Lifting a series out of medicority; Bloodrayne Betrayal

Halloween always puts me in a mood for vampires and the like. Mostly it erupts into hours of Castlevania and other good action packed horror themed games. Some years ago I tried the Bloodrayne series, and I was more or less let down the games and their lack of actual quality. The best about the Bloodrayne games was that they were supposed to be a sequel to Terminal Reality’s Nocturne, but that seems to have evaporated out from the games themselves. This is a good thing as Nocturne is pretty nifty adventure game and Bloodrayne’s two first games are just mindless shitfest.
The games, as they were, were mostly about sex appeal, blood and gruesome fatalities. That’s something I’d except from your dime in a dozen vampire game, but Bloodrayne was hailed like something special. I wonder if it’s just that the new generation likes more of this kind of games, or just that these people are a loud minority. If all signs are to be trusted, it’s the latter one, because I’ve never heard these same people say anything good about Bloodrayne: Betrayal, or say anything about it at all.

Bloodrayne was inredeemebly stuck in gray lower medicority until WayForward got the task to make a 2D game out of it. If WayForward is an unknown name to you, the only thing you need to know that these guys know how to handle any game series they get their hands on. They’ve done such games as Shantae, Contra 4 and the new A Boy and his Blob. I don’t know why these guys haven’t hit it big yet, but they’re going there slowly.
Now, Bloodrayne: Betrayal is a complete different beast from its sisters. The action is nice, fast and rather responsive. It uses in-house art design, and WayForward’s style brings out the style that Bloodrayne in general best known of. Rayne herself is redesigned to look far more sophisticated than what she looked in the previous games, and clads herself more for less.

After playing the Trial through about few dozen times and then some, I was assured that this games was what the series needed; over the top style (rocket coffin, anyone?) stylised colourscheme of darks, shadows, reds and earthly tones with good highlights, extremely nice gameplay and very light on the story. It practically ditches everything that wasn’t worthwhile in the previous games and took the core idea and refined it further. People have voiced their concern of game not being true to the realism of original titles, an we can all laugh at them; Bloodrayne and realism are as good combination as Uwe Bolle and videogames.
The only thing that doesn’t really work in the game is the Xbox 360’s own controller. I’d recommend getting this for the PS3, but even that controller has flaws beyond saving. But you know what controller would be perfect for this game? Sega Saturn’s.

The music in Betrayal is also something that I’d call “fucking good” if I were to use those words. Rather, I’ll just say that the music is exceptional in most cases that it’s overall great in quality, is catchy, works as a background music and sets the mood. This is the exact opposite of Castlevania Lords of Shadow music, where you don’t remember the music even if it’s good, but you’ll remember this because it stands up to you well when you start to listen it.

I’ll most likely give a full blown review of this game in the future as soon as I’ve ripped a new hole to Rayne to suck from, but while you’re waiting for it you might want to purchase it by yourself or visit here and play it.

It’s always a good thing to notice how a single game can make the whole series look a bit better, and while Bloodrayne Betrayal does stand on its own two feet, it does tie to the past games a little, but it’s better if you’ve never played those before this one.

Be sure to check the official site for two short Dev diaries for fun.

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