CJR_aliens_mockup.pngIn the realm of run-and-gun (think Contra, Metal Slug), I can think of so few 2D games that top the celebration of gore in 2BAM's CJR. While the game is still early in development, CJR already feels quite satisfying.

The visual treatment of destroying sprites often feels unsatisfying, such as when a generic explosion animation attempts to cloak the sprite's disappearing act. That is not the case here, but I won't spoil the visual surprise. Additionally, the mechanics surrounding the gore are mostly solid so far, with punishing stage environment sequences, frequent checkpoints, and heavy fire power.

I mistook the "frenzy mode" (killing a ton of enemies to fill the syringe bar in the HUD) to be an effect of all the blood flying and covering my character's face. I admit I rather like the idea of it happening randomly, but filling the syringe is actually part of the gameplay, at least for now.

Regarding the future direction of CJR, 2BAM's Martin tells me, "I'm turning it into a Metroidvania but with a load of action like Contra (NES). I'm keeping perfect-timing hardcore scenarios, but no way near 'I Wanna Be The Guy'-hard."

The enemy AI wasn't too challenging at this point either, which Martin concedes. "I'll definitely be working on making more entertaining enemies. And the gore is still gonna be there (improved a bit)! I think it's a very appealing part of the game."

He's also currently working on weapon powerups, in that players will be able to combine weapons and chain their behaviors. Finally, he's doing some research and tests for procedurally generated maps so that each run will need a different approach.

The photos posted are rather tame compared to what does happen, so give it a try in your browser and come back with your impressions.

[source: TIGS forums]