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   PlanetDreamcast | Features | Previews | Illbleed

Check your heart rate. Boo! Check it again. - by The Mad Giraffe

Illbleed Logo

Back in the day when the Dreamcast was first released in the US, Climax Graphics released a horror adventure game by the name of Blue Stinger. While it had good graphics, sound, and a decent story, there were two major flaws which killed it for most people: 1.) The cameras were horrible, and 2.) it was a zombie game, but it wasn't scary. Overall, it was decent enough game, but it left us with a thirst for some real horror. While the Resident Evil series certainly began the whole survival horror thing, it and all of its imitators have failed to really scare us since we've come to know what to expect. "Oh, I'm walking down a hallway with nothing in sight? Sure hope a zombie doesn't p-- SMASH! Ah, oh no. A zombie." (Can't you just imagine the horror!?)

Illbleed hopes to change that by providing a completely different kind of survival horror experience -- one which Sega is calling calling "the scariest game ever." That's a quite a reputation to live up to, but it looks as if Climax Graphics has it all under control.

Eriko hopes to scare the monster away by revealing more of her thighs.

Can you smell the cross? Jaleco thinks you should.

As of right most of the game's story is being kept under a tight lid. What is known is that a rich man, by the name of Michael Reynolds, is the owner of the world's largest haunted house, Illbleed. He offers one million dollars to anyone who dares to enter Illbleed, but the catch is (and there's always a catch) to actually get the money, you have to make it through the entire house, from top to bottom, alive. Of course, it's nowhere as easy as it sounds as there are suprises in the house that will actually scare people to death. You play Eriko, the next person to risk your life for one million dollars, and, unlike other contests, you won't be able to phone a friend for help.

Although the story itself is interesting, it helps fuel the most original aspect of the game -- the gameplay. Let me tell you, the gameplay sounds like it could be one of the coolest implimented into any survival horror game. At first Illbleed looks like any other "survival horror" game, with you controlling Eriko in the third-person point of view with a variety of camera angles. However, each stage in the game promises to include over 300 shock events, which range from things jumping out of windows to things popping out of cans, so be ready to be scared repeatedly. These affect your sense meters which monitor Eriko's sight, sound, smell, and sixth sense (and no, she doesn't see dead people). As your life meter, the game monitors your heart rate. When your character dies, she is actually suffering from a heart attack, being scared out of her mind. You use these meters to see if your character hears, sees, smeels, or senses anything strange, and to make sure her heart isn't about to fail her. This of course is bound to set us up for countless suprises, because, they won't always tell you when something is near. I mean, after all, no one's senses (except for that damn kid's) are perfect.

Ah! They're going after my precious cans!

Death makes one sleepy.

To top all of this off, is the game's promising visuals and sound. How scary can a game possibly be if it doesn't look or sound good to fit the part? Well, thankfully, Climax Graphics won't leave us to answer that question. They are putting a lot of emphasis on sound and visuals. On the graphical side, everything is detailed very nicely. From the rotten teeth of the ugly, floating zombie head to the books on the bookshelves in the "Hell's Insurance" office (don't ask), it's all there. The character designs are very frightning and well designed. The monsters in this game almost look real and will make you think twice about whether or not monsters really exist. The rooms in the house are all detailed, and each are given their own life thanks to the game's brilliant attention to detail. The soundtrack of the game (an eriee resemblence to Psycho) will haunt you for weeks after playing the game. It really adds to the dark mood of the game when you have a bone chilling soundtrack playing in the background. The sound effects are also expected to be top notch.

What we have here is something most of us have been waiting for a long time. Since Resident Evil 2, many games have tried but failed to bring true fear to home consoles. Hopefully, Climax Graphics can deliver what it is promising us. If they do succeed to bring this to us, then we could be looking at one of the best Dreamcast games let alone adventures played in a long time.

Next: More screenshots!

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