27/06/2018

🧙🏻‍♀️Review:Bullet Witch "If only I could cast a spell to make this a better game"🧙🏻‍♀️

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Game Title: Bullet Witch
Platform Reviewed: PC (Steam)
Developer: Cavia (original) / Marvelous, Inc (re-release)
Rating: Melted
Bullet Witch was a game released back in 2006 for the Xbox 360 to reviews that were middling at best and with good reason. Bland, buggy graphics set in tedious, linear levels that are filled with copy/paste enemies that you mow down via unsatisfying gunplay; it really wasn’t a good example of the 3rd person shooter genre. 
Upon release it was quickly forgotten by everyone except the most ardent fans of the game, fast-forward twelve years to this re-release, now playable in 60fps and 1080 resolution and we ask the question, 
“Has the game finally discovered a new lease of life, replete in re-mastered glory?”
*drum roll*
…no
The issue with the original wasn’t that it was poorly marketed and relegated to being a ‘hidden gem’ on the system, nor that it was held back by the technological limitations of the time, it was just tedious with flat game-play. 
The story is set in the then-future of 2013, where humanity has endured natural disasters, plagues and finally (and most pressing of all) a demonic invasion (luckily for us in the real world, the worst things to happen in 2013 were Ride To Hell: Retribution and Grown Ups 2) all of this has culminated in a mass culling of the human race, leaving the world a broken shadow of its former self. 
Into the heart of this shell steps Alicia, the titular Bullet Witch who wields a gun shaped like a broom and backs it up with a moody attitude and suitably revealing clothing.
Despite the post-apocalyptic world-setting and ‘end is nigh’ story, Bullet Witch feels much more like a barrier-removal simulator as you wander mostly empty streets shooting enemies in order to locate and destroy the floating brains (which I was impressed with) that are powering up different coloured blockades scattered around. Such a basic premise would be tolerable if the gameplay itself was enjoyable, but this just isn’t the case. 
The weapons in the game aren’t satisfying, you appear to be firing invisible bullets at bullet-sponge enemies (who are pretty much all the same in that they look very similar and have dreadful AI) for minutes at a time with twitchy controls (I lowered the sensitivity settings to the minimum and it still didn’t feel comfortable and natural, I ended up finding it easier to move Alicia with the left thumb-stick whilst scatter-firing than precision aiming with the right thumb-stick) The weapon switch animation is quite cool but all the weapons feel unenjoyable to use and the dodge mechanic feels stiff and cumbersome.
The music is the high point in Bullet Witch, its searing orchestral, sinister score hints towards an emotion and tension that simply doesn’t exist in the game play that accompanies it. The guns sound chunky and the controller rumble feels solid but again; on-screen it just isn’t ‘there’ and falls flat. 
It’s a 2006 Port and whilst the 60fps and high resolution is appreciated and smooth, the visuals are bland, static and empty. The problem this throws up is that whilst it’s supposed to be this way due to the post-apocalyptic setting, when combined with all the other generic and bland aspects of the game, it makes everything feel washed up, not just the tortured landscape.
Summary 
I played Bullet Witch for a couple of hours and having enjoyed the flawed but fun ‘Nier’ (which was the company’s swan song), tried to stick with it but couldn’t because of the growing sense of boredom. Wandering around empty areas firing seemingly invisible bullets at repetitive enemies to unlock barriers in order to progress through a pretty standard story just wore me down in the end. 
This just feels like a buggy beta version, which is a shame as....well, quite frankly I missed it the first time around and would like to have discovered a diamond in the rough. 
Sadly, this is a road apple in a swimming pool, regardless of the smoothness of the frame-rate. Bullet Witch ends up just feeling like a title that was already dated upon its 2006 original release and played now is only really of value for how unintentionally amusing it is to purveyors of ‘so bad it’s good’ games and serious fans of the original title. 
For the rest of us, it’s a solid avoid.
Right, I’m off to play the sequel, ‘Knife Wizard’
P.S – The best part of the game is when you meet someone who introduces himself as ‘Max Cougar’, without laughing.
💧RATING: MELTED💧
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)
Review By Britt