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Bullet Witch (Xbox 360) artwork

Bullet Witch (Xbox 360) review


"NES classic, Contra. You ran from left to right, as either Blue Man or Red Man, dependant on whether you played with a friend or played with yourself, and shot guys who ran towards you. "



NES classic, Contra. You ran from left to right, as either Blue Man or Red Man, dependant on whether you played with a friend or played with yourself, and shot guys who ran towards you.

Sometimes, sometimes, the enemies would come at your behind. It was just like being an actual solider in any given army; when you make a mistake and take a dirt nap, you learn from it and memorize the opposing force’s pattern, and try again! Except for everything I mentioned past the part where you died.

Think of it this way:

That game was an exercise in patience, method and willingness to learn and achieve, perseverance. When the going got tough, the tough hid inside their bedrooms and played that damned Nintendo until they’d taken enough notes to beat the entire game.

Bullet Witch is an appreciated nod in that direction. Most noticably, with its presentation of story. Or lack of any such script coherent enough to praise. I'll go ahead and summarize:

“Hey, you’re that sexy girl on the news with the evil. . .HELP!”
“I only help myself. But I’m going that way, too.”

“Oh my god, zombie army guys! Shoot!”
“Okay, I’m shooting. But only because I don’t care.”

“Let’s steal that airplane and go somewhere! OH NO! A FLYING THING!”
“Wait. I’ll handle it with my evil.”

“Dad, the time has finally come. I’m a total Goth now. I have to shoot you to save the world. Christ, you're skinny!”

“Well we did it you crazy witch in black leather that saved us all! Give me a hug! I love you!”
“Okay. Bye.”


Don’t let any of this go over your head, or you'll be sorry for sure!

Had you any intention of playing through the game for its story, I just spoiled it. In the universe in question, plot was an afterthought. First, they decided that they wanted super-cool action sequences.

Hell, why not with a beautiful girl who has the Demonic? A guitar that turns into stuff, like. . .guns. Guns to shoot things with. Here’s the big picture, bigger than any “story”.

You’re shooting. Ammunition casings everywhere, from the foot of cement or damp cemetery grass you stand on to the very far side of the level map. Buildings, cars, undead marine-type gunmen who arrive in transport choppers, perch the side of fire escapes and rooftops, these hard asses lurk behind sandbag barricades and those of demolished vehicle alike, flanking a tank on both sides; all of them are shooting, too. At you.

Wave after wave of machine gun fire, turret shell and shotgun slug, left with few tools and abilities to defend yourself. You can duck, you can jump; what else besides that and your own armament?

Memory. Wit.

And Magic.

Pull up your clunky little casting menu and choose a spell that fits the situation. No cover? Create an ancient wall in front of your body and shelter your vitality behind it. Too old fashioned?

Toss that truck sitting next to you at a group of enemies, then use the smashed chassis as a shield.

This is the key; using lightning bolts to crash tanks, your ravens to disrupt a mass of troops or your earthen spears to impale them up into the air. When you hear the distant slice of propeller blades overhead, you don’t run for cover like some MIT halfwit, until you can procure a rocket; you chant some gibberish to your god of darkness and bring the bitches down with a giant, whirling vortex, that flips them over and chucks them into buildings. Accordingly, making their imminent explosion all the more satisfying.

Be prepared to close this episode quickly, but I warn, don’t prepare for it to give in without a fight. Expect to die.

Repeatedly, in the most frustrating of ways.

Enemies deal a lot of damage when their aim connects, and always charge at you in swarms. As if that weren’t hellish enough, you’ll eventually go toe-to-toe with enormous brain monsters that float high above the ground and use telekinetic waves to bring environmental objects inward, and then spit them out at you at unbelievable speeds, pointed right for your cute little face.

And if that weren’t bad enough, prepare to be blindsided in the back of the head when the mutant twerp drags them in, pre-launch. Yeah.

Perform well, and the points that you’ll earn at the end of each stage will increase. What that'll do is allow for you to further upgrade the super-shot capability of your gatling gun, become a more frightfully lethal spellcaster or raise the rate at which you regain your health. That's just skimming the surface for icky traces of mildew.

On par with a popular Capcom series, you’ll be given a letter grade, as well. D?

Lame.

Try again, buddy.

This isn’t some display of fashion, or revolutionary graphics, where pretty people in anime clothes scurry about doing tricks with their swords. (Or generally just being far too stylish for anyone’s good.)

Bullet Witch is about simplicity. About getting so pissed that you may end up throwing the controller. The good old days. You know who has the time to whine about graphical glitches? Pansies, who’ve forgotten what it means to play only to pull the trigger.

High art can stay where it’s at, while we have fun killing comic book reject foot soldiers in plentiful helpings and starting a new game over and over, spraying bullets all over the damned place.

But I suppose the question is: ‘Is it worth it?’

I could tell you.

But then I'd have to unleash my Demonic onto you. And that's just as awesome as it sounds.

Kind of ugly, but still pretty badassXcore.



Rating: 8/10

carcinogen_crush's avatar
Community review by carcinogen_crush (April 08, 2007)

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