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Strictly for blasting fans only
The early days of home computing were awash with simple vertically scrolling shooters, with giants like Xenon and Xenon 2 and lesser known gems like Lightforce and Mission: Genocide standing alongside one another. Bedlam is another entry into the overcrowded market and while it doesn't exactly offer anything new to the genre, it provides some decent blasting thrills to keep you occupied for a brief moment in time. There's not really anything in the way of plot to get in the way of the action, which is something of a mercy in many ways as these games are never exactly overburdened with originality in the story department and any narrative that is present is usually unnecessary anyway. Instead, the game simply throws players in the usual vertically scrolling series of levels featuring all the expected mayhem of the average shooter. You have your usual mix of mechanical enemies, both static and rapid moving and which will test your trigger finger, but fortunately you have shields to absorb a certain amount of damage, although once they're gone, you lose a life. That's pretty much it to the game, apart from a two-player mode, and if it all sounds familiar, then that's for a good reason. There's nothing new here and even though this doesn't always mean a bad game, there simply isn't much to warrant more than a brief investigation by the most hardcore of shooter fans. The action is admittedly fast and furious but levels are quite short and they won't keep you challenged for long, while the visuals are decent enough in that old-school way but are lacking in charm or distinctiveness. Unless, you need to play every retro shooter in existence, you can comfortably skip this one.