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Friday, 1 May 2009

Bullet Witch (XBox 360)

Sigh.

You know, I didn't actually buy this for me. "Yeah, right", I hear you saying... "Pull the other one, Moz. You didn't buy the game with the hot female protagonist and the free downloadable secretary and schoolgirl costumes for yourself. Suuuuure!".

It's the truth, though. See, my wife, Lorraine, used to play the Bloodrayne games a good while ago. And I've always tried to look out for games that might appeal to her along those lines. Now, I know the vampire thing was part of the appeal (bloody women and their bloody vampires... what the hell's so romantic about skinny, pasty bloodsuckers, anyway?), and Bullet Witch hasn't got that going for it. But it bears a lot of resemblance to Bloodrayne in many ways, and I quite fancied "testing" it before letting her have a go on it. She doesn't like to be frustrated when playing a game.

Guess she'll never be playing Bullet Witch, then.

Jesus. This game single-handedly awards a win to anybody that's ever argued that shooters are better on the PC simnply because of the mouse/keyboard control method. Some console games have made a decent stab at getting the controls right with sticks... but Bullet Witch just looks at you, sticks up its middle finger and runs off, laughing.

It's a real shame, because it looks great. The first section I played absolutely nailed the look of middle-class suburban America, to the point where I almost felt like I was wandering around my old 'hood. And when your scantily clad, fit-looking witch character is strutting around, taking up most of the screen in her high heels and black leather and lace, well, it has an appeal.

But then the bad guys appear. And you try and shoot them. And then... then it all goes horribly wrong.

First of all, Witchy takes an age to actually whip out her enormous broom-gun weapon. But once it is actually pointing forwards, fine-tuning it to actually aim at something is like some kind of Krypton Factor test. Left a bit, left a bit... nudge it gently... oh BOLLOCKS! OK, back a bit, right a bit... almost there... FUUUUUCK!!

It'll take you maybe three minutes to get lined up on your first bad guy. Luckily, the chances are he'll just stand there, shooting at one of the passers-by or getting bored waiting for you. So when the reticule finally does turn red, at least the game has given you a sporting chance of killing the enemy before he decides you're worth bothering with.

But that just isn't any fun at all.

I would say that Bullet Witch isn't worth even the tenner that I paid for it, simply because it's almost unplayable. I don't care that it looks good, that the premise is OK, or that I can run around in the game as a gun-toting, spellcasting lingerie model. When I can't actually shoot things in a shooting game, it kind of renders the whole thing a bit pointless.

4 comments:

  1. Oh Paul. How you disappoint me ;)

    As I wrote in my blog piece, you're pretty much on the money; though I didn't have the same issues with control, I just didn't find the game enjoyable. Oh, the schoolgirl and secretary costumes are an absolute delight, but by christ it's a grind of a game.

    Still, I got my 1000GS from it, so I can't complain too much. And you really owe it to yourself to check out the boss at the end of Level 3. It's a giant demon fish. That flies. You have to stand on the wings of a jet traveling at 30,000 feet to kill it. With lightning. While eyeballs attack you.

    Ker-azy.

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  2. Stop making me want to play the game more!

    I really enjoyed the cinematics before I actually pressed the A button... the promise of mad crazy enemies was enough to get me very interested. Given how much of a problem I had just killing the demon soldiers at the very start of the game, I can't imagine how I'd fare! Then again, if the targets were bigger, maybe I'd hit them... Hmmm...

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  3. Mate - trust me on this. Earn enough points to upgrade to a Gattling Gun... it's oodles more friendly when targetting.

    Or get a bigger TV ;)

    Don't expect too much, though. For every moment of giggling insanity, there's an hour of gluggy monotony. But that boss battle - and the head-shaking prelude to it - are totally worth experiencing.

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