Review – Bullet Witch

You may not know this, but Bayonetta wasn’t exactly the first attractive gun-wielding witch with big legs to show up in a game. That title actually belongs to Bullet Witch, a slightly forgotten Xbox 360 exclusive developed by Cavia (the ones responsible for Drakengard 2 for the PS2 and Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii) and released way back in 2006, at a time when a lot of Japanese companies were actually making an effort to support Microsoft’s great console with exclusive titles. Suffice it to say, Bullet Witch ended up being a slight disappointment and a financial failure, but it somehow managed to develop a cult following. Twelve years later, the game is now available for PCs with (very) few additions.

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Goodness gracious great balls of fire!

If Bayonetta draws its inspiration from games like Devil May Cry, Bullet Witch follows a more western-inspired third-person shooter path. It has the dumb but entertaining chaos you’ll find in games like Doom, character designs pulled straight from the typical depictions of western soldiers in Japanese games, style points reminiscent of, well, Devil May Cry, and that sweet awful (but also endearing at times) voice acting you’d find in localized games from that era. It’s a true cheesefest, if you think about it.

Since this a shooter being released on PC, you may be wondering if the new mouse and keyboard control scheme is decent enough. Thankfully, I had little troubles with it. With the exception of the zoom function being assigned to the E key and a default mouse sensitivity that needs a bit of tinkering, the game features a decent control scheme that gave me no problems whatsoever. It’s far from being revolutionary, but it works.

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They are as braindead as your regular Stormtrooper.

Granted, Bullet Witch has aged as well as Limp Bizkit’s relevance in the music industry in 2018. It’s a game from 2006, a very early Xbox 360 title, and it clearly shows its signs of aging throughout the entire game. With the exception of your main character’s model, every single enemy, boss or NPC looks like an average PS2 model at best. The environments feature a very generic design and color scheme. The enemy design is a little more inventive, even though they don’t look very good in a 2018 gaming world. They are disgusting and gross to the point you’re desperate to shove them with as many bullets as fast as possible. I guess that counts as a plus?

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Yuck.

The game might have aged poorly, but I have to confess, I had fun with it. It is a dumb game. A very dumb game. But it provided me with quite a lot of dumb fun. Blasting through hordes of rifle-wielding zombies with ease is a cathartic experience. It’s something you would expect from the cheesiest of B-movies, but now in gaming form. The destruction mechanics of this game are also very decent, especially for a 2006 game. There’s no better feeling in Bullet Witch than shooting a tanker truck until it bursts into a gigantic ball of fire thereby destroying every single enemy and building in its vicinity. Even though the enemy AI is as braindead as your regular Dynasty Warriors foe, murdering them in industrial quantities is still enjoyable. With the right mindset, you can have a lot of fun with Bullet Witch.

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Doing sexy acrobatics like her more famous younger sister.

I am not going to try to sugarcoat it: Bullet Witch isn’t exactly a very good game, but I still managed to enjoy it a lot more than expected due to how cheesy and over-the-top it can be at times. It’s a simple shooter that manages to provide dumb fun in decent quantities, if you can overlook how poorly it aged in the visual and sound departments. Bayonetta‘s neglected older sister might not be as endearing, but she’s not one to be completely ignored.

Graphics: 4.0

The visuals have aged poorly. It’s a game from the early days of the Xbox 360’s life cycle and it clearly shows it.

Gameplay: 7.0

The controls aren’t innovative, but they are easy enough for you to get used to. Mouse and keyboard integration works decently.

Sound: 5.5

The soundtrack is a bit generic but it gets the job done, while the voice acting ranges from bland to so-awful-it’s-hilarious.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It’s an incredibly dumb game which hasn’t aged very well, but it’s also entertaining. It’s mindless nonsensical action for the sake of it.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Reviewed on PC.
Also available on: Xbox 360.
A copy of Bullet Witch was provided by the publisher.

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