A Bloody Night – Review
Follow Genre: Hack 'n slash action game
Developer: Emanuele Leoncilli
Publisher: Emanuele Leoncilli
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

A Bloody Night – Review

Site Score
6.6
Good: Simple to learn, very challenging
Bad: Some stages are really annoying
User Score
9.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

A Bloody Night is a retro looking arcade-style hack ‘n slash action game, a true tribute to the games from the 80’s. Its simple to learn, but very challenging to complete. The many stages are beautifully designed, and the gameplay is full of action. The game is developed and published by indie developer Emanuele Leoncilli. 

A Bloody Night logo

Story

A Bloody Night does not have much of a story to it, unsurprisingly. If you start a new game, you’ll see a woman getting killed by a bunch of armored guys. This whole story takes a few seconds to unfold, and that’s it! After that, your character is obviously out to get revenge on those armored guys; and voilà, motivation to kill some bad guys!

This classic story of revenge is super cliché, but that doesn’t matter at all for this type of games; it’s already pretty great to have some sort of excuse to justify the slaughter of hundreds of enemies. Besides, you don’t want to wait through an extensive story sequence before the bloody action begins!

A Bloody Night - screen 1

Graphics

A bloody night looks like a 8-bit retro arcade game. The backgrounds for the levels are animated pixel art, and look pretty awesome! There are very diverse environments in the various stages in the game; some levels have simple repeating walls as background, others have colorful waterfalls, forests, etc. Your character is a pixelated big guy in a fancy armor with a huge oversized sword. The enemies are all the same armored guys you saw in the intro, but they all have different colors based on which type of enemy it is, and which skills they have. This is pretty handy: you can recognize enemy-types from as soon as they get on screen, and decide how you’ll approach them. There are several different attack animations, and they all look pretty cool. The interface is pretty simple, just like in old arcade games.

While the game’s name is ‘A Bloody Night’, the graphics are not even -that- bloody. The enemies do have several cool bloody splatter effects upon death, and when your character dies the enemy tends to poke repeatedly at your dead character with a spear, which is pretty funny to see the first few times when you die. However, don’t expect massive amounts of bloody pixelated gore during your playthrough, except as a background for a few stages.

Sound

Sounds are pretty good: the levels all have fitting background sounds, and all moves your character and the enemies make have separate sound-effects as well. Some of these attack-sounds are seriously epic, and the splatter sounds you’ll hear when you kill enemies are awesome. The stages have simple battle-theme style background music (which you can turn off), and the menu has a pretty okay soundtrack. There is no narration in the game, while there are a few text bubbles.

A Bloody Night - screen 2

Gameplay

A bloody night is a side scrolling hack ‘n slash action game, reminiscent of the old 80’s arcade games. There are numerous enemies, simple platforming and many traps you have to avoid. This game is not easy, you die pretty quickly if you play sloppy.

You’ll start with a world map where you can select stages, but there’s a set route through the map with stages you have to complete to progress. One stage is pretty quick to complete, it usually just takes a few minutes, but some need several retries. There are also a few bonus stages which unlock after playing a few other stages, those are usually button-bash mini-games to test a certain skill. Completing them will grant a useful upgrade to your character, which are pretty important at the end. If you fail the bonus-game, you can try again after playing a few stages again, or even repeating one stage a few times. You can repeat stages as often as you’d want to beat your own score, though it seems kinda pointless to do so if you’ve completed them, since there aren’t any leaderboards for the game.

You can play with a controller or keyboard, but using a controller is way handier for this game. You have got 2 bars: one for your armor and one for your huge sword. The armor bar is basically your health bar: if the armor breaks, you die. It breaks after a certain number of hits, just like a health bar. Additionally there’s the sword bar, this is the ‘block’ bar. You can only block a certain amount of times per level. There are several simple combo’s to attack, also finishing moves, and you can block. You can use a heavy attack which blocks as well, but using this consumes your ‘blocking’ bar (sword health bar). However, while the controls are easy to learn, you’ll absolutely need some skills to complete the game.

A Bloody Night - screen 3

Most stages require you to run, kill, jump over obstacles and ravines, and avoid deadly spiky traps. There are certain stages which require more challenging tactics to complete: for instance, there’s one stage where you can’t jump, which is quite frustrating. You’ll need to block all projectiles, and run away a lot. At another stage the ceiling comes down, and will mean inevitable death if you don’t finish the level fast enough, which mostly comes down to killing all the enemies in the stage to complete it. Different kind of enemies need different strategies: archers and cannoneers shoot projectiles which need to be blocked or jumped over. There are poison mobs which emit a cloud of pretty deadly poison, and some huge armored mini-bosses with a big HP bar. There are also normal enemies which carry shields, and you’ll need to break the shield in order to be able to damage them. There’s a lot of tactics you’ll need to use to survive all these types of enemies, and several stages require different strategies.

The starting stages of this game are pretty easy, but as you progress through the game, the stages quickly get much harder to complete. Luckily you can select other stages and bonus stages to play, so you don’t have to repeat one stage forever if you can’t make it the first time, and you can try to test and hone your skills elsewhere. Movability is key to staying alive. Most of the time you can jump to dodge and save your blocking power for later, and you’ll run slightly faster than enemies, which is a good way to stay alive. Luckily, the screen scrolls back with your character so you can escape. But don’t do this too often, because eventually you’ll block too often or take too much damage anyway. The actions your character does need to complete the animation, so you can’t block immediately while jumping down a ledge, for instance. You have to time things well, which can be a bit frustrating sometimes.

A Bloody Night - screen 4

Conclusion

A Bloody Night is a perfect game for people who miss the old 80’s games. It’s fun, the mechanics are pretty simple, but the game is seriously challenging. There are a lot of different stages, and each stages takes just a short while to complete, making this game ideal to relax with some hacking and slashing in between tasks. The mechanics can be a bit frustrating, but if you mind your timing you’ll probably be able to work with it. The graphics and sound effects are good and fitting, and this game will certainly keep you entertained for a few hours.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
A Bloody Night - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Anmaja
Anmaja


I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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