Bullet Soul Infinite Burst
Gameplay 8
Graphics 7
Sound 8

Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst is an upgrade of the original game that adds a couple of new features to an already enjoyable title. The Combination Burst mode really does open up a whole new style of play and even the existing modes have been re-balanced and improved with new enemy patterns. While it is not going to change the minds of those who are not fans of the genre, Infinite Burst is surprisingly newcomer friendly and offers an enjoyable experience with plenty of game modes.

Gameplay: No new levels compared to the original Bullet Soul, but the new modes are definitely worthwhile.

Graphics: Showing its age, but still looks decent enough for the genre.

Sound: The soundtrack is great, but the sound effects are a little feeble

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Bullet Soul Infinite Burst

Developer: MAGES. Inc. / Tachyon Inc.,  | Publisher: MAGES. Inc. | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Action / Bullet Hell Shooter | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

You have to feel sorry for the empire of evil known as the Mecha-warl. After undoubtedly spending a lot of time and resources building up their military might in order to conquer all of space, they find themselves opposed by four misfits. Unfortunately, these four misfits are armed to the teeth and waste absolutely no time carving a swathe of destruction through the Mecha-warl forces. The good news is that when playing Bullet Soul, you get to pick one of the four misfits and help them to blast the evil empire to bits.

It’s not exactly Shakespeare in terms of character development and story, but with a name like Bullet Soul, it is to be expected. Actually to be correct the full title of this release is Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst and it is not the first time it has blasted onto PC. Infinite Burst is actually an updated version of the original Bullet Soul and comes packed with a couple of new features and changes. Whether these changes warrant another purchase from owners of the original game will depend on how much they love the genre. Infinite Burst is without a doubt the best version of Bullet Soul, but it is unlikely to sway the opinions of those who are not very keen on bullet hell shooters. However, for fans of the original version or anyone with an interest in the genre, Infinite Burst does bring some nice new additions to the table.

Speaking of game modes, these are actually where Infinite Burst differs the most from the original release of Bullet Soul. The “Normal” and “Caravan” modes are still present, but have both been redesigned and rebalanced to make them more enjoyable. There is also a “Bancho” mode, which enables you to practice the stages of your choosing. Burst mode is the most interesting new addition as it completely changes the way in which the game is played.

Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst is a vertically scrolling shooter that first made an appearance on the Xbox 360 a few years back. Players are given the option to choose between four pilots, Zenichi, Yun, Sadahl and Loop, each with their own spaceship that is armed to the teeth. Loop, who is the bonus character, is now available across all the game modes whereas previously she was only available in one of them. Your choice of character also influences the difficulty of the game as some of them are more powerful than others. Seeing as Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst doesn’t have a traditional difficulty setting option, your choice of character is as close as you’ll get to choosing a skill level. However, you’ll want to complete the game at least once with each of the characters as doing so unlocks a brand new “Musou” mode, which is definitely worth the effort.

You see, one of the biggest gimmicks in Bullet Soul is the way in which bullets literally give up the ghost when you destroy the enemy ship where they originated. This means that Bullet Soul is less about dodging endless bullet patterns and more about aggressively destroying everything in your path. The bullet “souls” are not just harmless, but can also be collected to increase your points and multipliers.

The new Burst mode turns this concept on its head by introducing a coin-collecting mechanic. You can skill cancel bullets by killing the shooters, but downed enemies now also drops coins. It is essential to collect these coins before they bounce off-screen if you want a good score and the closer you are to the top of the screen when you collect the coins the more they will be worth. This means that in this mode you end up taking far bigger risks, which makes for more excitement. As the name suggests, Burst mode also gives you access to a new “Burst” attack, which is not just more powerful, but also yields more valuable coins. This attack slowly drains the “Burst” meter, which is replenished by coins, so if you are good you can keep it going for longer and thus reap bigger rewards. Playing Burst mode also gives you ship a life meter that can be replenished instead of the usual allotment of lives. Musou mode takes things one step further by placing your ship in permanent “Burst” mode, which allows you to really wreak havoc.

If there is one downside, it is that Infinite Burst still features the same five levels found in the original game and nothing new. The different game modes as well as the leaderboards for each provides the game with plenty of replay value, but some additional levels would have been very welcome. It is also somewhat puzzling that the original Bullet Soul was first released and then followed by Infinite Burst when the latter is clearly the superior version. In terms of gameplay, Infinite Burst is still a bullet hell shooter at heart, albeit one that is rather friendly towards newcomers to the genre thanks to the bullet canceling mechanic. You can also continue right from where you lost your last life and the hit boxes for each of the ships are more than fair. The result is a game that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels while the truly dedicated will appreciate the online leaderboards for each mode along with the local rankings.

Visually Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst looks nice, but it is starting to show its age. The action is confined to a rather small window in the middle of the screen, but if you are fortunate enough to own a screen that can be rotated, it is possible to activate tate mode. However, the game doesn’t have any resolution settings and when playing in vertical mode, you are limited to one background per character. The game does make nice use of 3D models for the enemies and for effects like buildings collapsing or your ship flying through tunnels, but nothing looks really cutting edge anymore. The visuals are quite colorful, though, and there is plenty of variety between the five levels. When it comes to audio, the music really stands out and perfectly captures the sound that you would expect coming from an arcade cabinet. The soundtrack is actually remixed compared to the first release, which is a nice touch. Some of the characters also have very funny speech samples, but don’t expect any translations for the in-game speech that is in Japanese. We also found that the sound effects are surprisingly tame for such a hectic looking game. The controls didn’t pose any issues and everything worked well with a Xbox 360 controller. We were also able to rebind all the keys, although the default settings worked fine.

Bullet hell shooters are still quite a niche genre, but there are plenty of titles to choose from on Steam. Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst might not be one of the top titles in the genre, but it still has plenty to offer and will be particularly appealing to newcomers thanks to its bullet canceling mechanic. If you already own the original Bullet Soul, it is a little harder to recommend Infinite Burst, but the new modes and features does add a lot to the game.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows7/8.1/10
  • Processor: Core i3 of Sandy Bridge generation or better
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics Series (It needs 1GB memory allocation)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Sound Devices compartible Direct Sound
  • Additional Notes: XBox 360 compatible game controller strongly recommended
  • OS: Windows7/8.1/10 (64bit ver)
  • Processor: Core i5 of Ivy Bridge generation or better
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Geforce (VRAM 1GB or better)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 4 GB available space
  • Sound Card: Sound Devices compartible Direct Sound
  • Additional Notes: XBox 360 compatible game controller strongly recommended

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