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CGR Undertow – BLEED review for Xbox 360

So this game – an indie game – was five bucks.
And by the going rates of the XBLA indie channel, that’s extortionary. You come to expect
at least decent games for a buck apiece, with the occasional three-dollar outlier that could
be great or could just be a ploy for more money. So when I see a five-dollar price tag…
part of me feels cheap, and the other part feels curious. And thus, dear viewer, I bought
Bleed so you didn’t have to. And I’ll say this: You should buy Bleed, because it
may be the best indie game I’ve played in a long, long time. It’s a frantic run-and-gun
shooter that, by dint of its dual-stick controls, allows for dramatic action… in BULLET TIME. Awright, so the bullet time, as well as the
retro-styled graphics, might seem a little played out. But I don’t care. Bleed – fantastic
name that – is about a girl who longs for a time when heroes were heroes. And she’s
going to recreate that time by taking up pistols, rocket launchers, swords, flamethrowers, and
whatever else in order to claim that title for herself. By mercilessly slaughtering the
old heroes, Kill Bill-style. She’s even got a list! And a shop to upgrade her arsenal!
The controls take a bit of getting used-to: Left stick moves, right stick shoots in any
direction, the bumpers cycle through the available weapons, right trigger jumps and left trigger
engages that bullet-time effect, which gave me very pleasant flashbacks to Viewtiful Joe
while allowing me to perfect my aim on nearby targets. After running, wall-scaling, and
triple-jumping your way through varied terrain, you eventually come upon one of your former
so-called heroes, who needs to be dispatched. With extreme prejudice. The game is by no means easy, as even on the
Normal difficulty I found several of the boss battles to be quite a pain in the bum. Part
of the downside of having an available bullet-time feature is that it gives the rest of the action
justification to be really, really fast. You get all the extra lives you want… at least,
until you unlock the Arcade mode, where you’re limited to three lives. Hopefully, by that
time, you’ll have all of your wire-fu in order, because there aren’t any restorative
items and the stages themselves are littered with hazards like falling rocks, robotic security
systems, and the occasional helicopter attack. Bleed shows a level of polish, from the physics
to the animation to the soundtrack, that non-indie games could and should envy. Although the
sticks-and-triggers control scheme feels a bit awkward at first – at least, in the context
of an action platformer – you’ll be pulling off awesome maneuvers before you know it…
Be the hero you’ve always wanted to be. Even if it means popping a cap in your old
hero. It’ll only run you five bucks, after all.

34 thoughts on “CGR Undertow – BLEED review for Xbox 360

  1. $5.00 for a Xbox Live Indie Game is practically chump-change if you've seen how Square-Enix prices their iOS releases.

  2. it isn't independent. Therefore, it isn't an indie game. Simple. Or do you think the ''indie game pack'' by EA also counts as indie?

  3. Indie means that it was independently published, not that it was made by one person.

    Hotline Miami was made by two people who released it themselves without a publisher. Indie game.

  4. I wasn't aware that Devolver Digital, publishers of such games as Duke Nukem 3D and the Serious Sam games, was an indie company. I also wasn't aware that having them publish your game still qualifies you as ''indie''. Play the game again, they're in the opening titles for God's sake. I know you WANT to think it's indie because it's ''different'' and pixel and 2D, but that doesn't make a game indie. It actually has to be, you know, INDEPENDENT for it to be that.

  5. just finished the game. it was good, but too damn short. i played it with my brother on hard, and we finished in under 2 hours.

    so short that there wasn't enough campaign to buy things. I got the rifle for boss battles and was saving up for the bullet time charge up, but finished the game before I got there.

  6. They released it on their website first before being picked up by Develolver after hype built up.

    You just love being wrong.

  7. [citation needed]. Unless the game was released in its full version pre-Devolver, and Devolver picked it up and sold it elsewhere then you're wrong. Not that I think you're wrong, you may be right. But I can't find anything telling me your side of the story. Even if it was indie at one point, it no longer is. So its a moot point and doesn't disprove anything other than it being indie at one point in time, but I'm interested nonetheless.
    Also, fuck you too.

  8. I just had to thumb up for the last line, for some reason it made me laugh.

    But it was released in it's full version, and had the balls pirated off it hard because of it, that's one of the reasons why they took it down.

    We're talking like 90% piracy rate.

  9. After all these years, I still find CGR + Undertow Very helpful… I really still miss both these channels. Still subbed, in the hopes new content may come one day.

    if not, still have quick easy access to all their previous reviews!

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