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blue rider review old fashioned shooting makes for a good time

It’s no mistake that video game today is checking in on the throwback styles of idea games past. The gameplay styles, visual designs, and overall setting were very unique from the games today. Their simplicity was rewarding. Whether it was defeating the Red Falcon menace in Contra, protecting the United States in Soviet Strike, or flying amongst the star as a fox in Star Fox, these were games that had a high focus on gameplay design and distinctiveness. While some games inject a variety of modern twists into throwback titles, Blue Rider, from Argentinian-based Ravegan games, keeps it simple and that simplicity makes the game a very solid action outing.

Blue Rider has you as the pilot of a blue, heavily armored and very lethal gunship. Your objective is to take to the nine different lands and obliterate anything that is openly shooting at you.  There is no story or narrative to explain why it is you that is forced to destroying these massive monstrosities. They don’t even have a name. In that case, you can make up a story and it’ll fit well. The focus here is the gameplay.

Blue Rider is shaped in the styles of early isometric shooters that had existed in the 1990’s. Games, such as the STRIKE series, FutureCop L.A.P.D, Project: Overkill, Loaded, and cult-classic PS One game, ONE, focused on the shooting combat throughout the player’s journey. Blue Rider focuses on this gameplay to a great extent and sends players on a challenge that will test the video game warriors that survived the Nintendo, SEGA, and arcade classics.

As an isometric shooter, Blue Rider will have players fly around large zones and destroy every last mechanical enemy. The bad guys are mechanical, coming in a variety of shapes and sizes. They will stop at nothing to destroy you in a hail of missiles and glowing orb shots. There are relics to collect to boost your score, as well as weapon power-ups. Large, blue cone-shaped towers contain capsules. As they fly towards you, they change color to correspond to the upgrade you will receive. Red means you will receive an upgrade for the machine-gun like spread shot. Blue means you will receive an upgrade for the more direct blue laser shots. Purple will upgrade your secondary weapon and green will change your secondary weapons from bombs to homing missiles.

What follows is an action-packed challenge, where players will have to use maneuverability and skill to take down every last enemy mech and survive the dangerous boss fights. When playing Blue Rider, there is a sense that few games capture and that is making the game challenging to the player in manner that is both hard, yet fair. The thrill of taking down a wave of hulking mechanical robot tanks is further encouraged by the fact that you used your agility and risk-taking to do it! To cap it all off, each level ends in a tumultuous boss-fight, with several mechanical beasts. This includes a walking battle tank, a laser-spewing worm, an armor-plated spider, and many more. Each boss will challenge players, and twist up the usual tropes, to keep players on their toes. Blue Rider is a solid fight from tart to finish.

Blue Rider is a charged, action experience throughout. Even in the face of failure, the game will challenge players to keep on playing. For completionists, the game will challenge players to finish all 9 levels in one sitting, which will be a solid feat.

Blue Rider’s presentation further evokes the old, action-soaked classics of the 80’s and 90’s with retro synthesizers and a bright color palette. The environments, while simple, glow, especially in the jungle and ocean levels. The music is simple, yet fitting, like an arcade classic.

If there’s any forewarning for players it is that the controls have a sense of weight to them, which do take getting used to. Blue Rider emphasizes that players are in control of a gunship and not a high-tech, ultra-fast alien fighter. While the craft is maneuverable, the sensation of weight does give players an added sense of gravity for the action, as well as a sense of strategic importance.

Blue Rider is simple, pure action and that is just great! While there are no stories or extra play modes, throwback titles that focus squarely on gameplay and style are extremely welcome in the video game space today. Blue Rider is a wonderfully good action game and a nice break from traditional action affairs.

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