Publisher: SEGA

Developer: Wow Entertainment

Category: Action

Release Dates

N Amer - 09/21/2004

Intl -

Official Game Website

Blood Will Tell Review

Blood Will Tell hits the player with two first impressions: familiarity and offensiveness.  You can't play it for ten seconds without thinking about the most popular Resident Evil spin-off, Devil May Cry.  The first thing gamers do when they play an action game of any kind is run around and press buttons.  Doing so reveals the combo system (consisting of single and multiple button taps), maneuverability (flips, double jumps, etc.), and a number of monstrous enemies who look like they tried out for Onimusha but didn't get the part.

I'm not exactly a supporter of "clone" games, but I'm not entirely against them either.  Without clone games we'd only have the original and its sequels to enjoy.  That's not enough gaming to enrich our lives.  It's not good for innovation either.  When a developer clones something, it has the chance to improve upon it and take the gameplay in a whole new direction.

Feeling strongly about this, I pushed on, looking for innovation through Blood Will Tell's unique body part acquisition concept.  The star of the game, Hyakkimaru, is in a bit of a rut.  He doesn't have a normal human body (not that normal can be defined with today's plastic surgery).  His limbs and organs were taken from him shortly after birth by several evil fiends.  This was a horrible experience for Hyakkimaru, a man who had to go through life with a rocket launcher for a leg and killer blades for arms.  He couldn't speak clearly because they took his vocal cord (what could the evil fiends want with that?).  It's a strange and unusual concept, but that's what was intriguing about it.  The idea of being able to evolve your character by getting his body parts back was very interesting. 

“I can slice pizza like it’s nobody’s business!”

Disappointingly, the interest ends there.  From beginning to end Blood Will Tell is Devil May Cry with less polish and more repetition.

Enemies come in droves but you'll never once feel like you're in danger.  Most of them move slowly, and only a few of them deal serious damage.  There is essentially one trick that can be used to beat the majority of the monsters, including boss battles.  Jump behind your opponent, center the camera (L1 button), and combo him into sushi.  If you can't get behind your opponent, chances are you can shoot him with your gun or rocket launcher, damaging him enough to move in and go for the kill.  It's a simple game with simple solutions.  That factor is prevalent throughout.

Blood Will Tell's levels have to be classified as something else.  Levels, even generic ones, tend to have a certain dimension to them.  Blood Will Tell's levels are little more than open or confined areas with lots of enemies to kill.  Run through, chop them up, be a hero.  Then move onto the next level and do it once more, repeating these functions until you finally reach the end.

Fans of the classic manga know that Dororo is an important character in the Blood Will Tell saga.  She can be controlled by another player in the co-op mode, but if you're going solo, her control is designated to four different actions.  You can have her search for conspicuous items, pick up fallen items or attack nearby enemies.  Sounds pretty generic doesn't it?  You assign the actions by holding the circle button while pressing the left analog stick up, down, left or right.  Am I saying anything you haven't heard before?

To clarify the game's offensiveness, Blood Will Tell forces first-time players to go through a lame, could-have-figured-it-out-yourself tutorial.  It treats you like you're dumb, repeating the directions of each objective multiple times if you don't immediately do it.  I could be in the middle of completing an objective and lose my flow because the tutorial broke in to tell me what needs to be done – again! 

Oh my gosh, there’s a monster behind you!

It’s too bad you’re more of a threat to them than they are to you. 

Look, I don't need to be told that the square and triangle buttons can be pressed to execute an attack.  I can figure that out on my own.  Nor do I need to be told that the camera can be centered with the L1 button, or that I can eliminate multiple enemies by pressing two attack buttons simultaneously.  These are common gameplay traits.

Tears Will Run if you enter this game blindly.  Blood Will Tell is not an original game, just an original concept.  The gameplay, graphic techniques, voice work, sound effects, music – anything you can think of – can be found in many other titles.  We could play the guessing game of what could have been all day long, but at the end of this day, we're stuck with the video game equivalent of a made-for-TV movie.

Review Scoring Details for Blood Will Tell

Gameplay: 6
Blood Will Tell goes for the more is better crowd, and as a result ends up giving us a whole lot less.  The gameplay consists of nothing more than sword-slashing and weapon-firing.  From afar this might sound appealing, and in some rare circumstances repetition can actually be a good thing. Blood Will Tell doesn’t have that kind of lasting power.  It becomes boring long before the end, giving no one outside of Dororo fans a reason to continue.

Graphics: 5
The black and white filter utilized in the first level is likely to turn some heads.  It looks cool, reminds me of a few great films, and isn’t seen in too many games.  The graphics themselves, however – monster detail, animation, backgrounds, etc. – are about four years too old.

Sound: 6
Cheesy voice-overs, lame sayings, and a weird story that would be more appealing in an anime series.

Difficulty: Easy/Medium
I’m stretching it when I say “easy/medium.”  This game couldn’t be much easier.  It’s like Devil May Cry Jr.

Concept: 7
Good idea: having a lead character whose body parts must be acquired.  He can have arms for swords, if you wish.  Bad idea: creating gameplay that feels like a watered-down version of two hit Capcom games.

Multiplayer: 6
Co-op gameplay could mean double the fun.  In this case it just means that two players can go through the game together.

Overall: 6
Not worth the price of admission.  Blood Will Tell costs twice as much as Gungrave: Overdose (a similarly repetitive game) and is only half as fun.

GameZone Review Detail


GZ Rating


Blood might tell a lot about the content, but the gameplay doesn’t say much of anything.

Reviewer: Louis Bedigian

Review Date: 09/29/2004

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