressful and not unbalanced in the same way as the first game’s Co-Op mode. Other returning features include the arcade mode (challenging you to beat the entire game with limited lives) and the challenge mode where you can throw up to three bosses of any kind in a crazy deathmatch solely for the sake of making things crazy.
Some changes have been made to the game as well, including the removal of the grindy shop system from the original game, with all unlockables now tied to beating the game and bonus modes on the varying difficulties, which is the way those unlockables should be. (and don’t worry, you start with a long health bar this time around, so it’s really only the weapons and characters that get locked behind difficulties) It may come off as a bit of a bummer for those who enjoyed saving points from scores for the best weapons in the first game, since Bleed 2 gives you a devastating combo of melee and ranged weapons from the start and the unlockable weapons aren’t really that impressive, but I find still find the removal of the shop system to be a positive aspect for this game overall.
That doesn’t mean every tweak made in Bleed 2 is done to make it insanely easy, though as there’s still plenty of challenge to be had if you go for the higher difficulties, and if that’s somehow not enough for you, then you can turn on mutators that you unlock once you complete the main story. These mutators are means of making the game either stupidly easy or hard to the point the game just might become impossible. As an example, watch what happened when I enabled some mutators to make one of the final bosses turn into something out of a Touhou game. There’s also an endless mode that throws up random challenges for you to take on until you die, and the extra unlockable characters each have unique features to them that alter their playstyle. Combine all that together and you have an ultra intense action game.
Now this is how you do a sequel. While the original Bleed was a solid game, it did have a few problems that prevented it from being truly engaging, mainly the inconsistent checkpoints. Now with Bleed 2, we have a fair and balanced challenging adventure that any gamer can take on, and with lots of quality of live improvements this is easily one of my favorite action games available for the Nintendo Switch!
There’s really not much that I can complain about with this game, as most of the issues I had from the first installment were completely fixed, leaving the only real thing I feel sad about being the fact that the main story can be a bit short to the point you can complete it in an afternoon, so if you don’t tend to care much about the bonus modes, or unlockable characters, then this game will not last long at all. But considering how not even the lack of achievements fails to drag the Switch version of this game down, (For most of them are for standard stuff already tracked in the game itself, leading to no lost replay value from them not being here) there’s really no excuse not to pick up Bleed 2. This is an excellent game by action fans, for action fans, and that was made very obvious from how well-made this experience was from start to finish. I give BLEED 2 a 9 out of 10, and strongly recommend it to any fans of action games!