Review by Larcen Tyler
"Squeamish should stay away, while horror fans will want to play!"
One warning before I begin: Due to the extreme nature of the content of this game, this game is not recommended for persons who are extremely sensitive to graphic violence and/or sexual situations. Players should note that this game is rated M for Mature audiences (17+) and should be advised of the extreme content of this game.
Imagine, if you will, a theme park that's dedicated to classic and modern horror and slasher movies! Imagine going into a haunted house and having ghosts actually reach out and touch you, or having a creep with a hatchet chasing you and won't go away no matter how fast you run! OK, now imagine that this is all so real that if you're brave enough to survive all this, you'll be awarded a great sum of money! Now before you think that you can just go through a huge haunted house for a theme park and earn a million bucks, think again! This stuff is real...too real! The traps you encounter are real enough to not only scare you, but maybe cause some damage! And the creeps you see roaming around are real too! Now you realize how dangerous this is, yet it's just another day in Illbleed!
The only gripe I have is with that darned camera, since you can never seem to get it to face the way you want it! Another thing is the fact that the characters' lips never move while they're speaking! Plus, what's with all the blood that spills when you spring certain traps? Other than that, the graphics are well rendered, and everything you see looks like something you'd expect out of a horror flick! Whether you're dealing with undead denizens in a run-down motel, mutant worms in a campground, or even woodcutters trying to cut you down to size, their horrific details are so good they're scary!
You've got plenty of creepy music that plays while you roam around through each attraction, and when something happens, you'll hear an orchestral 'crash' to make you jump! The dialogue is fairly well written as well, despite a few weak spots here and there. The way your characters gasp or yell in terror sounds like something you'd expect to hear in any other amusement park attraction (except this time it's for real!)
Survival horror fanatics may be turned off by the unusual controls. Instead of just rushing through every attraction trying to beat the daylights out of the creeps roaming about, the attractions are rigged so that the traps you spring will cause some damage as well as scare you. Some can even cut you, and when you bleed, you can slowly lose health. If you get scared, your heart rate will increase, and you'll run the risk of having a heart attack or fainting. If you bleed too much, your heart rate will decrease, and you run the risk of dying from low blood pressure. This is why you must locate the horror monitor, a device which can spot suspicious looking areas, but you mustn't just look everywhere and click everything it zooms in on, as this will waste precious adrenaline.
Instead, you must rely upon your senses to detect traps. You have four senses at the top of your screen given in an ECG form. If you see something suspicious, such as a collapsing wall, for example, your sight monitor will start to show it. If you can hear something unusual, like a monster's moaning, then your hearing monitor lets you know that it's nearby. Something that you'd smell, like steam coming out of vents, would go to your smell sense. Your sixth sense helps detect objects. It's complex at first, but with practice, it gets easier.
There are also times where you must fight with monsters, but sometimes fighting isn't necessarily the best option. In that case, you can retreat by standing on the Helipad (a small H in the center of the battlefield) and pressing B repeatedly to call for a helicopter ladder. Sometimes this is necessary as some creatures can't be destroyed!
Eriko Christy, head of the Horror Movie Club at her high school, learns that her friends were invited to Illbleed, the horror movie amusement park, but they haven't returned yet. It's up to her to go in there, find them, and rescue them at any cost whatsoever!
As you rescue your friends you can use them in upcoming attractions, as each of them have their own attributes making them useful for different areas. In between attractions you can buy items to help make things a lot easier to survive, including hemostatic medicine, food, and adrenaline injections. It's important to know when and where to use them. You earn money by completing each attraction within a certain time limit and without losing too much blood, adrenaline, or health. If you fail any of those, your total amount of money is reduced as a penalty depending on how far over you went for each one. Thus it's important to finish each one as fast as possible, meaning that you'll be playing through a few times!
Are you scared now? If you are, then too bad, as these Illbleed tickets are non-refundable! If not, then definitely redeem your ticket to Illbleed very soon! You and your Dreamcast will definitely 'die' for all the attractions waiting for you!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/06/01, Updated 09/06/01
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