Bullet Witch is a third-person shooter that takes inspiration from titles such as Devil May Cry, and implements its own unique features such as using magic spells to cast down on a group of enemies, among other things. Anyone who’s looking for a third-person shooting experience on Steam may perhaps give Bullet Witch a try, but be forewarned that this game isn’t what you’ll be expecting. Funny enough, Bullet Witch had actually released three years prior to the release of now popular Bayonetta, and it’s clear to see where some of that inspiration derived from. There’s action and magic spells to experiment with along with the realistic character designs that give Bullet Witch a distinctive look from other third-person shooters.
What to Expect
Bullet Witch was released on Xbox 360 back in late February of 2007 in North America, with a Japan release set a year prior. So you’re playing a game that’s roughly 11 years old and well, the wrinkles can definitely be seen in the visuals and gameplay. However, there’s still some things to expect such as the over-the-top explosions, destructible environments that you can use to your advantage, magic spells to customize and use against the enemy, plus plenty more. Using your gun rod to take out enemies, Bullet Witch provides players with various ways to deal with enemy threats in terms of skill points, which can be used to purchase other types of weaponry to eliminate anyone who stands in your way. While certainly not perfect in any way, the action mechanics such as dashing through the air to avoid gunfire, sniping enemies from a far with your buffed sniping rifle, all seem to provide you with a sub par experience as you progress through the game. The game isn’t very long when compared to other third-person shooters so expect to finish the game quickly on normal settings. Be that as it may, let’s dive a little deeper into Bullet Witch and provide you with our honest take on the game.
Earth has become a wasteland after constant natural disasters tore it all apart and now, demons have found their way into the city to wreak havoc. By the year 2013, humanity finds themselves on the brink of extinction, but Alicia Claus, a witch guided by the power of Darkness, aims to restore peace to humanity by helping survivors and eliminating the demon curse. She’ll encounter other allies who also help her along the arduous journey, in hopes to eradicate the demon race and bring peace back to Earth once and for all.
First off, we’d like to point out that the trailer for the game is what really sold us at first, and it enticed us to actually try it out. Things didn’t seem all too bad just from watching all the action go down and so we figured, well hey what could possibly go wrong? A lot of things can go wrong. Re-releasing the title on Steam for new players to try out is totally cool and we understand that from a business perspective, but why a title that initially earned a pretty negative reception? It all seemed too good to be true and we took the bait and so, we had to dive into a game that felt unfinished and quite frankly, unplayable at times. You star as the female protagonist Alicia, a witch who carries a massive gun rod who can dispel magic through said rod, while also shooting enemies down through its gun mechanic. The gun rod can transform into multiple types of weapons, all of which have their own unique characteristics and can be upgraded via skill points, but that’s gained through playing a great deal of the game. So for the early portion of the game, you really only have your machine gun along with spells that you’ll learn over time. You can also perform melee based attacks when up close and evade incoming enemy fire by dodging through the air.
While all of this sounds really cool on paper, how it’s all performed in game is a total mess. Character animations are incredibly stiff, collision detection doesn’t seem to exist at times, and the game just lacks realism in every possible way. The way enemies respond to you is quite brainless and doesn’t really provide any challenge whatsoever, which is a turnoff in itself. You race around trying to save people but much of the world you run around in is just empty, with enemies just standing in random places waiting for you to pop out. When you get kills, the enemies just flop to the ground in a very anticlimactic fashion, their bodies were stiff like rigor mortis hit them right after falling to the ground. Every enemy will die in similar ways and so it really takes away all the fun of actually wanting to take these things out, since it takes very little effort. The lock-on system is decent but still bugs out from time to time where you’ll have to manually adjust your gun to kill anyone in front of you. Sometimes enemies will just appear out of the blue or walk through a wall and start shooting you, and since the environmental textures and colors look so similar there are times where you don’t even know where you’re being shot from.
Just the way everything moves just feels off in every way, with specific enemies such as the demon with an enormous brain for a head flailing crazily in mid air, waiting for you to shoot it to unlock new parts of a level. All of it just feels so elementary in design and doesn’t give us any incentive to want to even continue. The further you progress into Bullet Witch, the more displeased you start to feel, as voice actors just don’t give their best performance and really just sound bland and void of any personality whatsoever. By the time you get to the end of the game, you’re just as sapped of life as the survivors are because you pondered just why you even bothered to complete it all. Everything is a total mess from start to finish and the game doesn’t really even provide some greater sense of reward for accomplishing certain tasks. Cut scenes are lackluster and the story progression just doesn’t seem very well put together. You seem to go off in all sorts of directions and while the atmosphere is fitting for the theme, it just doesn’t execute everything uniformly which results in awkward moments and often laughable deaths.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Bullet Witch caught our attention because it showed a lot of promise, but it seemed to break every promise it made once you loaded the game up and experienced everything hands on. We’ll give a nod to the destructible environments that really added more of that action theme to the game, but the magic system is lacking severely to the point where you just don’t want to bother using it and stick to the machine gun. Bullet Witch is just a basic game and it doesn’t really provide players with an incentive to really test out new mechanics as they progress. If only the team had put a lot more time into it all perhaps we wouldn’t be so critical of it, but we can only base things off of what exists and to be frank, there’s not a lot.
Really vibrant colors.
Action packed and challenging.
A lot of levels to race through and complete which adds replay value.
The techno soundtrack is cool.
Lacking in many ways from visuals, mechanics, etc.
Voice acting could use a lot of work.
Collision detection and other in game problems rob you of the experience.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Sometimes you’re going to come across games like Bullet Witch and think, “damn, if only it were better!” We truly wish it were better because yes, there’s certainly some light at the end of the tunnel. We liked the concept but the way it was executed was poor and ultimately led to a game that didn’t feel all too complete. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest gaming news and updates, and of course, hit us up on Twitch to catch us live!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!