Make way, Peter Fonda--This certainly is no easy rider!
Developer Ravegan's Blue Rider lulls you into a false sense of security with its initial easy first level and bright, vivid, and cartoon-y colors. Then, the second level comes, and you're faced with a stiffer challenge, but still rather doable for most players. By the third level, Blue Rider takes your butt to the cleaners, beats it black and blue, and questions your abilities as a gamer. Was I ever good at games? Did years of hand-holding and tutorials make me soft? Or is Blue Rider just deceptive in its looks and turns out to be one of the most challenging games I've played in a long time?
Blue Rider is a twin-stick shooter in a colorful world devised of nine stages. Starting the game presents you with no story, no plot, and no tutorial to speak of. You get greeted with the a picture of a controller showing what each input does. It's very simple and concise: use the left stick to move in conjunction with the right stick to rotate a full 360 degrees as you explore and shoot through the levels. You use the front shoulder buttons to get a short boost of speed, and the back shoulder buttons for primary and secondary weapon shots respectively.
|Oh, I see you, first level, and how you make Blue Rider seem like it's going to be a leisurely time...|
|...And then you turn boys immediately into men soon after.|
|The boss battles are a highlight of Blue Rider, and some of the most challenging parts of the game.|
As you might have surmised by now, Blue Rider is indeed a hard game to succeed at. But part of it is not all on the player. The vehicle that your pilot has the unfortunate problem of having too much inertia so it drifts slightly upon every movement of the analog stick. This is fine at first, and makes lining up shots a bit more challenging than it should be, but it gets very annoying when you're engaged in battles where enemies litter your surrounding area with bullets in true "bullet hell" fashion. It makes accidentally overcompensating and drifting into a stray bullet quite easy. Due to your limited health and how rare extra lives are (only being acquired at certain overall point totals), death becomes much easier than it should be.
|Wonderful explosions. (Hey, they're wonderful as long as they're not your own ship, am I right?)|
|As if your palms weren't already sweaty enough, now you're inside a volcano.|
[SPC Says: C+]
Review copy provided by eastasiasoft.