The verge of boo-yah
Bullet Witch, an Xbox 360 exclusive from 2007, is getting a PC port today courtesy of Xseed. It’s a weird and janky shooter about a witch who’s fighting off hell’s demons in an apocalyptic America. A press release describes it as “a unique combination of Japanese dark-fantasy aesthetics and Western-style military action.”
While I remember Bullet Witch being nothing short of awful, it seems like a prime candidate for cult classic status. I went to Metacritic to make sure I’m not misremembering its reception. Bullet Witch is sitting at a 55 on Metacritic. It was derided, as it has far more negative reviews than positives. However, the majority of critics landed somewhere in the middling range — 43 thoughtful analyses that can probably be collectively summed up as “meh.”
It’s impossible to look through scores on Metacritic without your eyes drifting to the often-unfair pullquotes ascribed to each review. Let’s single out the ones that feel most like products of 2007:
The New York Times, in its review titled “A Sexy Witch, Zombies and Death: Who Needs a Story?” said “There is something inherently appealing about a sexy, buxom witch wandering a postapocalyptic landscape shooting zombies with flaming bullets and casting spells that bring down lightning or cause spears to shoot from the ground.” This pullquote is the Citizen Kane of video game pullquotes.
ZTGD’s now-inaccessible review read “If you love generic Japanese action games with half-naked emo chicks, then this will satisfy your hunger for the mediocre-ness they provide. However, if you are hardcore shooter fan looking for the next “great thing”, then steer clear of this one. Bullet Witch is a niche title that will find it’s [sic] audience but never extend any further than that.” Why is “great thing” in quotes? And what does “this will satisfy your hunger for the mediocre-ness they provide” mean?
GamesRadar+’s assessment is slightly less confusing. It simply said “The developers needed more time to stroke you tenderly. Now you’re forever condemned to being on the verge of boo-yah.” Okay then.
GameCritics, in a review that’s scored 5.5, stated “At fifty dollars, and with significant locked away on the disc from the people who paid for it, it’s the biggest rip-off since Crackdown, and shouldn’t be purchased by anyone for any reason.” 55 percent seems like an inflated score for a game that no one should ever buy.
GameRevolution really zeroed in on the whole sexy witch angle, writing “And Alicia is hot, though not sexy as one might expect. Whoever they hired to do her voice work sounds hot, in that she sounds stupid. All of her lines are read woodenly, like a teenager reading aloud in class.” Ladies and Gentlemen, 2007!
And, my personal favorite because sometimes you just don’t know how to end an article: 360 Gamer Magazine UK summed up Bullet Witch by saying “Alicia is an enticing central character and the setting is delectably decayed, but playing her is just simply average and consistently lacks consideration for the player. She’s a witch all right.” What a clincher.
Anyway, the Bullet Witch remaster is available on Steam now for $15. Uhh, she’s a witch all right!