Review by ArmamentArmedArm

Reviewed: 10/08/01 | Updated: 02/09/03

Own a Duo? Then OWN this game.

This is one of those games that you never hear anything about, can't find any info on, and can't find anyone that has played it. Usually that adds up to a crappy freakin game that should have never been released. But Blood Gear... man this is a game that came out of NOWHERE and rocked me like a hurricane.
I LOVE action RPGs, and if they're side-scrolling, that's about 100 times better in my book (Zelda II is one of my all time favorites). I also love mechs. Did I mention I love anime? Put 2 of those together and you have Front Mission Gun Hazard (another AWESOME game). Put all 3 of them together and you have Blood Gear!
Let me describe the graphics... not the best 2D I've ever seen, but definitely some of the best the Duo has ever thrown out. Everything animates nicely, there are tons of colors, and even some hefty parallax on certain levels. Some of the bosses are HUGE, and the last boss (in fact the whole last level) is insane. This is one game where I was more than happy with the ending.
Gameplay is all side-scrolling action, town exploration is in the standard overhead RPG view. If you've played Exile or Exile II, you know the formula. I'd also compare it to Zelda II, Monster World IV, Wonder Boy 3 & 5, etc (in fact, Westone, the guys that did the Wonder Boy/Monster World games, are listed in the credits for Blood Gear!).
One of the coolest things about this game is the experience system. Basically you earn points every time you defeat and enemy, then you go the mechanics shop and use them on whatever attributes you want. Each of the mechs has a different maximum, and unless you take your time you'll probably beat the game without having to max any of them out.
One final note, the language barrier is pretty much non-existent. The story comes across good through the cinematics, and there wasn't ever a spot where I got stuck for more than a few minutes. Someone with absolutely NO knowledge of Japanese (like me) can easily play through, beat, and enjoy this work of art. I can't recommend this game any higher, it's honestly one of the best old school games I've ever played.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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