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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: D3Publisher
Developed By: Vicious Cycle
Genre: Action
Players: 1-2
Rated: M (Mature)
Release Date: January 7, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Price: $15
Written By: Matthew Prunty

January 17, 2010 - When you first hear the title Matt Hazard: Blood Bath & Beyond, you immediately sense danger around every corner and expect huge explosions for our adventurous protagonist. In actuality, you get exactly that and a whole lot more. You play as the main character; Matt Hazard, who has been putting in work since the ‘80s, or so he says. He’s face all types of obstacles that would leave other men shaking in their boots. He has look death right in the eye and asked if he felt lucky. Matt Hazard: Blood Bath & Beyond follows in the vein of its predecessor Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard in the sense that you have a real game, which is based on a fake game, however makes several references to other games in a humorous way. However, unlike Eat Lead, Blood Bath & Beyond has a lower price point, a different presentation and simply is more enjoyable.

Instead of following the same path as Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, D3Publisher and the developer Vicious Cycle decided to make a more budget friendly title and make it a downloadable game. Though they could have kept the same visual presentation as in Eat Lead, Vicious Cycle decided to go with a side-scrolling shooter, which follows in the vein of traditional titles like Contra. However, because Matt Hazard is so bad-ass, he has the ability to shoot in the background, something that our boys from Contra simply couldn’t handle. And to top it all off, through his adventures, Matt will gun down enemies on levels that are references to other games released including Super Mario Bros. and Mirror’s Edge, which will have you reminiscing about the past and getting your butt shot off in the process.

The story within Blood Bath & Beyond plays out as Hazard’s arch nemesis has traveled back into the past and kidnapped the 8-bit version, which forces our adventurous hero to go after him in order to stop himself (Matt Hazard) from being erased for good. As you embark on your adventure, you will do battle with a variety of enemies --pirates, robots, ship crewmen, high-tech mercenaries, etc.-- across several distinctive levels, including the videogame references mentioned earlier. There’s not much to the story, however information is given through on-screen text every time you encounter your arch nemesis and during the static cutscenes, which sets up the events within the following level. Also during these static cutscenes, Matt Hazard will often make fun of himself, his previous game releases, other game references, etc.

As you defeat enemies and destroy boxes, Matt Hazard will collect various coins and game box pieces, which offer some extra content upon collecting them all. With the coins, at the end of each level you are treated to a game of Pachinko, which allows you to rack up some additional points via dropping bodies down a slope, bouncing off pegs in our attempt to rack up points –250, 500 or 1,000 points—upon reaching the bottom. You have a choice of three difficulty levels –Wussy, Damn This Is Hard, and Fuck This Shit!—offering up varying degrees of difficulty. No matter the difficulty level, you will have access to continues, however on the hard difficulty levels you have a limited amount. You are also penalized 5,000 points with every continue you use.

Matt Hazard: Blood Bath & Beyond also features a Co-OP mode, which allows two players and two separate PSN accounts to play within the same game and collect trophies. Considering I haven’t come across any other title that allows dual-logins on the PS3, this is something people will definitely enjoy. The only hang-up about the Co-Op mode is that it’s local, so there is no online play beyond looking at the leaderboards.

Matt Hazard: Blood Bath & Beyond is one of those games that you can’t take too seriously otherwise you will miss out on lots of humorous moments and you won’t enjoy the game fully. Though with a price point of $15 (1200 MS Points), the game seems a bit pricey, however after spending several playing the title, I feel that the game’s price is well worth the enjoyment factor you will get out of the game.


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