Looking for a quick game fix one night, I decided what the hell let’s try Bloodrayne: Betrayal, the unusual “latest” entry in the already pretty much dead Bloodrayne franchise, which has gone from 3rd person shooter/slasher to a kind of Metroidvania/arcade beat-em-up mash-up with anime graphics.
The combat is a fun combo-based system that is somewhat similar to Guacamelee, though without as large a selection of moves. It’s still just as satisfying though, when you smash your way through a screen full of enemies with a successful chain of well animated attacks. Naturally there are some big weird bosses for you to fight too.
While the gameplay feels very similar to a Metroidvania game, from the sidescrolling combat to the obscure secret items, the game is entirely linear and broken up into 15 separate levels so exploration is pretty minimal. If you miss a power-up (that can raise either your health or your ammo count), you usually will have completely missed it and can only replay the chapter if you want to go back and get it. I don’t like not being able to get all the secrets when I want to, but then again, the lack of the standard Metroidvania huge amount of backtracking saves a lot of time. Time that will be better spent trying to navigate some of the sadistic jumping puzzles in the later parts of the game!
Oddly enough, you get a bird form by this point that you would think you’d be able to use here, but right after getting it they add in these anti-bird shock devices that prevent you from using the bird form that you just got for almost the whole rest of the game, making you wonder why they even gave it to you to begin with, but whatever. Despite some weird little flaws like that, I still had a lot of fun with this game for the short time it lasted. Smashed through the whole thing in one night, but given that you can get this game for roughly $2 now, that’s not too bad a deal at all.
Also worth mentioning is the excellent soundtrack by the excellent Jake Kaufman (a.k.a. virt, composer of the Shovel Knight OST, etc etc). All together, while it’s not quite as polished or content filled as Guacamelee, it’s still a very fun little game that will give you at least one night of enjoyment for a dirt cheap price. I give it 4 rocket powered drill coffins that you inexplicably failed to use to just go straight to the last level with out of 5.