The Theft Protection

Myths and Facts About Identity Theft

Following in the footsteps of Hotline Miami,
Bloodroots takes on the formula of destroying everything in your path to proceed. The catch is that everything including yourself
only takes a single hit to die. This is Bloodroots, a western graphic take
on the arcade combo gameplay made popular by Hot Line Miami. Complete with cinematic attacks, an interesting
art style, and challenging gameplay, it’s one new indie you’re going to want to keep
an eye on. Bloodroots is a western revenge tale of Mr.
Wolf, a lumberjack looking warrior who finds his town devasted. While investigating the destruction, he comes
across The Blood Beasts who get the jump on Mr. Wolf and leave him for dead. As it turns out, a gunshot isn’t enough to
take you out though, and you awake with the urge for vengeance and justice. Traveling across the mountain tops and forests,
you’ll track down the members of The Blood Beasts and slowly unravel the attack put on
you in the first place. While the plot isn’t so unique or original,
it’s a good foundation for the gameplay at hand. Character speech bubbles explain the relationship
between the characters including detailing some of the quirks of the Blood Beasts. One, for example, is simply trying to through
a party that Mr. Wolf is crashing. Some of the writing made me chuckle though
it also came off as cheesy, like a late-night adult swim cartoon. If stylish bloody executions are what you’re
into then Bloodroots is your action game. You play as Mr. Wolf who travels throughout
the mountainside in search of his attackers. Each one of them is broken up into an act
that further breaks down into smaller chapters. Consider each chapter as a level that has
you run through an isometric view of the environment as you take on enemies. These enemies come in all sorts of shapes
and sizes, with different attack patterns. The one common thing about all of them, including
yourself, is that it takes a single hit to die. This creates a very fun arcade gameplay formula
with a heavy emphasis on comboing your attacks. Like other games in the genre, you encourage
to chain kills together for a combo. The higher your combo the better score you
receive tallying up to your final score for each chapter. You really only have one attack and that’s
swinging the weapon in your hand, luckily for you, you can grab just about most handheld
things around you. A carrot, a ladder, a spear and so on. They all have different amounts of hits before
they break and attack differently. For example, a spear lunges you forward into
the air while a ladder launches upward vertically. These introduce interesting approaches to
not only attacks but also to platforming. Gameplay may be top-down but there are different
levels of verticality with enemies at different heights and patterns. That’s where those varying weapons and attacks
come into play, really adding a layer of strategy to the mix. That’s yet to mention that enemies start to
put up a fight early on into the campaign. Each chapter quickly became a chess game of
finding the best route through a level with the combination of weapons to execute the
ideal combo in the shortest time frame. What on paper felt like an easy spam the attack
button to win, quickly hit reality and became sequences of me dying 100 times before finally
landing on a route that worked, earning me a grade worth showing during this review. Speaking of grades, there’s an online leaderboard
connected to every level. It’s a great incentive to replay levels for
better scores and compete with your friends. After every level, you’re brought back to
your campfire site. You can think of this as your hub area. Here you can equip hats you’ve collected from
fallen enemies to modify your stats. The boar hat, for example, adds a dash to
your melee attack, making it more useful. It’s also here where you can go back and replay
previous levels if you’re so inclined to better your score. At the end of every act is a boss that feels
like the cherry on top of every act. These play out completely differently from
every other level, taking out the beat everything aspect of the game and pushing you just to
survive a wave of dangerous enemies and platforming. It’s a fun twist on the campaign’s main formula
and a challenging one at that. Bloodroots cartoony art style completely contradicts
the gory bloody combat on display yet somehow it works. It reminds me so much of the recent revival
of Samurai Jack but now in 3d and presented with an isometric point of view. It admittedly took some getting used to for
me to like it but after a few minutes, I started to fall for its charm. The gameplay does this one specific cinematic
camera transition that happens during every final kill. Depending on the weapon you have, you’ll get
a different animation. It looks amazing when the camera is pointing
the right way though I’ve sadly come across a few occasions where the camera is blocked
by something in the way. Playing on Nintendo Switch, the performance
was stable for the most part targeting 30 fps. There were a few moments where the frame rate
dipped into the low 20 frames per second when heavy effects were on display. Loading times also seemed significantly longer
on Switch as compared to other devices. For other consoles and PC, the gameplay is
kept at the 60 fps mark with improved load times. I will say the gameplay does feel tailor-made
for a handheld, though you might be better off playing this on another platform simply
for the performance. There’s an interesting range of genres with
Bloodroots. While it is heavily western-inspired, the
music ranges from something that belongs in the wild west to the drum and bass of a club. While none of the music resonated with me,
I didn’t think the tracks were bad either. Ultimately I was more distracted or rather
focused on the gameplay, drowning out the alright music. Aside from the music, some voice acting would
have been nice to go along with the dialogue. There isn’t a ton of dialogue throughout the
campaign but when there is, usually the character speaking lets out a grunt of some kind. At least the different types of enemies make
different grunts when attacked so there is some sort of variety between them. Bloodroots is a fun new addition to the action
combat arcade gameplay made popular by Hotline Miami. It wears its inspiration on its sleeve and
innovates on it with challenging gameplay and weapons that evolve the levels not only
in terms of combat but also platforming. Presented in a lovely art style that combines
graphic visuals with a mix of 3d and 2d animations, Bloodroots catches the eyes easily but hooks
you with its compelling gameplay, leaving you wanting more.

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