With games like Contra and Metal Slug setting such a standard (lest we forget about the brilliant Gunstar Heroeseither), a side-scrolling shoot-em-up needs something to help it stand out in this day and age. Fortunately, that’s just what Mega Cat Studios does with Bite the Bullet, a unique adventure where digesting your enemies is just as vital as taking them down. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s a gorefest and a gorge fest.
There are some unique power-ups you’ll discover along the way, and sometimes a little food can go a long way. But it also keeps the game from reaching its (ahem) fullest potential. As a result, it’s definitely got its joyous moments, but just narrowly avoids being the stuff of legend. Still, if you’re a fan of the genre, it’s worth a shot.
Getting Your Belly Full
What’s interesting about the food digestion dynamic in Bite the Bullet is that it serves as both a necessity and maybe even a curse. You need to eat food in order to keep your health bar from dwindling. However, you might end up stuffing yourself a bit too full, and as a result, your performance may suffer a bit. There’s a fine balance to find here, and it kind of throws off the hectic action that the game has in store otherwise.
That said, it’s a great idea, and mostly executed about fine. Plus, there’s some cool things that happen to your character depending what you eat. See, the food you digest actually has an effect on your DNA. As a result, you can do different abilities, or even make some of them permanent if you choose. Just remember, taking one path doesn’t always guarantee success, so you’ll want to experiment.
Other than that, the power-ups are cool enough; and there is some notable action, though it does slow down a bit at times.
A Yummy Presentation
Backing up the game’s acceptable amount of action is a presentation that can’t be beat for fans of the genre. First off, despite some slowdown issues, the visuals in Bite the Bullet look very good, between some sharp animations, great background detail and even some neat lighting effects. It’s old-school taken to the next level, and it suits the game well.
Not to mention the soundtrack, which is absolutely excellent. It’s fun to listen to, especially if you pop on a set of headphones and bop along to your own beat. We couldn’t get enough of this.
Finally, you can go through a few customized touches within the game. Not only with your soldiers’ DNA, mind you, but also their appearance. You can create the hero of your dreams with a fairly easy-to-use system. Just remember, it’s the actual DNA components that change how they play, not necessarily how they look.
A Good Treat
No, Bite the Bullet won’t change the shoot-em-up world, due to some slight problems with its gameplay and having to actually balance your meals. But it’s based around a solid idea, and it’s good fun. Plus the presentation is among the best in this genre, as you’ll like what you see and hear. Grab your silverware – or controller, I suppose – and dig in.
Not the best the shoot-em-up genre has to offer, but Bite the Bullet is a delectable treat.