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Bullet Ballet _BEST_



The pecan tree. The smoke that comes out of the film. Self-destructing. The dancing of the raindrops. Sunbathers face-to-face with the fast-moving sky, to which the ones who watch this can't exactly comprehend it. Gorgeous black-and-white. Kirina Mano's brilliant performance, like Brigitte Lin's woman in blonde with a punk aesthetic. This is a dream. The most gorgeous, thematic; weightiest film from Shinya Tsukamoto, the catharsis of this comes out overwhelmingly. Nihilistic tenderness. Ordinary corrupt human love. These lost lizards ballet through the invisible bullets flying around.




Bullet Ballet



Melee attacks are admittedly an Achilles heel for Bullet Ballet. They sound good in theory but just feel inelegant and cumbersome, especially when compared to your long-range attacks. Granted, this game is mostly about the bullets but the melee is a letdown given how solid close-range options would make the game much better.


Like a delicious cronut, Touhou Gensou Rondo: Bullet Ballet combines two fun genres while throwing in some beloved characters with a dedicated cult following. The shmup and bullet hell part of the equation has its fun moments but the melee is cumbersome and awkward. The game also has some nice bones but could use more meat as both the story and the gameplay can feel shallow at times, especially after extended play. It can be enjoyable in short bursts, especially when battling other players but would definitely benefit more from some extra polish.


Along with all the bullet hell stuff there are also melee attacks that can be used if the characters are close to each other. Doing a melee combo can charge up the charge bar as well as knock the opponent back. Defending against this takes some timing and skill, but can be done and actually turn the tables in a fight.


I come from, and currently live in a country with fairly strict laws surrounding gun ownership. In my current domicile, UK, automatic and most semi-automatic firearms are completely banned and even the ownership of such guns as hunting rifles is only possible after a thorough background check by the police, part of which is the police inspecting your premises and making sure you have the capacity to store the firearms safely (gun and bullets in separate locked safes, no guns in an old shoeboxes here). My home country is subject to similar regulations and majority of people who own guns, either own them for hunting purposes or because they are a member of a shooting club. Even with this background I was somewhat surprised to learn of the draconian laws surrounding gun ownership in Japan. While citizens are allowed to own firearms for hunting or sport shooting purposes, the road to gun ownership is long and arduous. You not only have to pass a shooting range test with marks no lower than 95% and undergo a mental health evaluation at their local hospital. A thorough background check of the applicant and their family is naturally also conducted and if one happens to be lucky enough to pass all these requirements, it will only lead to a three-year licence, after which the whole process will start again. Civilians are not allowed to own handguns, let alone anything semi or fully automatic, leaving air rifles and shotguns pretty much the only guns available to purchase.


If this wasn't devastating enough Goda also learns that she killed herself with a bullet to the head. With Japan having some of the strictest set of gun control laws on the books not only is Goda left with the yawning, black "why" behind Kiriko's suicide, but also a whole other set of mysterious "hows", "wheres" and "whos". How did Kiriko get a handgun in the first place? From where? And most importantly from who? Goda goes on a quest into the gritty criminal underworld of Tokyo in order to answer these questions, and maybe inhabit the last days of Kiriko's life.


Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet borrows from that format too which means that for the most part the game will feature you and your enemy circling each other while firing bullets at each other, occasionally stepping in to throw in a melee attack or two. While it has the aesthetics of a one on one fighter with its energy bars and round counters, primarily the action happens at range.


Most interestingly, you also have a spell attack which shifts the action by having the player using the attack turning into a boss character at the top of the screen, complete with some horrifying bullet patterns, and the poor victim at the bottom.


There are contrasting scenes of such hyperactivity that it's hard to make out what's happening, as well as long, exquisite sequences of slow, loving detail - for instance, when the protagonist Goda finally gets his hands on a gun and simply sits and stares at it, turning the bullets over in his fingertips, then recreates his lover's suicide by gunshot in the exact spot she died in, reliving the death of the only thing which has ever mattered to him, it's not only pure and beautiful art, it's intensely moving and deeply desolate. And some of the slow-motion shots of fighting are literally as elegantly balletic as the title of the movie suggests.


At night, after having flashbacks of the policeman showing him the picture of the gun his gf shot herself with, Goda goes out trawling the streets, immersing himself further and further in shady dealings, even going so far as to ask drug dealers if they have guns for sale. He tries everything: even asking questions on internet bulletin boards, as well as attempting to make his own, which he does manage to do, but with no real success.


You want to avoid as many bullets as possible, but the focus should be dodging the bigger bullets and dealing as much damage as possible. When fighting Utsuho, you definitely want to avoid her large glowing orbs as they do major damage. Reimu has a homing attack with and . Her normal attack does pretty good damage. Her and charge attack also does quite a bit of damage.


However, a major game-changer is the use of a spell card, which temporarily transforms the game from its arena environment to a top-down affair that more closely resembles a traditional bullet hell shooter. Here, the player who casts his card gets to attack (from above) while the other player has to try and survive. Unfortunately, in too many cases, these attacks seem overpowered and make it feel like surviving such a situation with very little damage has more to do with luck than anything else.


Each girl has the ability to launch large amounts of bullets from their body using mana. These attacks can be used in sequence to chain together massive combos that fill the screen with colorful bullets. Players also have the chance to fill a gauge that allows them to use a "spell." Once activated, the spell changes the field to an overhead perspective where players can use their ultimate attacks. Each character's spell is different, but I felt that some aren't as powerful as others, although they are all very intimidating. If found on the receiving end of the spell, you can either wait till the enemy's mana runs out or shoot them.


I quickly found my favorites after a few matches with each girl, but I never felt like the battles were unbalanced or broken. Strengths and weaknesses are made clear after discovering what kind of move sets you have at your disposal. Something that is a bit more difficult to get used to is the lack of impact you feel when your character gets hit. Most fighting games interrupt attacks or force your character to be staggered after getting hit, but during Genso Rondo the only way you'll know that you suffered damage is when you see your HP meter decrease. This becomes annoying when you think you're dodging every bullet on screen, but then realize that half your HP is depleted.


Moving the characters around the map felt smooth and responsive. When on the defensive I could easily weave my character through a hell storm of bullets and utilize the melee attack to cut through the attacker's bullets, which offered me a chance to return the attack. Similarly, even though the offensive move list is relatively simple, consisting of main and sub attacks, it does take time to master.


Arcade Mode pits you against enemies that increase in difficulty after each victory. On the other hand, Boss Mode might need some further explaining because technically there are no bosses in this game. Each round begins with a character launching their special spell attack. You must avoid the screen full of bullets while attempting to defeat the character. After doing so, you move on to the next character. It pays to try and remember each character's spell in order to have an idea of the barrage of attacks that are headed your way.


After all the bullets have cleared the screen, Genso Rondo has a story mode for each character. Interestingly, the stories don't try and stand out too much or keep the player from the action. After choosing a character the story sets itself up with an illustration and you're thrown into the action. I found some of the stories to be a little silly and others quiet engaging.


Each character has their own unique theme that provides excellent background music while the bullets rain on the screen. Since each one is different, I never felt like I was hearing the same song over and over again. With that said, I did find myself choosing favorites and wanting to hear those as many time as possible.


Static poses are often struck; the story unravels more like a ballet than an opera (the movements of actors and camera as well as the cuts are synchronized to pop music, much of it performed on trumpet by a Miles Davis clone); and the action shifts between industrial, rural, or urban locations that are used theatrically and studio sets that often take the form of theatrical stages used for Kabuki, butoh, and Greek or Roman drama (we see columns suggesting a Mediterranean amphitheater). Other scenes appear to be set in some lava-lamp version of an afterlife, with an otherworldly lime-colored dock and a shimmering gold river over which ghostlike figures in white hover. 041b061a72


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