[EXPRESSO] Bleed PSN | All The Shakespearoes

You’re not a hero. You’re a girl with magenta hair, Wryn, and you do have pen and paper, so it’s time to write and draw yourself into a story where heroes aren’t relevant anymore, and you twin-stick shoot your way through the random cabal of ex-heroes, from the alien defender, the “Astrogirlie” robot, the dragon, etc. so you can indict yourself to the Hall Of Heroes in the story you insert youself in. And maybe think what would Travis Touchdown would do.

The story is non-sensical meta-narration there just to “excuse” the kitchen sink approach to enemies and bosses, complete with passable 2D retro style graphics and characters that remind one of early 2000’s webcomics. Here it’s cute because it doesn’t hide itself under some “high pretense”, and because it focuses on what it wants, gameplay, and to be honest it delivers, combining side scrolling action in a twin stick shooter style,with emphasis on style, since you’ll have to master the triple jump dash and a bullet time bar to avoid the fairly challenging patterns of enemies and bosses.

Controls fairly well, shooting is satisfying, it’s quite challenging even on the standard setting without feeling impossible and so becoming just pure frustration. It’s good fun, but it’s fairly short lived fun, by design drawing in from the arcade era with just 6 stages. This isn’t necessary an issue, since it is a small indie title sold for relatively cheap, but i can’t say it has as much replayability as it parades, as aside from harder difficulties and trophies/achievements, the extra modes are kinda lousy, and there isn’t much that much to unlock or upgrade.

I’d still recommend pickin it up for fans of the twin stick shooters and sidescrollers, especially when it’s bundled on sale with the sequel, Bleed 2.


[EXPRESSO] Super Star Path NSWDDL | Match-3 Shooter Mess

After quite enjoying Bot Vice, i decided to check out the others games the spanish DYA Games had on the Switch eShop, and this one got my attention, especially because of the concept, a mixture of puzzle game and 2D spaceship shooter.

And it was on sale for 1 buck.

Basically, it plays like a standard 2D spaceship shooter (down to the vertical scrolling), but the aliens and obstacles are placed in a still grid like they’re puzzle pieces, so shooting a row of aliens of the same color triggers a chain reaction, making nearby aliens of different colors crystalize into unbreakable blocks. Defeated aliens also leave behind gems, emeralds (3 for stage to collect) and upgrades, which can be used to buy more spaceships and upgrade their stats.

This… until you reach the level’s boss, then the pace speeds up considerably, the puzzle elements are thrown away all together, and you can use autofire. You’ll need it, since the bosses are fast and hit hard even at the beginning, throwing bullet hell style projectile patterns, quite jarring, even when you know it’s coming and you bought/upgraded better ships…it just feels like a different game, and i feel it’s done to just pad the longevity out a bit, as you have only 6 levels, each longer and featuring some specific obstacle/damage.

Problem is arriving to the bosses themselves it’s more a matter of luck than anything else, due to badly randomized level layouts, which result in many runs where you simply can’t do anything to avoid dying, trapped by the enemies patterns to be crushed by the scrolling in a way or another.

Shame, because the idea is nice, but for how short lived this game is, it’s mostly a frustrating, unbalanced pile of aggravation more than anything else. Disappointing.

P.S.: Also, don’t bother tackling the final mission unless you have ALL the emeralds, because even if you manage to kill the boss… you will die anyway if you don’t already have all the emeralds. No, the game doesn’t make it clear you NEED to get them all to even finish the game, it just says that you need to get them all, implying they’re important to the story and in general to the game, in the How To Play section.

Fuck you too, Super Star Path.

Please never pull shit like this again. Just don’t.

[EXPRESSO] Goblin Sword NSWDDL | Good Mobile Sorcery

Mobile games get a bad wrap, and while the industry itself is guilty as hell for it…eventually you get a mobile game that actually wants to be just a game, made for enjoyment instead of retention (followed by the game testing your resolve against your wallet)… which you probably didn’t even knew exist until it gets a PC and/or console port.

Yeah, Goblin Sword is a mobile game that found its way to the Switch’s eShop earlier this year, and despite some asset flips (and similar crap from malingering homunculi) from Steam starting to surface here as well, you can still get proper esposure on it, especially since it’s a 2D retro styled Metroidvania-sidescroller hybrid……lacking the random ass rape in the beginning, now we have to warn people of that due to a certain series with “goblin” in the title.

Then again, there isn’t much of a plot, it’s basically you against an evil wizard that wants the titular “goblin sword”. And… that’s it. Gameplay itself it’s a basic sidescroller with a Metroidvania twist, as in you get power-up needed to reach previously unaccessible areas, but progressing in the levels it’s done in a traditional side-scroller gameplay, go right until you reach the end of the level, with double jump being the fancier ability available, and collect all treasure chests and crystals you can.

Gelato Games (oddly not an indie italian videogame studios, despite the name) did cook up a good sidescroller, with a pleasant but a bit generic art direction, and you can still kinda tell this was made for mobile first, but you’ll soon forget that, thank to good level design, the tight controls, the great difficulty curve, a good amount of content and replayability.

I’m glad this one was ported to Switch, because it deserves more attention.

[EXPRESSO] Blazing Chrome NSWDDL | Olympus Has Fallen

21XX A.D.

Capitalization of vaguely remembered decades run rampant in the dystopian future where a war against “ze machines” is unfolding. As humanity last stand, the last survivors of a suicide mission, with the main characters designs clearly – “just because we like it” – made to evoke Appleseed’s Dunen and Briareos, you’ll have to attack the enemy HQ in a desperate, last bout of run n gun action.

From the developers of Oniken and Odallus comes a surprisingly good retro 2D run n gun, one that not only evokes the 16 bits days of yore via the usual (but also quite crisp) retro aesthetic, but also because it’s basically Contra III (the weapons will make it even more obvious), with an evasive roll manouver and a Metal Slug-style close quarters knife attack added for good measure. But still, a very good recreation of Contra with enough in it to not just make it a “clone”, made by people that know what to keep from the classics, and where concede to modernity in order to avoid fidelity over quality.

It’s a 6 missions/level affair, but they’re well designed, quite packed and keep the tradition of changing things up with motorcycle sequences, mechsuits, faux-3D shooting sequences, etc. It’s the kind of game that is by design not particularly long, but it’s also very challenging, hard but never soulcrushing difficult, you always feel you can win if you try again, learn and improve. It also gets the arcade type of replayability perfectly, and you’re given various difficuly settings that add or remove “comodities” suck as saving or extra lives. Add in extra playable characters, boss rush mode, and even options for speedrun, and i really can’t recommend this enough.

Shoutout to my buddy Chaosknight69 on Backloggery for recommending this one.

Loved it!