Devil Blood

Devil Blood is a homebrew first-person-shooter for the Virtual Boy in which you must.. wait, what?  This was an XBLIG?  Get the fuck out.

Kairi looks up what platform Devil Blood is on.

Well I’ll be damned, it was an XBLIG!  Huh.  I must have played the wrong game then, because the game I played had nothing but red in it.  Hold on, let me see what game I just played on my Virtual Boy.

Kairi leaves and it takes her 36 minutes to remember she doesn’t even own a Virtual Boy.

Well, this is awkward.  Allow me to start over.

Devil Blood is a first-person-shooter for XBLIG (I think) in which you navigate ten levels shooting floating demon-skull-thingies and, um, that’s pretty much it.  Every stage you encounter stronger skulls.  There’s only one skull-type per stage, each of which becomes more and more bullet-sponge like as you progress.  You’re equipped with two guns.  One is an assault rifle type thing  and the other is some useless elephant gun thingie that I never used because I decided to pour all my upgrade points into the rifle.

When you kill a skull, it will either drop souls or it will drop runes.  You can equip four runes at one time that will alter defense, mana recharge rate, or various spell effects.  I really didn’t pay too much attention to those either, because early into the game I skipped straight to the final boss stage and managed to pick up the three way-overpowered runes that were in the room with him.  Using those along with a fourth rune that recharged my mana faster, I was pretty much unstoppable.  I also ignored all the spells but the snowflake spell (aka Stasis), because it was the only thing that slowed down the enemies.  The only way the skull thingies attack you is by running up and touching you like they’re trying to give you herpes, so anything that slowed them down was a good thing.

Most of the time, the skulls drop souls, which is the game’s upgrade currency.  Using these, you can increase the potency of your gun or spells.  I spent most of the souls on gun strength, but each increased level added fuck all to the actual game.  The damn gun never seemed to get better.  I swear to God it was slower than watching actual evolution take place.  Or, if certain Christian scientists are to be believed, watching it not take place.

If you look at this picture with 3D glasses on, well, you'll look like a huge knob.

There are ten levels, but you can play them in any order.  So after a while I decided to just grind out the third level for an hour, building up my souls and upgrading my gun.  Once I had a level 20 rifle that could carry 100 bullets at a time with a level-4 firing rate, I skipped levels four through nine and went straight to the final boss, which is, you guessed it, a giant skull that tries to touch you.  Ewwwww, cooties!  Deciding that the best strategy would be to fire the stasis spell at it and nothing else, I would simply shoot at it, keep it nice and slow, step back, recharge my gun, and keep firing.  It worked, and I beat the game after firing about 10,000 bullets into it.  Rasputin was easier to kill than this thing was.

I was being slightly sarcastic about the whole Virtual Boy thing earlier.  In fact, there are brief moments where you see colors like green and blue.  The green is for the one exit that begins every stage.  The blue is for the runes and the spells that you shoot.  Otherwise, you have ugly red corridors, red enemies, a red gun, red bullets, red floors, and red ceilings.  Just look at the game play footage below (courtesy of http://Indies.onPause.org) to see what I’ve had to deal with for the last couple hours.  You know, I never actually did play too much Virtual Boy.  I was six-years-old when it was released and the kiosk for it at Target had so many warning labels on it that my parents thought it would make my eyeballs explode.  But I have heard tales of it causing headaches, and I’m suddenly inclined to think that it wasn’t because of the 3D effects.  The reason being I got a nice one going while playing Devil Blood, along with the fact that my eyes really did start to hurt.  That’s no joke.

I’m not sure what the dude behind this game was thinking when he came up with this color scheme.  It’s not like the Virtual Boy did all that well, or was deserving of some kind of tribute.  I don’t even know if that was his intent at all, but it sure seemed like it.  Leaving the color scheme aside, Devil Blood is one stupidly brain-dead shooter.  The level design is poor, the enemy design is poor, the upgrade system is painfully slow, and it just plain fucking sucks.  AND YET, it grew on me, like a tumor.  Just like Send in Jimmy, I ended up finding Devil Blood oddly endearing.  Maybe its because I figured there would be more in the way of first-person-shooters on the Xbox Live Indie Game marketplace and almost anything that is functional will stimulate that trigger-happy little part of my brain that almost got me to enlist when I was 18, before the coward section of my brain regained it’s footing.  I don’t know why but I started with a four-alarm level of hatred for this game and after about three hours I was kind of disappointed by how easily I was able to beat it.  Maybe I’ll go back and play those levels I skipped over.  Not bloody likely, but it could happen.  When pigs fly!  Hahaha!

Oh fuck off.

Devil Blood was developed by The Lost One

80 Microsoft Points think some Red Faction fan took the name too literally in the making of this review.

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

5 Responses to Devil Blood

  1. Starglider says:

    So did you have more or less fun with this compared to SEncounter and Nuclear Wasteland?

    • Kairi Vice says:

      It was awful but endearing, like I said. I don’t know if I so much enjoyed it as tolerated it, because it really is a terrible game, just like Send in Jimmy is. The opening hour to 90 minutes while you grind your stats is agony, but it’s not so bad after that. I guess to answer your question, I had more fun with this than I did with any first person shooter I’ve played on XBLIG so far. But that really isn’t high praise.

  2. John says:

    I agree with you, this game is so boring and awful…yet, I can’t stop playing it.

    • Jaz says:

      most people don’t seem to know you can sell your runes for a shit ton of souls. if you just level up off the souls enemy’s drop it will take hours but i went and sold all my runes and maxed everything out by level 5 also if you have at least 3 godly mana regen runes equipped you can fire thirty focused shots out of the bane rifle without running out of mana and it fully refills in about 1.5 seconds making it a million times better than stasis because it tears though even the ridiculous horde on level 9 without them reaching you. also the “elephan gun” or hellfire is a beastly and unstoppable gun in terms of power. it can kill the final boss in about 15 shots if you are using it all the way upgraded along with 4 spirit of my cat runes making it a boss that goes from nearly impossible the way she did it to a quick 30 second beatdown requiring no healing whatsoever. also another note about selling runes. if you have one ethersoul rune and the spirit of my cat runes and you use the fully upgraded bane rifle focus shots to farm the 9th level and sell all the runes you make 100000 souls in about 5 minutes. and if you think the runes hidden behind the boss were good, you were wrong. they add +5 to one enhancement and add godly increase to mana regen OR godly increase to defense while the spirit of my cat adds +5 to ALL your enhancements along with godly increase to mana regen AND defense meaning if you are using the hellfire you literally never run out of mana no matter what enhacement you hold down and with the bane rifle it regens fast enough to sustain 30 focus shots without running dry firing at the fully upgraded fire rate which is the only real way to survive the 9th level also having 4 godly boosts to defense makes it so you are almost invincible in levels 1-8. and on one last note if the “elephant gun” is so bad how come if its fully upgraded it will insta kill the enemies in levels 1-8 if you use focused shot. if you know what your doing this game goes from slow boring and hard to a fast paced, exciting, easy but still skill requiring game. i hope all of this info helped even though this post is so old.

  3. Pingback: Demon House: FPS « Indie Gamer Chick

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