Bite the Bullet
Switch version tested
Review code provided
Binge eating, forced vomiting, competitive eaters, and cursing asparagus. All of these things are what make Bite The Bullet different from the rest of the games on the eShop. Bite The Bullet sets the stage with its story possibly reflecting parts of our world in economic collapse and starvation. Technology was used to overcome such issues but ultimately failed when it caused mutations. Ghouls now contaminate the Earth and two mercenaries are hired by DarwinCorp to wreak havoc and collect genetic material. This game was developed by Mega Cat Studios, maybe you’re familiar with Coffee Crisis, or Phantom Fear? All made by the talented retro heads at Mega Cat Studios. Pick your player and hop into this decaying world chock full of run and gun action, while eating anything you find along the way.
As a hired mercenary, the mission is to gorge yourself with vegetables, drones, and zombies alike to collect genetic material. Enjoy some references to Mega Man, Pokémon, and Major League Eaters throughout. New weapons can be found in levels and dropped by baddies and can be upgraded when a certain “food” is eaten. Anything can be considered food as this day and age allows it with the help of technology. Bonus levels and areas are found in the Mega Man X capsules and will have mini-games or wagers to be made with shady characters. Collect as much fat and protein from eating and attempt a few other missions then vomit it out at the end of the level. A skill tree can be found afterwards to improve your character.
There are a ton of upgrades in the massive webbed bracket, taking multiple directions. I didn’t take the time to map out the way I wanted to go based on the furthest points because it was a lot of reading. Instead, I opted for choosing the upward direction and was happy that some health increases were peppered in between larger costing upgrades.
A two-weapon setup, air dash, deflection shield, oh and you can eat your enemies. Did I not mention that earlier? This is not a run and gun, it’s a dash and smash! (Smash referring to the slang term for eating) Although maybe we should stick with what is referred to in the game as “Gun and mouth”. Combat consists of running, gunning, and eating enemies just prior to their last bit of health going away. It’s an interesting portion of the game as calories, fat, protein, and experience will be collected as a result.
I’m not a fan of the controls, but there are two layouts to choose from in the options menu. The twin-stick layout does not autofire which is what I would hope for, instead one of the trigger buttons must be pressed to fire. Switching weapons by pressing in the right joystick kept happening on this ‘pro’ layout for me. I swapped between the two but neither felt comfortable. Wall jumping and sliding down edges didn’t have that responsive feel I’m looking for and has room for improvement.
At first, I thought the game felt sluggish and heavy, but upon reaching a particular bonus area everything sped up and felt smooth as silk. Returning to the main area of play confirmed there is a framerate issue, and this eventually gave me a headache. At a game over for the girl, the guy is shown and screen freezes while returning to my last save. Returning to headquarters caused this freeze frame to happen often. These problems remove loads of satisfaction one could feel otherwise and puts a massive damper on Bite the Bullet.
It’s not all bad though, I absolutely love the look of this game. From the still-character animations, to the modernised graphics mixed with the retro looks, to the dialogue zoomed-in photos. It all blends together to form a great looking game. Moving atop a bullet train in the first stage area while the background illustrates a factory focused, gloomy world. All beautifully crafted in what I would describe as a modernised 16-bit style. Maybe this could have been released on the Sega Genesis? That doesn’t sound impossible since Mega Cat Studios sells physical editions of their games in retro cart format.
Dialogue is natural and well written, I enjoyed it particularly in between levels. Plenty of food puns throughout the game so I hope you’re hungry! An issue I had was small text-ridden items and talk between characters in stages being difficult to read. Playing in handheld mode I had to squint to make out what was being explained on informational objects. I’m hoping this text can be engorged for the pleasure of all.
Upon returning to headquarters, a slew of information is shown reflecting what has been unlocked and collected. Challenges presented on the right side of the screen during stages if completed will be shown. In addition, the special stages and challenges found along the way. Based on what has been eaten, the protein and fat collected as well. Head over to Vora’s office and speak with her assistant to view the Compendium which shows all the enemies eaten, but below that is the pickups and food heroes. The food heroes compendium is my favourite, as it’s composed of competitive eaters and I follow including: Bob Shoudt, LA Beast, Matt Stonie, Miki Sudo, Naadar Reda, and Nick Wehry. Lovely addition to the game for specific fans of the eating genre as myself.
I’m worried that others will run into the same issues I did and stop playing. Before finishing the entirety of the first stage, I was blocked by an invisible ceiling. I restarted the stage and played all the way to that point and it was no longer blocked. Framerate is another massive concern of mine that I hope can be fixed quickly. Controls could be better but if the previous bugs are removed then it’s just something to get used to. This is a great looking game that deserves a ton of players attention but I cannot sincerely recommend it until at least the bugs and issues I had are resolved. This surely deserves a re-review if so, but until then hold off.
TBG Score: 4/10
Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 13/08/2020
No. of Players: 1-2
Category: Shooter, Action
Developer: Mega Cat Studios
Publisher: Graffiti Games
Download link: eShop