STAFF REVIEW of BATS: Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad (Xbox One)

Sunday, October 31, 2021.
by Heather Webster

BATS: Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad Box art Welcome to the Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad. Step into this excellent throwback game that makes you feel like this could have been an awesome animated show from way back when I used to wake up early to watch cartoons. This fast-paced bloody action-packed brawler-shooter game is everything I didn’t know I wanted to play in an indie 2D platformer game. It has fast action, massive frustration and just the right amount of nostalgia all packed into five levels where timing and patience are the name of the game. You use the D-Pad to move, attack and open doors. Collect the blood of your enemies to build up your super vamp power. Defeat Scorp and unlock your fellow teammates then move onto the next stage.

Meet Count Bloodvayne and Squirt. Bloodvayne is a Victorian era vampire who worked for Scotland Yard and was hunting Jack the Ripper when he was bitten by a creature of the night. Squirt is the team mascot. When we first meet Bloodvayne we find him in his secret lair, and Squirt wakes him from his slumber to tell him that Scorpion Supreme has taken his team hostage at S.T.I.N.G headquarters. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to bring hell to the headquarters and rescue your team.

You start as Bloodvayne for the first level where you’ll go through the tutorial, but it is pretty easy to understand once you get going. When I first started playing I died quite a lot though. The enemies running and shooting at you, swinging blades, fire and other obstacles were quite the challenge, and there were many points that had me yelling at the screen, threatening to throw my controller and just angrily shutting down my console. This anger was a great motivator to get me to finish the game though, as I laughed, I cheered, I conquered and ended up absolutely loving this BATS: Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad.

One of my favorite characters in the game was Sergeant Sabre, the half-human half-vampire musclehead who reminds me of a 16-Bit rendition of Blade. My other favorite player to use was Rick Ghastly, a ninety’s boy band hunk turned vampire. He has the best weaponry in my opinion, a double-barrel shotgun. Take your shot with time trials mode, where you get to run the stages and set time records to give yourself a challenge or have your friends try to beat yours. There is also a boss’s only mode where you can test your skills against Scorp and prove you are better than him over and over again.

The graphics being 16-Bit would have you expecting minimal details and memories of early video gaming, but this wasn't the case at all. The memories are definitely there, and I was pretty happy with the full graphic quality because I could still read the dialogue and see clearly what was happening in each level, making it easy to navigate and enjoy. At first, the soundtrack was great for getting my blood pumping and ready for action, but it did become repetitive after time.

Aside from the basic retro-style soundtrack and the frustrations, I had an excellent time playing BATS: Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad through! The small number of levels and medium-level difficulty makes this a great little indie game, perfect for a quick gaming session to get your heart racing and the thrill of being a vampire. I will recommend this to my friends who want to try a new small indie game with heavy blood content and will also probably play through it a few more times. My overall recommendation is to spend the $12.79 (CAD) and give this game a spot in your library because it proved to be a lot more fun than I originally gave it credit for.

**BATS: Bloodsucker Anti-Terror Squad was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series S**

Overall: 8.3 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 7.0 / 10


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