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POSTED 10/10/16


TOUHOU GENSO RONDO: BULLET BALLET

Cubetype/NIS America



Ballet: An artistic dance form performed to music, using precise and highly formalised set steps and gestures.

Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet kinda fills those shoes, but the word “bullet” in there might give you a hint as to what’s in store. This ain’t no Black Swan.

Instead it’s a deft collision of bullet hell shooters (aka “danmaku”, which is basically the Japanese way of saying “barrage”), one-on-one fighting games and gorgeous manganese graphics. Uh, not the chemical element – think Japanese anime. OK, so we sucked at words just then.

With a proliferation of shit “reality” TV shows and endless Hollywood visitations upon things we’ve all seen before, you could be forgiven for believing that creativity is hobbling about, readying its final disillusioned breath. TGR:BB gives us hope. Born from a one-person fan-made shooter series, the combination of shmup and fighter rates high on the good idea scale. Not least of all with the fabulously vacuous-yet-compelling dialogue. We’re not sure if it’s just due to a lost in translation scenario, but boy did it make us smile.

You choose one of up to 12 girlie fighters (hello DLC!) and let loose various varieties of, well, bullet hell upon your opponents. Occasionally you might move in closer for a brief spot of slappity-slappity biffo, or cast a spell and go in for the 2D shmup boss mode-styled kill.

The tutorial is a bag of shite, so you can feel lost at first once you hit either the story or arcade mode. A great way to learn the ropes is local two-player, whereas online is like a cheap Tinder knockoff when it comes to matchmaking.

TGR:BB is far from perfect, but the glorious cheekiness of banging these genres together delivers oodles of fun. It may be ephemeral, but damn you’ll have some fun while you’re en pointe with it.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.