Orangeblood – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Grayfax Software
Publisher: PLAYISM
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: PC

Orangeblood – Review

Site Score
8.8
Good: Classic difficulty, Beautiful graphics, Amazing music, Addictive gameplay
Bad: The game is unforgiving
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Classic RPG games have seen a widespread revival with the coming of the RPG Maker software. Thanks to this software, each individual can create their own titles in a user-friendly environment. For this reason, some games that are created in the program are looked down upon. However, Orangeblood is a different breed. While its base might be made in a Maker program, its heart and soul has been crafted by the most talented artists out there.

Story

The story starts quite vaguely; it is 199X and your character is held captive in an interrogation room by a powerful force. You overhear a conversation about a war brewing on the streets and that you are the ideal undercover agent for the job. Nothing is shown to the player about the mission and the story suddenly skips forward one month. Vanilla (the main character) has a beefy criminal record and seeks out help from Machiko, an old acquaintance and DJ. Machiko provides you with a place to stay, but gets dragged into the mess rather quickly. You get told by an agent that you have to secure an entry inside a facility that once belonged to North American Oil but no longer is in the hands of the company. As security is sealed tight, you must find a way to fight through. When approaching the landing site, it seems that the Russians have taken over Machiko’s old place and knock you into next year. This encounter made you realize that if you want to survive the harsh world, you must grow stronger step by step and take vengeance on those who do you wrong.

During the gameplay the story is told, either while walking around or with dialog screens. Sometimes it can be vague as things are told behind the player’s back, which adds to the mystery and will have you pay closer attention to the things said in-game. Progression is rather slow due to the game being an RPG title and the many hours of grinding that you have to do to progress. There aren’t any side quests, which is a bummer as these could add to the story of New Koza, your hometown.

Graphics

Orangeblood has been made in a retro pixel graphical style and this makes the game feel like a Final Fantasy game from the SNES. The old-school approach fits well with the game’s setting as everything is themed for the 1990s. The city of New Koza is a highly modern place with flying cars and robots, yet the general atmosphere is a blend of old and new. The first thing that the player notices is the insane depth that everything has. Maps are beautifully made and are so colorful in a flashy Neon-Tokyo setting. Animations are amazing with many things going on during combat. Bullets fly and ricochet off of metal and status effects are clearly shown. This is all brought in a simple user-friendly U.I. that each player can appreciate when navigating through. One slightly annoying thing is that the native game is shown in a rather small aspect ratio and when scaling to full screen, everything gets a bit blurry.

Sound

To aid the classic graphics there is a soundtrack from the same decade playing in the background. If you love the real Gangsta Rap/ Hip-Hop from Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, NWA, 2Pac, etc., you will love the beats playing in the background. What even makes it more fitting is that the characters scream ‘thug life’ and drive a lowrider. The music isn’t playing all the time as in darker alleys it might go silent so you can sneak up on someone. During combat, there is a great mix of classic rap beats and spot-on sound effects. Guns sound like their real-life counterparts and skills have special sounds that don’t get annoying when using them too much, such as a western tone to Vanilla her ‘Dead Eye’ move.

Gameplay

Orangeblood is a turn-based RPG game set in the 1990s Neon-Tokyo styled New Koza. After a short introduction to the story, you are dropped into your first combat segment. This does not really teach you the ropes as you get knocked out rather quickly by the strong mobsters. After getting back to your senses, you get the message that you must take over a club that is now owned by some thugs. Here is where you truly learn the combat of Orangeblood. Just like in any other RPG, you have items, gear, and weapons. Some guns target a specific enemy, while others randomly hit multiple targets. The way that the developers have implemented the gunplay in Orangeblood is rather great. Overall it feels smooth like any other classic RPG game, yet the way how guns work is highly realistic. Weapons have magazines that need to be reloaded when empty which you can reload manually during your action stage and this will also heal you. You can also opt to do a combat reload which leaves you completely open for attacks. Vanilla is the aggressive attacker that has skills to deal great damage, while Machiko is more the healer type that will keep the group fighting. Later in the story, you will also meet Yazawa and Jackie. The four of you go on an adventure to clear the tower and gain access for your boss as this will mean certain freedom.

Getting to the lowest part of the building will not be an easy task, therefore you must pay close attention to your play style and gear. Some might prefer a tank approach to things, while others love high-speed hit-and-run kind of combat. In order to be better prepared, you can equip gear in the form of fresh new trainers and tactical equipment like a bulletproof vest or helmet. All of the equipment has unique stats and can have buffs such as healing everyone upon reload, have high speeds stats or will keep you fighting at low health. The same goes for guns as some will have attributes such as stun, fire damage or cryo, and rare guns have even deadlier stats to give you an edge on the battlefield.

While the propaganda of good gear and having guns might make you believe that Orangeblood is an easy game, this is far from true. Orangeblood excels in being a retro RPG title thanks to its steep difficulty slopes. You might be able to get through the initial enemies, but there are always stronger ones out there. Those enemies are not shy to just obliterate your team and will have you grinding for new gear and levels. One thing that is missing is that you don’t really learn new skills when leveling up, so you must find that perfect balance between gear and leveling your character. This can be a bit tricky but just be prepared to spend some time obliterating weaker enemies so you can stand a chance of taking down the boss.

The game controls very well. Navigating around the map can be a bit tricky at first, but as you learn to use the mini-map, this becomes really easy. Working your way through menus is very easy and in combat the menus are so simple and user-friendly that using skills or doing anything is fluent.

Conclusion

Orangeblood is a great RPG title that winks back at the best Hip-Hop decade we had. The overall ‘thug’ setting is enjoyable, the use of guns and tactical gear allows for players that don’t really like the classic RPG setting to play a game like this on their own terms. Graphics are astonishingly great but scaling isn’t optimized to run on the full-screen setting. Furthermore, the grind can be tedious and getting instantly downed by a random enemy can also be quite frustrating. Get ready to sink some hours into mowing down thugs and mafia while chilling to some great West-Coast tracks.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Orangeblood - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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