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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Atari

 

Developer

Cavia / AQ Interactive

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

March 2007

 

 

- Flashes of brilliance

- Very cool spell effects

 

 

- Wide-open spaces filled with nothing

- Poor implementation of spell casting (which is a missed opportunity consider you play as a witch)

- Those flashes of brilliance are too few, far between and surrounded by padding

 

 

Review: Ninety-Nine Nights (360)

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Review: Dead Rising (360)

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Bullet Witch

Score: 5.5 / 10

 

Bullet Witch doesn’t really “click” until about the third level.  As the Bullet Witch, Alicia Claus (presumably no relation to Santa), you battle a monstrous flying thing that spews eyeballs at you as you run around atop an airliner at 30,000 feet.  Therein lies this game’s largest problem – Bullet Witch suffers from long bouts of boring meandering between moments of intense fun, which are unfortunately few and far between.

 

bullet witch          bullet witch

 

It’s sometime in the near future and humanity has mostly been wiped out by various natural disasters, which is quickly followed by a demon invasion.  The mysterious Bullet Witch appears from the mists to battle the demons, a massive gun in one hand and a fistful of spells in the other.  She battles her way through a suburb, across a bridge and into a large cityscape where she encounters a demon too powerful for her to take on.  As any B-movie should, she makes a narrow escape with the help of a crew of human soldiers, vowing to return and kill the beast.  Reason: unknown (at least until the closing minutes of the game).

 

While Bullet Witch goes out of its way to feature “realistic” settings, it fails at putting the areas together in such a way as to be fun to navigate.  Alicia plods

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from point A to point B in a linear fashion and since some of the areas are extremely open, it’s easy to spend upwards of a few minutes going the wrong way then having to retrace your steps; incidentally, over ground that has already been cleared of demons, which at least broke up the monotony of going down the wrong path in the first place.  However, it’s 

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in these open areas that Alicia can unleash some of the coolest spells to ever be found in a 3rd Person action game.

 

Besides mundane spells like Willpower that send nearby objects (but not enemies) flying and Ancient Wall that throws up a protective barrier, there is the formidable trio of Lighting, Tornado, and Meteor.

 

Hands down the most damaging is Meteor which summons a shower of burning rocks, but the most spectacular to watch is Tornado which levels everything in its path in a great swirling storm – buildings crumble, demons in its path are wiped out.  It’s just fun!  The downside is that once these über spells are cast Alicia’s magic power is depleted, which means you have to make the spell count for something.

 

bullet witch           bullet witch

 

The magic gauge also acts as “ammo” for Alicia’s gunrod – yes, gunrod – which has four different modes of fire.  Along with Alicia’s hit points and magic points, the gunrod types and spells are also upgradeable. (The manual says “Strengthen the gunrod.”)  Points to make these upgrades are doled out depending on your rating on the just-completed level.

 

With all this (supposed) firepower at your disposal, it’s a damn shame the control isn’t up to snuff, particularly the implementation of the spells.  You have to hit the left or right bumper to flip through the three spell levels and press A, B, or X to activate the spell.  The spell display blots out most of the screen and until you become adept at flicking the buttons to limit the time it obscures your view it’s often the case that you’ll blunder into crossfire, or worse, sniper fire, and die.  For that matter, even at the best of times Alicia takes up quite a bit of screen real-estate making it hard to spot enemies, but it’s even worse when she zooms in on things for increased accuracy.

 

The worst part about Bullet Witch is that it had so much potential!  Bullet Witch may be stylish and features some of the coolest spell effects ever but if there was more action it might have had a chance.  If a sequel is ever given the greenlight, I would hope that the action be bumped up to BloodRayne levels, but with the same B-movie stylistic approach that Bullet Witch showcases.  Right now, Bullet Witch might be worth a rental for action fans for the mini-nuggets of gaming goodness like the fight atop the airplane; everyone else can keep walking.

 

- Omni

(March 16, 2007)

 

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