When people mention in conversation “bringing New blood” it is to metaphorically describe bringing in something new to a situation. It’s a metaphor used in just about every workspace. Bringing “New Blood” can mean bringing in new talent, new workers, new soldiers, a new set of personalities and skills. With the vast variety of independent video games available today, a company has arisen, with its own incredible talent, to be a combination of a publisher and developer. With its own style, attitude, and incredible diversity of games, New Blood Interactive has set the stage to take 2017 by storm, and such, they began the new year in a big way at PAX SOUTH in San Antonio Texas.
With their extravagant booth, I got to meet members of the New Blood Interactive team. This young and incredible bunch were very excited to showcase their newest games. Seeing this variety of games was exciting as each one was entirely different from the next. The games on display included the following: Super Galaxy Squadron EX, a spaceship shoot- ‘em up. Dusk, a Quake-inspired fast-paced FPS. And, Tonight We Riot, a side-scrolling rioting beat-‘em up.
Tonight We Riot
Tonight We Riot was inspired by the principles of revolution and inspired by the real-life uprising that took place in more recent times all across Europe. From the very start, the game has a very 80’s vibe, from its presentation to its fantastic music. Playing with a member of the development team, we began our uprising against the government. Your objective is to fight back in every which way possible, from getting into fist fights with riot officers to throwing tires at trucks. Your objective is to take down entire districts of the city.
As we started our mission, it became apparent that despite this being a two player game, we would be getting help from other rioters, all AI controlled. The more we fought, the more chaos was generated, and the more rebels became attracted to our cause. We punched and kicked our way through the initial set of officers, but soon, barriers of cars and riot trucks blocked our way. Fortunately, we can hit and kick cars, which entirely destroys them.
Getting to one of the riot trucks was tricky, as it had a high-pressure water cannon. We jumped and pummeled the truck, then used the water cannon against law enforcement. Special boxes also contained small sticks of homemade explosives to give us a small edge in comba.t
Eventually, we got to a special law enforcement combat robot, armed with the latest in non-lethal pacification. Fortunately, me and player 2 recruited a bunch of other rioters. Dodging enemy fire, we were quick to take the boss down.
As the demo concluded, I remarked at the presentation of the game, as the visuals sustained a sharp 80’s feel, while the music had a pulsating, terrifying synthwave bass, which reminded me of Carpenter Brut’s EP III album. Tonight We Riot is looking like a solid game.
My time with Dusk, while very brief, was also quite thrilling. Dusk put me into a haunted farm, where mutant animals and eldritch creatures roamed the place, hunting me for my blood. The game immediately gave me a strong impression of inspirations from the classic 1990’s shooter, Quake. The game was extremely fast while having a 3D pixelated look. I grabbed a shotgun and managed to puts some rounds in the heinous beasts.
I was able to run and jump with surprising, breakneck speed. I did die repeatedly but got right back into the action. Each time, I got a little bit further. The controls were sharp, and the shooting experience was tremendous. Dusk is a solid throwback to classic shooters and coming soon on Steam.
Super Galaxy Squadron EX
Super Galaxy Squadron EX is a retro-styled spaceship SHMUP and in the spirit of classic spaceship shooters from the 160bit era, such as the SEGA Genesis. In the early 1990’s The SEGA Genesis, along with the Turbo-Graphix 16, were home to tremendously well-done and well-made spaceship shooters, from Musha to Zero Wing to Thunder Force. Super Galaxy Squadron EX has players saving the Earth from a relentless enemy with a powerful military. The game is open to casual players, as well as SHMUP diehards.
I played a round of endless mode, which tasks players to survive for as long as possible against an endless wave of enemies. The goal was to get the highest score possible, by shooting down as many enemies as possible.
I was initially taken to a character select screen, which consisted of an exciting array of pilots. Some pilots are humans, while others are aliens, and even cyborgs. Each character has their own particular ship and special ability. In combat, as players fight, they can activate their HYPER power, which is a unique special ability that has the power to give them an edge in the fighting. For example, one character can deploy a crystal and shoot into it to reflect shots all over the screen. I chose the cyborg and got going.
Super Galaxy Squadron EX was extremely smooth and very reminiscent of the arcade games of 1990’s. The smooth, silky framerate never skipped a beat, even when the mission got incredibly intense towards the end. Visually, the game was incredibly sharp, with massive ships and destroy entering my line of fire.
A nice touch was the use of the health bar, which gives players a fighting chance. Most SHMUPs lack a health bar, and the enemy, which is already firing hundreds of bullets at you, can kill you in just one hit. The health bar allowed players some breathing room for learning how to play.
As my HYPE meter built up, I was treated to my fighter firing a massive array of destructive bullets, vaporizing the gigantic alien ships that were in front of me. Ship after ship came after me, and I was able to down many. The particle effects, such as the explosions were a delight to see, and it gave me the impression of being a bonified badasss. After about 15 minutes, I was finally downed by the enemy and received a B rank for my score. Super Galaxy Squadron EX is currently available on Steam and is looking to make the jump to consoles sometime this year.
New Blood Interactive is living up to its name of delivering a new kind of video game talent to the industry. Whether it was taking back cities, shooting sinister monsters in the face, or saving the earth in a tricked-out spaceship, New Blood Interactive brought forth an excellent array of games this year.