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BloodRayne: Betrayal Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . If you're a fan of classic Castlevania games and are looking for a good (but fair) challenge, look no further than BloodRayne: Betrayal. Even if you feel duped by the past games (and movies), this new 2D action game packs more moves than you'll know what to do with. The amazing presentation makes WayFoward's newest Xbox Live Arcade game a must-buy! Rating: 78%
BloodRayne: Betrayal
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  • Review Score:

  • B+
There's a fine line between playing homage and being a complete and utter rip-off. BloodRayne: Betrayal is the latter. It borrows heavily from classic Castlevania games, especially Rondo of Blood and Dracula's Curse. And yet, instead of being repulsed by the blatant aping of some of Konami's best side-scrollers, I ended up falling in love with this 2D marvel. That's the first time I've ever said that about a BloodRayne game.

Let's not mince words here; the BloodRayne name doesn't hold a lot of cachet these days. After two middling 3D action games and three of the worst movies of all time, it's hard to get excited about the further adventures of Rayne the vampire. But fear not, because BloodRayne: Betrayal is here to shatter your preconceived notions about the series. This Xbox Live Arcade release is an incredible reboot to a series that desperately needed something to remain relevant. If this is the future of Majesco's long-running series, then let me get a chair and stay awhile.

BloodRayne: Betrayal (XBLA)

Much like the past entries, you play a sexy vampire known as Rayne. This sword-wielding seductress knows a thing or two about getting her way, and it usually means getting a little bloody. In this game she's brought in to help stop something or other from ... actually, there's barely a story here and the last thing I want to do is get bogged down into describing the worst part of the game. BloodRayne isn't about the deep characters and story, but rather the incredible action sequences.

Unlike past BloodRayne games, Betrayal gives us a solid 2D action game with spot-on controls and plenty of moves to master. Think of it as a mix of old school Castlevania and the combat of Devil May Cry. Your arsenal of attacks is surprisingly deep, giving you countless ways to launch enemies in the air and continue epic combos in style. While a lot of games are content with letting you mash the "X" button, BloodRayne requires you to learn complicated maneuvers and improve your fighting prowess.

BloodRayne: Betrayal (XBLA)

Not only does Rayne have her powerful blades, but she's also packing a powerful gun ready to take on enemies from far away. Getting low on health? Don't worry, because Rayne is able to chomp down on her enemy's necks and drink the sweet, sweet blood (recharging her health bar). You have a choice to let your victim live ... or so they think. If you let an enemy live, you'll be able to blow them up at any time to hurt other enemies and keep your kill combo alive. All of these moves play a big part in mastering this exciting Xbox Live Arcade game.

On top of the waves of bad guys, players will also have to deal with a lot of platforming challenges. Rayne isn't a fan of walking, so it can take a few minutes to get used to the speed in which she travels. She also has a dash attack, though the game never actually mentions it in the tutorial. Eventually Rayne will pick up a second gun (which is mostly used to solve puzzles) and even turn into a bird. All of these changes are added to the variety of each chapter. There are 15 levels in all, each getting increasingly more challenging. Gamers looking for an easy ride will get run over almost immediately. There are sections in this game that had me stuck for hours, constantly trying to make the quick jump or dodge the speeding saw blades. Yet I never felt like the game was cheating me. And once I finally cleared those feverishly difficult areas, I felt a sense of pride I don't normally feel in today's modern action games.
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