BloodRayne: Betrayal

  • Xbox Live Arcade - 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20)
  • PSN - £9.99

It's no secret that the world (yes, all of it) has been waiting on another hack-and-slash adventure in the finest traditions of Castlevania for yonks, but few would have ever expected it to come from a BloodRayne title.

But with games like Contra 4, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, LIT, Mighty Flip Champs and A Boy And His Blob under its expanding man-belt in recent years, WayForward Technologies evidently knows its onions when it comes to downloadable nuggets.

Set across 15 stages in and around a castle, it's exactly the kind of murderously tough side-scrolling slashfest that got young men in a lather about 15 years ago - only buffed up with stylish visuals pleasing to our modern faces.

4
Rayne of terror.

The fight mechanics are thoroughly familiar, with the red-haired Rayne armed with a blade and pistol throughout, but the game never flinches from an excuse to throw dozens of enemies at you.

As a result, the extent of the challenge might bloody the noses of those unfamiliar to the ways of hardcore action games, but for those of you schooled in games that refuse to give an inch, it hits all the right notes - apart from the fist-eatingly awful metal soundtrack, that is.

If BloodRayne: Betrayal gives Uwe Boll an excuse to make another movie, its appearance might not be such a good thing, But if you can get over such matters, this is a satisfying and brutal return to the old school.

7/10

SkyDrift

Futuristic aerial combat racing with a Mario Kart twist? I wouldn't blame you if you were tempted. Fine, it's not the most overtly creative genre-splicing ever (or even this week), but you can forgive a lack of originality when it ticks all the boxes.

The mighty Hungarians at Digital Reality presumably imagined a lost arcade racer where eight players fight it out across a series of dangerous courses for aerial supremacy. You know the drill: power ups galore, unlockable craft and a variety of popular game modes.

So far so predictable, but once you're out there manhandling your aircraft through speed hoops, twisting manically through narrow gaps and loosing off lock-on missiles into the nearest chump, it gets all the right neurons firing.

5
Sky go.

The important thing is that it feels right. The controls are spot-on, and it's easy to pick up and barrel through its 33-stage campaign or dive into lag-free, eight-player online races.

On the downside, it starts to get fairly repetitive early on and it's easy to see why. With only six courses (and reversed versions), the game wastes little time in recycling the locations. There's also the issue of price. For 800 points or £7.99, it would have been an easy decision to make, but that extra 50 per cent makes it feel pricey.

If you're feeling flush, give it a go - SkyDrift is comfortably one of the strongest aerial combat racers we've seen in the world of download-only titles.

7/10

About the author

Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed

Contributor

Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

More articles by Kristan Reed

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