Blue Revolver, Hyper 1cc, Val, (Steam), player JAM
Blue Revolver is an indie game that was released for PC in 2016 by Stellar Circle. It takes a lot of inspiration from Dodonpachi and other shooting games of that ilk and era. My first impressions of the game were not good. I didn’t like the graphics and was turned off by the rank system in hyper mode. I decided to give it a second chance after seeing all the praise it was receiving online. After giving it some time I was soon hooked on the legitimate game play and awesome soundtrack. I still dislike the chunky pixel art. It is ugly while you are playing the game and it lacks the detail of classic 90’s pixel art. I will admit the art is stylish and very consistent when you watch it back on replay though. I am playing Hyper Mode for this 1cc. It relies heavily on a rank system for it’s game play. In simple terms rank just means the better I do and the longer I survive the harder the game will get. Rank is displayed at the very top of the screen by a colored bar. There are 5 levels of rank with blue the easiest and red the hardest. The best way to reduce rank is to die, so dying is not necessarily a bad thing when you aim for a 1cc. My focus is always on a 1cc, but I will score enough to get some of the score extends. Scoring is done by building up your kill chain to 8 with the primary shot. See the counter in the top left corner. You can then cash-in the chain with the special weapon. Enemies killed with the special weapon will produce valuable gold items. My special weapon of choice is the laser. It’s charge is indicated by the bottom left gauge. You also have a typical bomb stock (bottom right gauge) to use for defense and damaging bosses. You can get extra points for defeating bosses using Breaks. Breaks simply mean destroying parts of the boss in a certain order. These patterns can get tricky so I’m using the laser to get through it quickly. The final pattern is simple, so it doesn’t matter that I have used up all of my laser charge. I didn’t get any breaks during that boss. You have to learn and memorize them if you want to maximize your score. You can recharge your special weapon by picking up those little red and white medals. My current rank is orange, which is one away from the top rank of red. The laser is very handy for killing these mid-bosses quickly and efficiently. That was the 1st score extend. You always have the option to suicide in order to lower rank. My rank is about to hit red. The 2nd level boss is not very difficult at top rank, so I’m not going to suicide. The techno soundtrack is fantastic and fits the game like a glove. The music is one of the main reasons I stuck with this game . I never got sick of the soundtrack. Before most end level bosses you can pick up a bomb and some energy for your special weapon. For the first few boss patterns I will again spam the laser. I got myself stuck in a corner, so I saved myself with a bomb. After dropping a bomb it also releases energy, so you can recharge your laser a little bit. One of the few times I get a Break. After dropping a bomb you are invincible for a few seconds, which can be extremely handy. You may have noticed that I started the boss on the top rank of red, but I have now dropped back to orange. When you reach red it slowly drops until you reach orange and then it climbs again to red. I prefer the Cave style games that don’t place a lot of emphasis on rank, but I have to admit Blue Revolver’s Hyper mode is fun and well designed. Those large ships are a rich source of gold when you hit them with the special weapon. There are fewer opportunities to pick up energy in this level, so drops like these are important to grab. A very obvious ode to Dodonpachi’s 3rd level, which also includes a hidden 1up in the bridge of the ship. There’s the hidden 1up. Another score extend. I now have a total of 5 lives in stock. That is a very satisfying level. This first pattern is very easy, so I’ll save my laser and bombs for now. That was my first death, but now the rank drops 1 level making the boss easier to defeat. The 4th level is a lot of fun… and when that soundtrack kicks in, oh boy! These blue ships are another great source for scoring. I know I keep saying it, but how cool is that soundtrack? At top rank this level is super fun and a frantic buzz. The boss is not much fun though. I have a lot of problems with the patterns here. Dying here is a good thing. It lowers my rank and makes the boss more manageable for my skill level. This is a very difficult pattern. I usually bomb and laser my way past it. The final level throws everything at you and is very frantic at the top ranks. I have 4 lives in stock, so I have plenty of resources to get the 1cc. It was stupid to die there with a bomb in stock. All these deaths have at least lowered my rank to green. The final level has a lot of mid bosses. The game has some very satisfying bullet patterns…. and also some very frustrating ones. This is one of the easiest patterns in the game, but some how I screw it up. The final boss. I’m at rank 3 and I have a spare life in stock, so the difficulty shouldn’t be too great. The bombs I drop are purely for defense.They do no extra damage to the final boss. Nerves got the better of me in this first pattern. I usually have no problems with it. My nerves have settled now and I start playing a bit better. There is the 1cc! It is great that games like this are still being made. In a few years I’m sure Blue Revolver will also be considered a shooting game classic.