Bullet Witch

Every game reviewer has a gimmick, something that they're known for. The only one that I have is that I try not to buy shitty games. Well, you can't win them all. Long before I had the 360, there was a game that I wanted. The art design had sucked me in, and even though I had no idea what it was about, I had to buy it. Books and their covers... The game was Bullet Witch and I finally bought it for $14. It's worth about $2, and that's only for the DVD it was burned on.

The setting is as bland as it could get. Demons have been unleashed on the world, decimating the human population to the point of near extinction. There are pockets of resistance fighters who live underground and generally get their asses kicked. You play as Alicia, a witch with great power and amnesia. The story is incredibly forced, the voice acting kept at a monotone level, and the game full of dull gray/brown rubble.

You start in a stereotypical suburb that is under siege by said demons. After plowing through their forces, you move into a city of twilight backlit by a large bright moon ala Final Fantasy. In the city, Alicia meets up with a band of fighters where they find their underground base overrun by more demons. Moving through the base, they head to an airport. Take a doomed plane trip to the mountains where you enter a haunted and absurdly fog filled forest to the let down of the game's climax. All so you can head back to the now destroyed city to take on the game's final boss. Cue one of the worst open-ended endings and you have Bullet Witch.

Like I said, it was the design of the game that drew me in. The lead character, Alicia, had a unique look and the screenshots looked fantastic, but this was before I even had the 360. But screenshots and box art can be misleading; playing the game in action was different. Beyond Alicia and the second level, the entire game was bland and uninteresting. There's only a handful of variety to the enemies, the bulk of them being soldier grunts (cannon fodder). The levels are full of concrete and dirt, no real variety in any of the six. That's right.  There are only six levels in the entire game. If you weren't constantly getting lost due to poor level design, it would be possible to beat the game in less than three hours, maybe even two. That makes me feel quite sorry for anyone who paid full price for this joke of a game.

The only challenge comes from two types of enemies, and only because they're cheap one hit kills related to the poor physics of the game. Type one is the sniper. If you don't know precisely where they are and kill them instantly, you'll die if any part of your body is exposed for longer than 0.5 seconds. It can be incredibly frustrating while you use a trial and error system to lock on their positions. Type two is a telekinetic type picks up cars and any other large pieces of rubble to hurl them at you. Normally this isn't a problem, you can kill them easy enough if you're far away, but Heaven help you if you're too close. Sure the projectiles are slow, but if they hit anywhere near you, it counts as a hit. A hit equals death, quite cheap indeed. This is a problem that should have been remedied back in the 16 bit days.

In the end, this is another game that I tried desperately to enjoy, but it just couldn't happen. Sloppy controls, uninspired enemies, confusing level design, and emotionless voice acting, these are my least favorite things. I would have expected this from a tie in game, some sort of cash in attempt, but it wasn't even that. This review is very late, so I can compare it to Ghostbusters, another product of Atari. Ghostbusters shows that if they put in the effort, they can make an incredible game. Obviously their heart wasn't in it with Bullet Witch.