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If Ninja Theory's rendition of Devil May Cry was a side-scroller that swapped the dark, gritty atmosphere for bright contrasting colors and featured a purple-haired protagonist who actually had balls, you would get Bleed, the indie game starring a tough-as-nails female who makes emo-Dante look... well, emo.
The game was designed by lone game designer, Ian Campbell, who designed and self-published the title originally on Xbox Live's Indie Game channel but then eventually decided to aim for bigger and better goals by bringing the title to a broader audience under the Bootdisk Revolution label, and hence he took to Steam's Greenlight community service and actually managed to get his game greenlit to appear on the Steam store. Fast forward a bit and here we are, reporting on the Big Picture Mode compatible title being made available to a vast swathe of gamers.
The side-scrolling action title does what it seemed like other big publishers would have cashed in on already but didn't: bullet-time gameplay with a lot of acrobatic bullet-hell combat and over-the-top boss fights. I mean, could you honestly ask for more from a game that's available for under $5?
Bleed could best be described as the child of an acid-tripped Super Metroid and meth-addicted Devil May Cry, with a dash of Max Payne's drunken stupor tossed in for good measure. Although, that same description could also be used for the Sega title Gunstar: Heroes, which seems to have a lot of underlying inspiration for Bleed.
You get plenty of old-school 16-bit style gameplay with plenty of new-school features to help balance the game out for a bit of nostalgia wrapped up in a tightly knit package suited for today's gaming audience. Whether or not this will score the gaming industry any points for trading the typical dude-bro in an action game for a dudette remains to be seen, but it's a step... right?
If you're keen on blasting through seven levels with a two-player co-op feature and earn three unlockable characters that aren't disc-locked behind a paywall, then you can grab Bleed at the low and discounted price of $4.49 on the Steam Store. Dang. if the game was discounted anymore than it already is then you could practically get it for free.