Blood of the Werewolf (XBLA)

June 16, 2014 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

In Blood of the Werewolf, a mother tries to reunite with her son at all costs. Once part of a coalition of monsters, Selena and her family decided to break away and seek out a peaceful existence. But Dr. Frankenstein doesn’t appreciate the exodus of Selena, since she and her family are the last of the world’s werewolves. The monsters manage to track down Selena, kill her husband and kidnap her child, leaving her alone and near death. Selena recovers and pledges to get her son back, even if it means killing every last monster with her own hands. Now Selena embarks on a series of dangerous, brutally difficult hunts, to find those responsible and get one step closer to her son. She will have to navigate elaborate, lethal traps, precarious landscapes, and of course, monsters that will fight to her to the bitter end. But her maternal drive is immense and she has a powerful edge, since her werewolf abilities can allow her to do things few others could. The journey seems like an impossible one, but Selena will not yield and now you can guide her to the last light in her life, her son.

This is a hard game. If you’re a veteran of puzzle/platform games like Super Meat Boy, then you have an idea of what you’re up against in Blood of the Werewolf. You will be tasked to traverse some tough platform segments, which require split second timing and more than likely, some trial and error. There is also a combat element, both ranged and melee, so between horrifically hard jumps and trap evasion, you also have to fend off potent enemies. As if that wasn’t enough, you also have to do battle with several bosses that pack a mean punch. As usual, learning patterns and getting timing down is crucial, so pay attention and use your windows of time to the maximum benefit. You also have to learn two different mechanic systems, one as a human and the other as a werewolf. Each has specific talents you need to learn and exploit. The game does give you some olive branches however, from special abilities to health upgrades. You’ll have to work hard at times to earn these, but thanks to a generous checkpoint system once you nab them, even death can’t take them from you. So while the game is tough, it is also fair and that ensures that while you will die, you’ll rarely feel cheated by the game mechanics. I had a lot of fun with Blood of the Werewolf and while frustrating at times, the feeling of accomplishment when you succeed is well worth the struggles.

Video: How’s it look?

The game features somewhat retro, but still impressive visuals. I especially loved the character designs, which have a faithful, but updated take on some of the famous movie monsters. The visuals tend to skew dark, but that is to be expected and the brighter elements really stand out as a result. I was impressed with the overall level of depth to the visuals, with little touches here and there that added great detail. So yes the graphics are a throwback of sorts, but attention to detail is high and great creative touches are found everywhere.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The sound design is rock solid as well, with the music standing out as the highlight. Game music can be tough, as even good compositions can become repetitive and start to detract from the experience. But the music here is enjoyable and never grates, so you might find yourself humming some of the tunes here. Also of note is the vocal work, which is a cut above most arcade titles and adds a lot to the experience. So overall the audio presentation is well above the crowd and while sound design is sometimes overlooked, this game proves how important good audio can be.

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