With the release of Bleed 2, February 2017 was off to a great start. The sequel to one of my favorite indie titles, and my go-to arcade game for all-out fun, I was eager to see if this game be the step forward it looked like in the trailer.
Am I ever happy to say, “it is!” With a tuned-up soundtrack and livelier visuals, the opening stage showed promise. But that improvement, welcome though it may be, is only skin-deep compared to the mechanics.
By far the largest improvement in my eyes is the ability to deflect bullets with your katana, even as you wield the dual pistols. The mechanics for this are intuitive and give the player another avenue for attack, all whilst increasing the pace of the game. This improvement to pacing, when combined with a series of levels that naturally lead into one another, make for a seamless Story Mode experience.
Said Story Mode will treat you to an array of bosses offering a ton of unique battle experiences. For the social, Bleed 2 offers local co-op. For the masochists, it offers both an Arena Mode (where you can take on up to three bosses at once) and an Arcade Mode (where you have only one life to complete all 7 levels).
An improved roster of alternate characters (including one from another awesome indie title), weapons and dash abilities help to complete the picture of Bleed 2 as a full step up from its predecessor. The dual pistols still remain my go-to weapons, however.
Those looking for length or depth of story may be disappointed. Bleed 2, like its predecessor, has a 7-level story mode with a tongue-in-cheek plot that lends itself much more to the arcade gaming experience. Still, with a modest price tag and the aforementioned improvements, I found the experience well worth the cost of admission.
Here’s pulling for a Bleed trilogy!