Game Review #207: Blood Waves (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Bradford “TheWaffinator87” E.
Developer: Light Road Games
Publisher: Sometimes You
Category: Action, Shooter, Survival
Release Date: 3.15.2019
Price (at time of review): $9.99
Buy Blood Waves from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
Fun At First… Slash
From the very first round fired or the first slash of a machete, this game was fun. I remember seeing the trailer and thinking, “Hell yes!”
Blood Waves is a SINGLE-player zombie-slashing, wave-surviving, head-exploding good time! Notice how I capitalized SINGLE in Single-player? That’s right, you are alone, and trying to see just exactly how many waves you can survive all on your own! Don’t worry, you have some goodies that you can pick up in between waves to help even the score.
I would tell you the story if there was one, but this game starts off right in the middle of a temple and jumps right into the rotting-flesh fun. So, like I said, story? What story? You don’t need to know why this main character is in some sort of temple or where all the zombies are coming from. All you need to know is survive and KILL ‘EM ALL! I mean, if you really need a story to kill the already dead, I can tell you a story. I LOVE to tell stories! Or you can just make one up as you go.
The controls are very similar to other action and shooter games. You use the Left thumbstick to move around, and click and hold it in to sprint, ZL to aim, and ZR to fire or attack. In between waves, you can use X to pull up Build Mode. A button rolls, Y button jumps, and the Left and Right D-pad buttons cycle through your weapons.
Have I seen this before?
This game reminds me of if Racoon City were to take their hordes of zombies, round them up like some cattle, and then dump them off in some very deep underground temple, while Lara Croft is looking for whatever treasures lie before her. As she is about to get her treasure the hordes and hordes of zombies find her! Wow… look at that! I just gave you a story while describing how this game looks to me! Now, I am not saying the main character looks like Lara exactly, but that outfit seems awfully familiar. Maybe they just shop together?
When you run out of stamina while running, it reminds me of Carmen Electra’s character in Scary Movie when she is running all dramatically. I almost died laughing when I noticed this. And while the visuals of the game scream Tomb Evil—Tomb Raider + Resident Evil—the music reminds me a lot of Doom. When you are in the loading screen, the music has a more stereotypical horror-themed sound, but golly, that music you get while in the temple is music to my ears. It is a nice, generic, heavy rock song. I say generic because it is very basic, and it reminds me of a pre-loaded rock song you would get while visiting the MySpace page of a rocker fan. As generic as it was, however, it perfectly fit the game, and screamed, “KILL ‘EM ALL!” I was kind of shocked when my 6-year-old said he liked it. As long as he doesn’t start asking to go to Hot Topic I will be okay with him liking heavy rock.
The fact that you always stay in the same room can kind of be a buzzkill. The only time you get any change of scenery is when you are in Build Mode, or when new types of zombies come for you. I only had three pet peeves of the game, and the Tomb Raider/Resident Evil baby was one of them.
Let the bodies hit the floor
As much as I wasn’t a fan of the graphics, I did like some aspects of it. I like the blood spatter, for example, as it had a very old school feel to it, as well when you get head shots and the heads explode. In between waves was cool too. You go into a chamber and upgrade SKILLS (which ranged from health increase, to stamina increase, to resistance to different types of zombies), use a WORKBENCH to upgrade weapons and barricades and other defensive mechanisms, and you can purchase new weapons and refill ammo for current weapons you own. Once you are finished with upgrades and purchases, you go back to the main temple.
Before you start the next wave, you can go into BUILD MODE, which allows you to build sectioned-off areas with defense mechanisms, like turrets and flamethrowers. Now, just like you, your barricades and defense weapons have health, and if they take too much damage, you will be on your own again until the next wave break. The SKILLS bench was pretty damn cool as well, and had a very Bioshock feel to it—and now I need to go pick up the HD collection for PS4, so thanks for that.
When buying SKILLS and defense, I would recommending holding off on the zombie-specific items until about wave 6. What I mean by that is there are skills upgrades that will help you against the different types of zombies you will come across. I have only lived long enough to see 4 types: Basic Zombie, Machete-Wielding Zombie, Acid/Poison Zombie (made of acid or poison, and spits it at you), and the Bomber, whose head has a bomb jammed halfway into it, and when he gets close to you, it explodes. BOOM!
I honestly can’t tell you if there is a final wave or not. I imagine there is, but for me it was the 9th wave that finally got me. I’ve played this game several times now, and I think I may have to take a slight break from it for a little while. As much as I love the Doom-like rock band in the background and killing me some zombies, this game is more of something you pick up every once in a great while to play when really bored. I did come up with my own challenge (they could’ve at least added some challenges to make it a little more interesting): I went a round of using only a machete. I made it to wave 3, almost 4.
I never said I was a pro machete user.
Buy Blood Waves from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
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