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From YouTube to Journalism to Podcasting: An Update on Where to Find My Work

Hello readers, long time no see. The world has changed a lot since I was frequently posted. The United States is about to have a new President, COVID-19 has engulfed the planet, WordPress updated the look of the writing section here and its a fucking mess, and I have some new work to show off.

If you read my blog posts before and were wanting to know what I have been up to then this will give you an idea of everything for you to check out.

Let’s start with KeenGamer.

KeenGamer is a small, independent gaming journalism website. I have been writing there for almost a year now. I have written game reviews, guides, and plenty of news covering the games industry. I also revamped the site’s <a href="http://<iframe src="https://open.spotify.com/embed-podcast/episode/2hda3qNV99LuVrwXSOllvy&quot; width="100%" height="232" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media">podcast where we talk about all things video game related.

As of writing this update on my blog, I have been writing a lot on Cyberpunk 2077, which I am beyond excited about, so I have become the Cyberpunk guy at KG.

Since then, I got promoted twice to become a Senior Editor. Meaning, I edit and publish people’s articles across all the different types we put out for our readers.

Time to transition into my other podcast, Whiskey Talks.

I did not start this project, but my two buddies did. The idea is that they drink a lot of whiskey and shoot the shit. I came on board to keep the conversations on track.

We talk about a bunch of random topics from cults to time travel. At the end, we review an album of the week. Just something that we like or find to make for an interesting discussion about. It is a less official and quite arbitrary take on reviews, but its fun and introduces us and our listeners to a wide array of music.

We also have a store, so go check out our merchandise.

Finally, onto YouTube.

This is a recent endeavor, but I wanted to learn how to edit video. It is mostly for my resume to be more desirable for any employers out there. Also, it is a fun hobby as I survive the pandemic.

I got into it mostly because of a class I am taking where I learned how to use Premiere Pro and Adobe Spark. You can check out a story I developed, both in video form and as a multimedia package, on how the tattoo industry has been hit by COVID.

Regarding the personal YouTube channel, I make videos all about video games. I make gameplay videos for now, but I plan on expanding the kinds of content I produce.

Thank you for supporting me to get to this point for the old time readers. For the newcomers, welcome aboard. I hope you all follow me on some of these new adventures.

Album Review: Dance Gavin Dance – Afterburner

I have so many friends who love Dance Gavin Dance, which I always was able to appreciate and understand, but I could not sink my teeth into their material. Afterburner is the first album I had heard front to back. While it has some heavy hitters in the first half, and widely dispersed in the second half, it mostly runs together in a blend that cannot be distinguished from one song or another.

The heart starts to beat for the record with the pulsing instrumentation of Prisoner. It soon flips between heavy and melodic realms. The hard turns between hard-driving and a floating melody complement one another nicely.

Lyrics Lie is undoubtedly a lie in a good way as it starts off soothing, then next thing I know, I got a punch to the gut from screams and heavier instrumentals. The smooth, clean singing soon keeps up with the speed of the harsher vocals while bringing in some of the catchiest choruses I will hear all year.

Calentamiento Global really shines how awesome Matt Mingus is as a drummer as he takes charge of a majority of the track. Slowly everyone comes together for a homogenous sound. It layers in a hefty dose of a fun, catchy melody that does not stick in my head as much as Lyrics Lie, but it is still irresistible.

I have torn feelings on Three Wishes. The chemistry between the screaming and clean vocals mix so much better than Calentamiento Global, but it feels way too formulaic with its structure and overall sound. That said, it ends on a high note as it kicks up the power.

One in a Million brings in some pop influences that are happily welcomed to the mix. It manages to fit next to the heavy segments due to some stellar transitions from the group’s bass, guitar, and drum work. It all comes crashing together for one crazy conclusion, making this one of the best songs of the album.

Parody Catharsis comes in rather thin with a single guitar to follow behind the clean singing. It unexpectedly explodes and throws in plenty of other surprises throughout with its electric melody and headbanging moments.

On paper, Strawberry’s Wake follows everything that has been done right with the formulaic material found on Afterburner, but being seven songs in, I am starting to get pretty bored. It has the catchiness and melody but cannot stick the landing.

At least I got some caffeinated energy from Born To Fail. The cool and heat bang together then end up going into an intense descend that makes for a sweet highlight that makes up for some of the hiccups found before it.

Parallels is aggressively trying to beat out Lyrics Lie with its catchiness, to the point where the screams match the angelic singing. It manages to do this well by an impressive execution.

For the shortest track, Night Sway does not feel too condensed. It takes all that I know and puts it together in a nice, tight package. If it were to be any longer, then it would be too boring to handle.

The heaviest song is ironically one of the nicest titles, Say Hi. It surely says hi with some mean riffs and percussive power that can knock you on your ass. Even when the clean vocals get introduced after some aggressive screams, it does not let up off the pedal.

Nothing Shameful is quite shameful with its first collaborator on the album, Andrew Wells, who does not add anything to the song at all. The same goes for the actual band in this run of the mill filler track.

Thankfully we end on a high note in this weird hip-hop-inspired DGD sounding finale with Into The Sunset. Featuring ex-Attack Attack member Johnny Franck AKA Bilmuri, as he is in his side project that helped out the California based rockers. The chemistry is there, and the surprises do not let up throughout the album’s closer.

Afterburner has its problems, even with some strong songs have hiccups. The guitar work impresses early on but soon melds together, same with the vocal performances. Lyrically well written with some instrumental and vocal high points to make up for the lows.

Score: 7/10

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Image via Rise Records

 

Album Review: I Am Abomination – Passion of the Heist II

The latest I Am Abomination record, Passion of the Heist II, shows that progressive metal can rise above the jokes thrown at it due to generic bands who use the term djent too frequently. It is equally beautifully melodic while having some head pounding riffs and breakdowns to satisfy hardened metalheads like myself.

Decimation is a slow burn with light guitar action and a radio broadcast playing in the forefront. Soon enough, the build pays off as the instrumentation blows up. It dies down and transitions fluidly into Judas. I have a pet peeve of these interludes not flowing into the next song, and thankfully this is as smooth as butter.

Breakdowns rarely get my attention, but the tasteful execution with Judas¬†makes it a headbanging worthy track. It weirdly suites Phil Druyor’s angelic voice. Throughout the first full songs relentless with minor tweaks in the guitar riffs to give it life and not sound the same.

Coming in with hefty contrast, Ultraterrestrial has an explosive introduction of heavy riffs and aggressive drumming. Then everything seeps into the darkness for an atmospheric spotlight on the singing. I thought I knew what I was getting here, I got smacked with delightful hard-driving segments that swap back and forth with the more moody tone.

I knew Ben Duerr of Shadow of Intent appears later on, which made me beyond happy and I will go on about my love for him and Shadow, but I had my breath taken away from me when I saw Jesse Cash and JT Cavey of Erra popped up on Way of Sorrows. They fit almost too well, as it shows how much Erra and IAA sound similar. Once I got past it, I could appreciate the incredible vocal chemistry between the three singers while they all had time to shine on their own without feeling cramped.

While taking a step down in heaviness without Cavey’s screams, Lamb to the Slaughter brings in thicker bass lines, more substantial percussive power, and breakdowns that will surely break my neck. Although the solo was a highlight, it did showcase how it sounded too similar to some of the melodic riffs that have been featured so far in the album.

Second Death lays out some nasty bass lines with some slick guitar riffs. It cleans up afterward to match the cleaner vocal delivery. I wish it stuck with the initial direction, but it is still a worthy entry on the record.

Another satisfying transition as Second Death slides into The Greatest Sin. The chaotic one on PotH with a more powerful vocal performance compared to the previous tracks while still sticking to the same delicious formula.

Slowly coming from the underworld, Arcadia rises into a brief headbanging introduction before dying down to shine a spotlight on the singing. Even with the changing direction, it is relentlessly rhythmic.

Polyphia members Tim Henson and Scott LePage come in to lend a hand in the instrumentation of Heir to the Throne. Admittedly, I was worried as this is the longest song, which is not even that long, as it may overstay its welcome. Instead, I was greeted with a beautiful piano that transforms into a grand orchestra with a choir that adds to the epic feel of this track. Eventually, it turns into a fairly standard song then ends on a high note as the whole group and their collaborators go wild.

Settling down before the brutal finale, Martyr is a moody, atmospheric track that focuses purely on Druyor’s vocals. It lends itself as a great followup to Heir to the Throne.

Deicide features one of my favorite vocalists from one of my favorite bands, Ben Duerr, from Shadow of Intent. His unbelievably brutal range weirdly compliments Druyor’s high pitched singing in this heavy conclusion.

Passion of the Heist II is 11 tracks of solid music with some that stand out more than others, mostly due to excellent collaborations that were not thrown in for a brief moment that flies by without adding any substance. While every member kills it instrumentally, some of it blends together, so more variety across the record would help. That said, it is a must-listen for metalheads.

Score: 8/10

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Image via I Am Abomination

 

 

Video Game Review: Resident Evil: Resistance

It is hard to beat a unique game that gets packaged for free with another. Capcom did this probably because Resident Evil 3 Remake was short as hell, but a solid experience. Resistance, a four-against-one online title, has great ideas with the right execution but needs time to bake a little longer before being a worthy component to Jill Valentine’s nightmarish battle with Nemesis.

The premise is laid out like this, four players must go around a map to find pieces to a puzzle to unlock a door to the next area while a mastermind plants zombies and traps to stop the survivors from escaping. I love the idea, it is like Saw meets Resident Evil meets Dead by Daylight. It is thrilling yet frustrating, and I still find myself going back to it because I like the concept more than the actual experience.

Survivors need to race against the clock and add up time by killing the undead and placing puzzle pieces. Once I got the hang of it, my friends and I got slowly better at getting to the next area but never enough to win a match as it feels unfair in different ways.

The critique is partially based on my lack of skill, but some things are in favor of the mastermind who can drop your time by injuring and killing survivors. The level design is too tight, making it too easy to get overwhelmed by hordes of the undead.

Another issue comes from not being able to tell how close tougher enemies are to death. Damage numbers pop up on the screen when you bash, shoot, or explode the infected. For bosses like Mr. X and other of the higher tiered undead, it does deliver a good signal for how close they are to dying, unlike a health bar that would be more direct.

Plus, it is a pet peeve of mine when I see arcadey styled damage numbers come to the screen when I hit an enemy. It feels out of place for the art style of the latest RE titles.

Both masterminds and survivors all feel unique. Each character has their own abilities. Skills can be purchased and swapped out in the lobby as everyone prepares to escape or prevent escapees. Even though I got mad when another player took my main, I got to try someone else out as a survivor and enjoyed trying out new playstyles.

Resident Evil 3 Remake Screenshot 2020.04.03 - 22.38.35.86

The controls for survivors match how it is when playing RE 3 or 2 Remake. The exception is that it does not have a dodge button like the third installment. With the tight levels, it would be helpful to have a way to get away when being overwhelmed by incoming zombies or Mr. X, who is going to bash my skull into pieces.

Other than that, it felt fluid and as satisfying when shooting as it does in both remakes. The only issue I found was trying to hold F (I am playing on PC) to perform certain actions like picking up teammates, it did not always respond appropriately.

The survivors did get a helping hand with healing items and credits placed throughout the map at a consistent rate. Credits are used to shop in the safe zone for new weapons and equipment to arm yourself before heading out. It was a limited variety but had a positive impact on my survival. I do wish I got a different selection between areas as by the final are before escaping, it has the same offerings as the previous section.

Playing with friends in a lobby is not user friendly. Wanting to go into the shop for cosmetics, customize your loadout, or do anything means you have to leave and start up a new setup for your friends to join you in a match.

If you can play the mastermind right, you can crush survivors. That said, the controls felt less responsive and intuitive. Switching between cameras and my arsenal of traps and zombies was frustrating as I tried to do specific actions. Clicking on a trap or lifeless minion to spawn would get stuck if I was aiming at a spot that cannot place it in certain areas to close to objects, leading me to cancel then try it again on another spot.

I am certain I will play more after I write this review because it is irresistibly fun with friends. That said, I will go into my options to turn off the dialogue, mostly because the constant taunts from the masterminds are annoying beyond belief. Kill me or don’t, just shut up.

The AI problems must be an issue with the RE engine as both of the latest remakes and Resistance have the problem with zombies being unbelievably dumb by walking into objects and getting stuck. If you are a mastermind and the survivors are good, then you are at a big disadvantage if your minions decide to stumble into a chair for 10 seconds while someone opens up the door to escape.

Challenges and completing matches will grant you points to unlock equipment and cosmetic chests. The loot boxes are fair as the loot is not that bad, and getting enough credits to unlock gear is easy. I play two or three matches and can get some goodies.

The main technical issue I had was my audio stuttered in and out, then completely cut out. That was only for one or two games, and it did not completely crash my experience.

Resistance needs some quality of life improvements as little things pile on to hurt the game. Plus, I think some work needs to be done to find matches quicker as finding one as a survivor takes a couple of minutes, a mastermind can take up to five or more minutes. With some content updates and polish, I am sure this will be a great game to hop on with friends who love Resident Evil.

Score: 7/10

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Video Game Review: Resident Evil 3 Remake

NOTE: I will review the online title that came packaged with Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil: Resistance, in a separate review. This is purely for the remake of RE 3.

Capcom has brought Resident Evil back from the grave to its former glory since its seventh main installment in 2017 and last year’s excellent Resident Evil 2 Remake. One year later, bringing the third entry of the ridiculous zombie franchise to the modern age seemed like the right move. In many ways, it was, but so closely related to 2019’s hit and a lack of innovation on the original game’s mechanics brings this highly anticipated action-horror title down a notch.

Resident Evil 3 Remake Screenshot 2020.04.03 - 11.43.24.30

Happening before and during RE 2, Jill Valentine (Nicole Tompkins) wakes up to Raccoon City on fire with a horrifying monster named Nemesis and the undead flooding the streets. In typical RE fashion, she and new-found friends like Carlos Oliveira (Jeff Schine) must try to save the city and get to the bottom of what is happening. I never played the original game, similar to my experience when playing last year’s remake. Still, despite having knowledge of what will most likely happen due to the many sequels that came since 1999, I felt the thrill of trying to save an already doomed metropolis.

The acting is a great improvement, especially as the franchise tends to suffer from that end, the dialogue is written better. I know it changed from the initial release in the late 90s’, yet what makes it more enjoyable is that it does not have nearly the same amount of awkwardness as RE 2. I hate to overly compare the two, but it is impossible not to in this situation and hell, the flirting between Leon (Nick Apostolides) and Claire (Stephanie Panisello) was laughably cringy, despite their best efforts when delivering great performances.

Resident Evil 3 Remake Screenshot 2020.04.03 - 09.39.11.89

The live-action introduction was a stylish way to start that immediately got diminished with a jarring first-person section with Jill before heading into the standard third-person view. Even in the normal perspective, the field of view was too close, even at maxed settings. My eyes got used to it, but at times it was painful.

The new RE engine introduced a few years back with Biohazard continues to satisfy with its enhanced gameplay. The guns feel gratifying as chunks of zombies get blown to bits, and moving around feels better than ever with an added dodge mechanic.

I know it is a staple for Capcom’s Fast and Furious styled zombie games, but inventory management and crafting is so fun, yet stressful. Finding gun powder when I need ammo with full pockets got my brain going as I try to figure out how to stuff everything and not leave one little item behind.

Despite being in the city, the level design keeps it tight like its predecessor’s police department. While I did not feel scared at all unlike my time with RE 2, I was stressed enough in a sadistically thrilling way. I do adore exploring to find little hidden gems, and backtracking never feels punishing in the best of the RE games, like this 2020 remake.

A gameplay staple in the franchise that it mostly omitted comes from the puzzles. One or two pop up which are decent but the lack of obstacles for my mind, even if at an elementary level, takes away from the variety in what I was doing throughout. I found myself mostly gathering things to unlock a new area and fight off whatever zombies came my way.

Nemesis is essentially a faster, stronger Mr. X. Despite that, I felt he was underutilized. Popping up here and there only to push you forward as you run away without posing any real threat.

The boss battles felt very 90s’ in the worst way possible. Even the lesser of the Resident Evil games manage to have some epic fights that feel deserved. Here, these showdowns are easy and repetitive without much to impress.

Collectibles only consist of bobbleheads to find, sadly, but the documents still match the quality I expect. It is a good relaxing time to read a file about people’s misery or uncovering a piece of paper that expands the universe.

The AI matches the level of intelligence found in RE 2. Zombies walking into walls with their heads turned to me. They know I am there, yet they will get stuck on an object or really want to rub their cheek against a wall.

The coldness of the undead populated Raccoon City does not hinder its beauty. A destroyed city with breathtaking lighting and graphical fidelity makes for one gorgeous game that enhances the horrors that surrounded me on my adventure.

I played on PC, which ran like butter on my 144Hz monitor and at a steady 200+ FPS. One issue I found is seeing enemies in the distance, they tend to look like they were stuttering a little.

After beating, there are not second playthroughs or much to entice going back in. A shop unlocks and gives you points based on the challenges you completed. It had basic items along with unique weaponry like a heated blade to burst zombies and monsters on fire and a select few guns with infinite ammo, but even those fun toys did not make me want to jump back in anytime soon.

I completed my playthrough in four hours and 43 minutes. The quality of it does not match the $60 price tag for me, even with the amount of fun I had, so go buy it on a discount in a few weeks or months. Resident Evil 3 is a flashy remake that falls short due to its younger sibling’s success and lackluster mechanics that do not bring anything to the table.

Score: 7/10

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Video Game Review: Doom Eternal

I adore the 2016 reboot of Doom in all of its blood-soaked heavy metal glory. While Eternal falls short in some areas that its predecessor shined in, it is still a sequel that manages to go above and beyond on the core elements that made the previous entry so special.

Coming off the last title, the mission failed, and Hell rules most of Earth. The Doom Slayer must go through the hierarchy of Hell to stop the demonic army from destroying the last of humanity. It layers in thicker layers of lore and stronger storytelling, making for a much more engaging experience than last time.

The gameplay is so much more refined than Doom 2016. While the guns were great, some felt more tuning would have done them justice. Eternal evolves some familiar weaponry with introductions to brand new toys. Killing hellish monsters has never felt this good.

Glory kills on stunned enemies, and chainsawing through flesh highlights how much more gruesome things have gotten. The over-the-top violence never gets old, and I crave to get back in as soon as I can for more blood-soaked fun.

Mods return for each gun, two for almost everything except for the Super Shotgun and BFG. I felt I was switching between different firing modes more so this time around, mostly due to the new enemy types. It gave more meaning to what I had selected, making fighting that much more strategic and overall improved from four years ago.

Moving is fluid as ever, for the most part. Platforming is a nice touch when you aren’t massacring endless hordes of demons, sometimes getting woven into battles, but at times the Slayer did not grab onto things I was trying to climb. Swinging around, felt satisfying, but the climbable walls felt too stiff.

Puzzles act as a way to breathe in between fights. However, I found it to be lackluster and nothing too impressive. Mostly punch this thing in time to punch another to unlock a door. It was all elementary and not elaborate. Also, I found some to be not so clear on how to go about it despite the classic signals, but I can be dumb too.

Encounters and Slayer Gates are challenges that replace the rune trials from before. The upgrades rewarded make it worthwhile, especially since many of these can take some time as I did die on some a lot. Seriously, fuck Marauders.

Exploring gets deeper with more depth to the level design. It leans linear with nooks and crannies that have goodies to find. Upgrades, toys, vinyl records, and files to expand the lore make me want to go out a collect it all, which you bet I will after writing this review.

Also, if anyone works at id Software or Bethesda, please make these toys and albums, I will buy them all in a heartbeat.

Another cool collectible comes from the cheat codes. Bringing back the old days when games had god mode and infinite ammo. What makes it better, you can use them and not lose progress, making a 100 percent run-through less painful and more fun.

While trying to navigate these worlds, I still found the map to be awkward, like in the reboot. I got used to it, but I still think id Software could dial it in.

Everything can get upgraded from guns, your abilities, and the selection of three runes that have various attributes. It goes into an RPG realm, and while it is on the thinner side, it is a brilliant addition to powerup the most badass protagonist around.

Doom Eternal Screenshot 2020.03.20 - 10.07.18.56

Speaking of badass, I never felt more empowered in a video game in my life. Once I got the rhythm down of the combat and movement down, it made every kill that much more satisfying. That said, it is a must to go on a harder difficulty. I got put on my ass to keep my ego in check as it is insanely hard but fair at all times.

The bosses get depth with multiple phases and some more exciting move sets. I feel more games these days have lost the art of making an excellent baddie to face. Eternal matches up with FromSoftware when it comes to having an epic battle with a giant monster.

Bones are thrown to you with extra lives that can be found or knowing enemy weak points, a great new addition to get the leg up on these goddamn demons. Keeping up with that fairness, I just mentioned.

The demon variety is about doubled in size. Familiar faces, retro enemies return from the past, and new monsters all are coming after the Doom Slayer. To make it all better, enemy damage shows off armor and flesh getting blown off. It gives a signal to when you are about to kill off a pesty creature while looking so incredibly brutal.

A hub world has been placed with the most metal name imaginable, the Fortress of Doom. Unlock new upgrades, and cosmetic armors (which needed more than the three in there) will prepare you for the next mission, or get you diving into the battlefield in style. Plus, instead of looking at what I collected in a menu,¬† all of the collectibles with shelves full of toys or being able to play your vinyl collection as I got to relax in the Doom Slayer’s awesome man cave.

One thing found in the basement of the Slayer’s lair is a practice arena called the Demon Prison or its other more brutal name, Ripatorium. I had no use for it as no reward came out of going into fighting down there. I feel honing in on skill is best playing the game normally.

Master Levels is a bonus mode to play specifically selected missions with an added difficulty. Enemies who may not spawn until later in the game will show themselves to you with more abundant spawns. It is not my jam like the Ripatorium, but it does add some additional replayability.

The environments are better than ever. More variety from Hell on Earth, new planets, and ancient cities flesh out this universe. Each new place kept things fresh.

Everything in this game is so devilishly, disgustingly beautiful. Higher-end textures and details pop, especially in the advanced lighting effects.

The online is devastatingly disappointing. While the reboot had an in-depth customization option and various game modes, this has one mode plus a small number of skins to unlock rather than making a character look like an individual. Battlemode is two v.s. one, two demons and one Slayer, to battle it out in three rounds. It is a ton of fun, but that being the only option is a huge letdown as I really enjoyed Doom 2016’s competitive multiplayer.

It is annoying that in Battlemode, you do have to do a tutorial to play the demons without a way to skip it. I wanted to play with my buddies on night one and had to go through a rather unhelpful mission to learn how to play.

Singleplayer missions, weekly challenges, and multiplayer give out experience to unlock more cosmetic skins for guns and playable characters. I wish there was more, and I have a feeling additions will be made, but it was a weak lineup. What was available did look awesome, if that makes up for the lackluster amount.

The shining star outside of the combat is the music. Mick Gordon reprises his role as the game’s composer and elevates this heavy metal soundscape. Outside of battles, an electric atmosphere keeps the vibes going while when the demons come out, so does the brutal tunes. As a lifelong metalhead, Gordon gets the seal of approval.

The elephant in the room is the technical difficulties. On the lighter side, enemies would occasionally freeze in place until I attacked, and a brief lost save made me go back a few checkpoints. The killer was the crashes, which got to a point the game was unplayable for a few days before miraculously fixing itself, even then I had two or three shutdowns while playing.

If Doom Eternal gets an award this year, then it is for the most intoxicating experience of the year as the brutal soundscape mixed with its ridiculous gameplay. It breaks my heart that I have to rate it lower than I want to, but the technical difficulties and online bring it down a peg. That said, the campaign alone with its storytelling, level design, and overall experience beats out Doom 2016, making this sequel more superior in the end.

Score: 8/10

 

 

Video Game Review: Bloodroots

Bloodroots offers cartoony action that lives to its name with bloodsoaked violence that is satisfying through every level. As my first new game of 2020, this is a strong start to the year.

Left for dead by his fellow criminals, Mister Wolf seeks out revenge upon the ones who betrayed him. The story has its twists and turns that make for a surprisingly well-written ride that guides me through the game. I did have points of not caring as it fell short with its cryptic storytelling that should have gotten to the point faster, but its quirky characters made up for some of its faults.

The platforming action indie mixes a style of combat that works as a puzzle. Observe the environment, see what weapons that only have one to three hits before breaking are available, and the enemies standing in the way. It delivers a challenge that did not usually meet infuriating peaks as respawning went to hyperspeed to get me back in action.

Okay, I did get pretty angry at some points.

The controls feel tight with the fast movement when navigating the world and its fighting mechanics. I did have issues of picking up weapons when they lay on top of one another, leaving me to juggle through guns and swords to get what I wanted. Another problem I found was sometimes I felt jumping or attacking was unresponsive, but it did not ruin my experience.

The variety of murderous utensils sprinkled through each level was an astonishing amount. Many of which had their own abilities with little crossover, or at least have a special quality to set one item from another. It could range from a silly killing tool like a giant boot or a Final Fantasy styled sword.

A little cherry on top when defeating the final foe delivers a quick execution that is unique for every weapon.

The enemies match the weaponry variety. Each new threat gets introduced slowly yet consistently to keep the gameplay fresh.

A highlight comes from the identifiable bosses. Each having a personable approach to dueling it out. While the first two had a balance of fun and challenge, the final battle felt cheap with it relying on luck more than skill in some phases.

Another way things never got boring was the level design. Constant new platforming obstacles rose up along with some light destructible environments to add to the chaotic nature of Bloodroots.

Random bonus levels would come in between the main missions. These time trials were fun with no reward and got in the way of the progress of the story.

One reward comes from hats, which are modifiers when replaying levels. It can enhance your chances of survival like a new ability or flips the controls for a greater challenge. I had no motive to go in to redo any level as the points and leaderboard aspects that heavily embedded itself into the end of each objective felt hollow.

The camera adds an extra depth to Paper Cults’ Western adventure. Going from a top-down perspective to a side scroller kept surprising me with its clever uses to give a different feel to various parts of my time killing endless hordes of people. Only once and a while, it did interfere with my vision, making certain spots unnecessarily tricky.

The Saturday morning cartoon style of the graphics brings me back to my childhood. Its nostalgic visuals lend to a show that would be great for adults as Mr. Wolf goes on massacre after massacre with each episode.

The music might be my favorite quality outside of the graphics. A wild amount of influence slides into the Western theme like electronic and rock music. It fits the tone and the high tempo gameplay.

Bloodroots is an endlessly fun adventure with amusing characters and thrilling gameplay. Though the humor falls flat and the story dips here and there, it has more to offer than just its platforming and bloodthirsty action. The price sits right when looking at its relatively short length, depending on how long it takes you to get through it compared to me, a guy who sucks at video games.

Score: 8/10

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