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Blood Wake (Xbox) artwork

Blood Wake (Xbox) review

"I just picked up this game for twenty bucks on a bargain shelf. Why would I buy a game off the bargain shelf, you ask? Well, I only had twenty bucks, and I heard it was a sweet game (a while ago). Well, as it turns out, whoever told me it was a sweet game wasn't quite correct. He said it enthusiastically. It's not SWEET, it's merely...Okay. Good, even. "

I just picked up this game for twenty bucks on a bargain shelf. Why would I buy a game off the bargain shelf, you ask? Well, I only had twenty bucks, and I heard it was a sweet game (a while ago). Well, as it turns out, whoever told me it was a sweet game wasn't quite correct. He said it enthusiastically. It's not SWEET, it's merely...Okay. Good, even.

Bloodwake has you playing the role of a pirate/sailor named Kai. Your squadron of ships is destroyed by your evil brother Lung (pronounced LOONG- that asian flava). You are left drifting in the ocean to die. You're rescued by a group of pirates and quickly rise in their ranks. The basic idea of the game is get Revenge on your evil brother Lung who happens to be attempting to take over the world. Not the best story- but it works.

GRAPHICS (8/10) This is a game of water combat. It being such, the water is obviously rather important to the game. Now, I haven't played many other water-based combat games, in fact Dead in the Water is the only one that comes to mind, so I don't have much to compare it to. However, I can say that the water is well done. It's smooth and realistic, ripples and waves look fantastic. There are a few different weather conditions in the game; calm ocean, medium-waves ocean, and high-waves stormy ocean. The wave effects look great. Along with the 3 weather settings are 3 time settings; night, mid-day, sunset. The graphics are most impressive during the night/sunset times, the sun/moon effects on the wavey water are gorgeous.

Then there's the boats. Your boat (the boat you're driving at any given time) always looks good. They're detailed and large on the screen, which I thought was cool. You can see all the weapons you have, on your boat. The machine guns move to track enemies, cannons flip up out of the deck, missile batteries raise up- all the little weapon animations were nice. The enemy boats don't look as good, they didn't put as much work into them (which makes sense, I guess), but they do the job. Weapon effects are just okay- the missiles, cannon shells, etc, don't look too spectacular. Overall, the graphics are pretty good.

SOUND (8/10) I was really pleased with the music of this game, and if you're cool at all, you will be too. It's a tasty mix of heavy metal guitars, old traditional chinese music, and some beats reminiscent of japanese techno. Definitely well suited to this game. The other sound effects are good; explosions, engines revving, and machine guns all sound fine, but aren't anything shockingly special. The main downfall of the sound is in the voice acting category. The game is set in some asian place. Your character has an asian name. Why does he talk like a white guy? And why do all of the other people with asian names sound like Indians (people from India) ? The voice acting will have you rolling your eyes at many different points, and perhaps laughing as well. It's like a terribly dubbed anime, but worse. I won't degrade the sound score much for this though- voice acting doesn't mean much to me, seeing as how during the actual playing time you won't hear any voices.

GAMEPLAY (7/10) I've seen a few people refer to this game as ''Twisted Metal'' on water or some such thing. It's not like Twisted Metal at all. The gameplay is all mission based, as opposed to a few vehicles in an area where the only mission is to destroy eachother. There's a few types of missions; escort missions, defend-the-base type missions, attack-their-base type missions, destroy X building type missions, and Recover X Items missions, and a couple others. While the missions provide a bit of variety, you'll find yourself spending most of your time blowing up enemy ships. For some people this will get extremely monotonous, but for a simple fellow like myself, it is rather enjoyable for a few hours (the amount of time it takes to beat this game).

Inbetween battles the story is told on illustrated scrolls, with narration. All the drawings are pretty good. This is unique- a nice touch.

Crucial to a water-based game is the boat/water physics engine. This is done flawlessly in Bloodwake. Enough said.

MULTIPLAYER (2/10) Multiplayer Bloodwake is about as fun as a root canal. It's not that it was MADE badly, it's just that two people driving fast boats have a hard time hitting eachother. You always end up close to your opponent, he's trying to circle around to hit you, and you're trying to circle around to hit him. It's like a dog chasing it's tail. Circles circles circles. No good.

CONTROLS (5/10) The controls are the worst part of Bloodwake. Turning your boat around can be a major pain in the ass. Turning in reverse? Forget about it. You're going in reverse holding one direction and all of a sudden your boat starts going the other direction for no apparent reason. Who knows why the hell they had THAT in there. Picking up crates out of the water in the heat of battle can also cause some major frustration. I haven't cursed at a game like this for a long time.

OVERALL (7/10) Bloodwake is a game with great graphics and sound that is somewhat hampered by it's control. The controls aren't always an issue, you'll just occasionally find yourself screaming expletives in the heat of battle when you try to reverse over that crate of rockets and the controller flips out. But it is kinda fun being a pirate. At some points during the game I almost found myself screaming ARRR MATEY and laughing maniacally. If you're looking for a deep, long game, look elsewhere. If you're bored and looking for a good shoot-em-up with some unique twists, give Bloodwake a shot.

goatx3's avatar
Community review by goatx3 (November 23, 2002)

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