Week in Arcade: Bloodforge, Deep Black

Usually, XBLA promotions are rock solid, but a back-up title squeezes into the House Party mix.


Anger, darkness, and impossible bloodshed highlight what should have been Sega’s Golden Axe do over instead of whatever Beast Rider was supposed to be. Combat is unflinching, vicious, and uncaring, with hacked limbs the norm. If the game isn’t slowing down to appreciate your body cutting art, you’re doing it wrong. Bulky and interesting enough to warrant retail shelf space, Bloodforge is vengeance wrapped with a digital bow. Some will find it mundane, the hack ‘n slash routine undoubtedly repetitious, while others will appreciate every ounce of spilled internal organs.

Deep Black – Episode 1

If this continues down an episodic trail, the file size will kill this one dead. Nearing two gigs, most of that is filled with banal dialogue that needs excised, but combat offers some uniqueness. While maneuvering on land is sluggish, the in-water stuff offers the variation needed to survive in the current gaming climate. Motion is opened to new possibilities, and the idea that corporations don’t have enough to battle with on land and need to take it underwater is fantastic. Deep Black feels like a B-grade retail release now sliced into chunks to sell for $10 a piece, assuming the project sees completion.