I’ve tried explaining the original Bleed to people and it always boils down to a bullet-hell ripped straight from a series that never existed in the 90’s, and BLEED 2, from Bootdisk Revolution, doesn’t far fall from the tree. Wryn is back and enjoying her title as the ultimate hero until an alien race tries to conquer Earth, forcing Wryn to put her title on the line.
Wryn still has her trusty pistols, in which if you’re not constantly firing you’re doing it wrong, Again, players can fire using the right thumbstick giving complete control over aiming, which comes in handy in the higher difficulty stages. She has an air dash that can be chained to four times in a row, but Wryn can dash in any direction, even down if need be. When combined with the ability to slow down time, players can just about get themselves out of any sticky situation they may find themselves in. The ability to ninja the way out of about anything feels great, but it’s even better when coupled with a new mechanic. Not only does Wryn have her trusty guns, but she also carries a katana that acts as a melee weapon. It gives her the ability to reflect and bounce back certain attacks at enemies. If everything is chained together right, Wryn becomes untouchable. If players can’t slow their way out of it dodge, and if they can’t dodge, just smack it back at the enemy with the katana.
Mastering every way possible to sneak out of any situation is critical because Bleed 2 doesn’t mess around. Every level is a short platforming segment before a boss, another boss, and hey, look at that, it’s another boss. Everything feels so quick and it kept me engrossed the entire time. This is the biggest improvement from Bleed to Bleed 2. It doesn’t matter that players can finish Bleed 2 in under an hour because Bleed 2 demands perfection and repeating level after level and I had a blast every time. At harder difficulties, enemies are quicker and bosses’ patterns change, and the game asks more of the player and I couldn’t be more excited. Bleed 2 offers players a story mode, an arcade mode, endless mode, challenge mode, unlockable characters, more weapons, and new abilities. Not only that, but it costs only $15 on the PlayStation store, but what you get out of the game rivals a AAA $60 release.
Visually, Bleed 2 reminds me of an early 2000’s flash game, which works and doesn’t take away from the gameplay, but the music is out of this world. Every time a track started, I got Mega Man X vibes and the synth tones create an atmosphere of intensity while remaining fun and interesting for players to listen to while running and gunning through various challenging levels. The chiptune music matches the madness and the combination of fast, but the intense gameplay and the funky music reminded me a lot of Sonic 3. Snappy and quick gameplay, with music getting players excited about a game that doesn’t last long, but it leaves them thinking or talking about it all day.
I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but Bleed 2 is a non-stop, intense, and fun game that lets players feel unstoppable. The only real flaw I can think of is the missing tutorial bit that explains that the katana can reflect certain projectiles since it becomes an important mechanic later in the game, but even then, it’s not that big of a deal. It feels like Bootdisk Revolution took something that was working with some flaws and tuned a couple of the problem areas. Bleed 2 may be short, but it packs a wallop and loads to keep you busy.