Dual Screens: Blood Waves – Review (Xbox One & Nintendo Switch)

Blood Waves

Often times multiple authors wind up playing the same game at the same time but the differences between consoles may not warrant two separate reviews. Dual Screens is a segment on Galaxy of Geek where two authors review the same game but each offer their own perspective and score. 

Xbox One By: Tristan Rendo

Blood Waves is a game where concept trumps execution from start to finish.  The concept is simple, you’re stuck in a room taking on waves on zombies.  What makes it interesting is the mix of tower defense, small scale RPG and 3rd person shooter. Zombies drop cash throughout a wave that you can use to purchase additional zombie traps (like barricades and turrets) as well as amo and new guns. With each wave you also gain a skill and upgrade point that can be used to improve your character, weapons or traps.  Bigger, more expensive traps/guns make it easier to kill more zombies and upgrades like health points make you harder to kill; simple but effective. Between each wave you can take as much time as you want to plan your upgrades and build your traps. 

Blood Waves is if nothing else an efficient game.  There are no added frills to the experience,  you boot up the game, hit start and boom, you’re in wave one.  Die and the game restarts.  The most elaborate thing about Blood Waves is that it will allow you to exit the game and return to the same wave (the game makes a big point of noting that auto-saves occur when “Wave Cleared” appears on screen).  

The game’s simplicity is fine however.  The primary flaw of Blood Waves is that it just doesn’t play all that well.  Despite the somewhat additive nature of the game, one would expect that a game so hyper focused on a single thing would be more polished at doing that thing (in this case surviving hordes of zombies). While Deshawn encountered far more buggy behavior on the Switch than I did on the Xbox One, things like camera movement are actively working against you throughout the game. 

The traps allow for quite a bit of strategy in the game and are really what keeps Blood Waves entertaining, unfortunately the execution is such that you will likely move on after a few attempts. 

Tristan’s score: 5 out of 10

Nintendo Switch By: Deshawn Vasquez

Blood Waves is a good idea marred by a lack of polish or any significant innovation. Its simplicity is not its problem, but how it chooses to work within that space leaves something to be desired. At it’s core, we have a horde arena shooter with zombies and assorted ghouls in which you start with a pistol and a machete, and then based on how much money you earn in a wave, you can use it to buy ammo or better weapons as well as upgrade your attributes for the next round.

Simple enough, especially for a $10 experience. The trouble is, the title is constantly brought down by clunky, weighty aiming and a steady stream of monotony. Sprinkle the occasional bug and consistent camera glitches (at least on my platform) and even that low price point and indie sensibility begins to wear fairly quickly.

The point is, there are far better titles at a comparable price, even if not all of them are necessarily of the same genre. At the end of the day, if you’re going to make an arena shooter, graphics can be forgiven, lack of variety can be forgiven, but the precision of the actual shooting can not. Aiming and shooting in this feels like her arms are elastic and I just sort of have to bounce about with the reticle until I can get a decent shot.

Maybe if they spent as much time rendering her butt as they did fine-tuning the actual combat, we’d be having a far different conversation right now.

Deshawn’s score: 4 out of 10

Final Rating: 4.5/10

GoG Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox One & Nintendo Switch
Time to completion: A round could take 5 minutes or over an hour depending how good you are
Price Bought at: Review code was provided
Why you should buy it: The game features a chainsaw tower as a trap
Why you shouldn’t buy it: The game is ironically kind of brainless

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