BloodRayne: Betrayal review


Rayne, a Dhampir (half-blooded vampire) and one of the most attractive vixens of gaming has returned for another blood-sucking and hack and slash adventure but this time, her blades as well as her memorable assets are in 2D in this next title of the series Bloodrayne Betrayal. Betrayal is a reboot for the series after two mediocre titles on the PS2, XBOX, and GameCube. However, as I traversed through the game I quickly noticed that WayForward was definitely heading in the right direction for the series. It only took Rayne two horrible games and three horrendous movies to get to where she is now but, it was worth the wait. Now sit back and read the review.

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After her two anti-climactic  and downright horrible adventures Rayne, teaming up with the Brimstone Society (grunts with guns) is out to kill her vampire father Kagan. Why you ask? He’s evil and that’s the only excuse we need to cut everything we see down. Where does Kagan reside? In an ominous castle in the forest. Inside it’s teeming with undead forces that lack a pulse or reflection that are ready to take on Rayne’s perfect physique and her blades. With voice acting also being absent and in its place text-based presentation  the story is neither compelling nor intriguing but that won’t matter once you are absorbed by the fifteen levels you must slice and dice your way through in order to end your father’s tyranny. With a nice balance of bosses and platforming there is no reason not to pick this game up for 1200 Microsoft Points.

Unquestionably, Bloodrayne Betrayal is a stunningly beautiful game, running at a smooth 60 frames per second this game will undoubtedly get you to admire the detail and animation of both Rayne and her enemies. Moreover the 2D environments are some of the best I’ve seen since Castlevania titles. Many issues that go with many 3D titles like frame rate slow downs, clipping issues, and slow rendering are non-existent in Betrayal.  From the moment you boot up the first level you’ll notice it is clearly an homage to the Castlevania series and other classic side-scrollers which is not a bad thing and I am quite glad the series took this turn.

Audio is one of the game’s biggest perks, from the swinging of your blades to the slicing of an enemy head or body with blood spurting out like a cool-aid fountain is one of the most satisfying things to hear. That may sound sadistic but it’s very true. In addition, the soundtrack is phenomenal as it blends perfectly with the carnage and atmosphere the game engulfs you in each stage. Unfortunately the game does suffer from control issues, the controls feel clunky or delayed and may not match the quick pace of a platforming segment or multiple enemy battle. It was a bit discouraging to find my self trying to dodge enemy attacks but instead I was stuck for 2-3 seconds in either animation or due to delay causing me to get hit continually with little chance to retaliate.

Fifteen dark, bloody, and gothic levels stand between you and your father. Players are tasked at moving Rayne from one point to the other in a platforming, killing, and puzzle frenzy. The hardest parts of the game are its platforming sections. Many times I found my self dodging one saw blade only to jump into a cannon ball or incoming rocket with another saw blade right after it.  WayForward made sure to include the old school frustration that came with a classic 2D platformer. But, the satisfaction you obtain at the end of the day from beating a level is just as memorable as beating that one castle in Super Mario World years ago and that only attracts me even more. Hardcore fans of Castlevania will be welcome in BloodRayne Betrayal because, it will definitely remind you that 2D side-scrollers have a huge spot in the gaming Community.

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Combat is the game’s most desirous aspect. Rayne is equipped with her iconic dual arm blades and a pistol that can kill most enemies in one shot as well. Using the pistol is an ideal tool to use when cornered or in large groups of enemies. However, the pistol doesn’t have infinite ammo which encourages you to use it wisely. Rayne has the basic three hit combo, launch moves, stomp/air stomp moves, and bloodsucking grapple attack that replenishes health. Holding the attack buttons will allow you to attack with stronger variations of certain attacks. Rayne’s bloodsucking technique allows you to recover health without having play scavenger hunt for a health pack. It is a step that I think most developers should take. Recovering health automatically can make a game too easy and searching for a health pack is arduous but, if the lifespan of your character depends on your choices it makes the game a bit challenging.

There is nothing like that intimidating boss that if not correctly observed can turn out to be hell to beat. Bosses like the Crab Puncher and the Crimson Demon are of the few guardians set on thwarting your efforts to reach the Kagan. Boss battles in Bloodrayne Betrayal are some of the most nostalgic battles I’ve fought in a long time. Bosses can be extremely hard but each have a specific pattern that if done right can allow you to kill the boss without being touched. Maybe even earning you an achievement in the process. People who complain about the difficulty of these bosses make it obvious that this BloodRayne Betrayal is not for them.

BloodRayne Betrayal is an amazing XBLA title and WayForward deserves praise for this entry in the series. I hope that Rayne’s next adventure will be as entertaining as this one. Although the story is unimpressive, what the game lacks in narrative it more than makes up for in gameplay and visuals. Hardcore fans of old school platformers with frustration and satisfaction included in one package will feel right at home. 1200 :MSPoints: is a price more than worth it for game of this calibre.

Simple but fun. nothing too complicated but satisfying. Nice blend of old style gameplay with the current generation. Bloody amazing at 60 FPS.
Beautiful art and illustrations. Smooth animations with no slow-downs or jerky-looking environments.
Accompanies the gameplay perfectly. Makes every attack satisfying and gives the feel that you are included in the action. Fits the atmosphere well.
8.0Final Score

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