I like to be different, that’s why I wear cardigans, but sometimes I can tell when something I write is going to be mirrored on a hundred other gaming websites, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t say it though. Rain Blood Chronicles: Mirage is essentially the love child of Devil May Cry and Shank, there I said it, and so will many other people in crappy forums.
Rain Blood Chronicles: Mirage sees you take on the role of 2 guys with huge swords and an interest in long hair and coats. The plot is fired at the player pretty quickly in an opening cut scene. Unfortunately the art on the screen was amazing and I don’t speak Chinese so I had to rely on the sub-titles. The sub-titles lost my interest quite quickly compared to my amazement at the art, as such I got hazy as to what was going on. My best impression of what is happening is that two gentlemen who are handy with blades, and magic, are going to spend one night knifing up anyone who has the misfortune of coming from the right hand side of the screen. Their aim is to take out a clandestine gang of douches who wreak mischief in a magical sort of way.
To do this the two warriors must mix their powers together, one using the dark side of the force and one using the light. Each have devastating attacks and as you progress through the levels juggling enemy’s torsos with your metal you gain a sort of XP that allows you to purchase attacks that can be triggered with gradually more difficult attacks. The problem is that the dark side character was just far too emo for me, I enjoyed his Nightcrawler style ‘Bamfs’ as he teleported around the screen, but it all screamed of someone who listened to too much My Chemical Romance.
The graphics and soundtrack work wonderfully together, the almost surreal take on the Oriental buildings, the almost dance music fused asian sounds, all of it comes crashing together in the most perfect way. This is genuinely a soundtrack I would listen to whilst driving around and there is no better compliment I can give. The art is simple but effective, it reminds me a lot of Shank 1 and 2, a game where the backgrounds are highly detailed but with almost comic book style character designs. The juxtaposition of all the elements of the sound and design make this game memorable.
Unfortunately there’s a cost for the beautiful graphics, as crisp and as wonderful as they are even on my reasonable gaming rig there was some frame-rate issues, oddly never when you’d expect. Fights with numerous enemies were as smooth as a trickling stream over a baby’s bottom, but just running between sections I would had just the slightest notion that my character was somehow jumping a few milimeters ahead of himself.
The game claims to be local co-op but unfortunately these are modes that aren’t available straight out of the box. Instead of being able to jump straight into this Devil May Cry platformer with my friend I had to run through the prologue before being given the opportunity to do some Vs fights. Now don’t get me wrong, these fights were fun, but not a game seller and to be honest if you have company, you’re aren’t going to be loading the game to give it a go.
The combo’s you amass in the single player are all rated and after the first few rounds of fights you start to get an idea of how the game works, sure you can go straight for a crazy hardcore attack or you can light tap the enemy with a myriad of combo attacks, either way is acceptable but one just does it with a bit more class. The combos become nigh on impossible to remember after a while and I can’t pretend I didn’t just button mash the majority of the time, but for the kind of person that likes getting SSS ratings in DMC this game was made for you and your inevitably blistered thumbs.
This game basically knows it’s cool. It hangs out at the back of the school bus smoking whilst wearing shades and listening to a rare B-side from Pink Floyd. Rain Blood Chronicles: Mirage is fast, cool and awesome to see and hear. It has a great setting and one that is a pleasant change from the survival horror genre that is plaguing the online PC gaming scene. Like with any hack and slash worth it’s salt this game requires you to work for true skill but makes your crappy button mashing look like Neo is tapping away at the keys. Ignore the fact it’s multiplayer is hidden away and give this game your money and a chance to impress you with its beauty.