I love side-scrolling action RPGs and have played and beaten them all, including ones most donkey-anus lickers don't like (Zelda II crushes 1 and 3, if you disagree you're a fucking retarded spastic dumbshit fatso). I also love mechs, especially if they have burly legs and arms and look like what Thor would build instead of space shuttles if he was put in charge of Nasa. Blood Gear has both categories covered to the maximum allowed by Japanese law at the time.
The graphics are not the best 2D I've ever seen, but definitely some of the best the Duo has ever thrown out. Everything animates nicely, there is tons of color, and there's even some hefty parallax on certain levels. Some of the bosses are HUGE, and the last boss (in fact the whole last level) is insane. This is one game where I was more than happy with the ending, in fact it ranks in the top 3 ending sequences of any game I've ever played.
The gameplay is all side-scrolling action while town exploration is in the standard overhead RPG view. If you've played Exile or Exile II, you know the formula. I'd also compare it to Zelda II, Monster World IV, Wonder Boy 3 & 5, etc (in fact, Westone, the guys that did the Wonder Boy/Monster World games, are listed in the credits for Blood Gear).
One of the coolest things about this game is the experience system. Basically you earn points every time you defeat and enemy, then you go the mechanics shop and use them on whatever attributes you want. Each of the mechs has a different maximum, and unless you take your time you'll probably beat the game without having to max any of them out.One final note, the language barrier is pretty much non-existent. The story comes across good through the cinematics, and there wasn't ever a spot where I got stuck for more than a few minutes. Someone with absolutely NO knowledge of Japanese (like me) can easily play through, beat, and enjoy this mammothly gnarly game. I can't recommend Blood Gear any higher, it's honestly one of the best old school games I've ever played.