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Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet

Sep 6, 2016 - PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

OpenCritic Rating


Top Critic Average


Critics Recommend

Game Revolution
3 / 5
4 / 10
7.5 / 10
Hardcore Gamer
3 / 5
God is a Geek
6.5 / 10
8 / 10
PlayStation LifeStyle
3.5 / 10
4 / 10
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Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet

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Critic Reviews for Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet

I can see this being a fun distraction for fans of online competition, but I worry it could be “too Japanese” for a Western audience to take seriously, even from NIS. It’s not really “bad” or anything; it’s just too niche for its own good. I found some enjoyment in it, but after a few times playing through the story, it felt more tedious than anything. There’s not enough here to make me want to strive for greatness. Maybe if the devs had strived for it first, I would’ve stayed glued to my controller a bit longer.

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It’s a real shame that the first Touhou game to officially come out overseas is Touhou Genso Rondo. It really doesn’t capture the appeal or the magic of the mainline Touhou series, and there are plenty of other fan-games in vastly different genres that are at least much more mechanically polished than this one. Touhou Genso Rondo is a mild disappointment for fans of the series, but despite the broad marketing efforts of NIS America, it should simply be absolutely avoided by newcomers.

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Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet features the essence of the saga and its redesign makes it a wonderful videogame. If you like this genre, you will find here an entertaining and challenging game.

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If you’re looking for a game that will completely sell you on the Touhou series and turn you into a fan, Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet probably won’t do it, as it really feels like a weak entry with a lack of substance that doesn’t show off a lot of Touhou’s potential beyond the ability to have a massive amount of bullets appear on the screen.

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Bullet Ballet has a lot of depth to it and even is fun in short bursts but is let down by a dull story mode and annoying controls.

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Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet is a great introduction to the Touhou universe and an excellent way to spend time playing with friends. The simple controls make it easy for new players to pick up and have a good time, but it also caters to the more hardcore fanbase by adding a deep learning curve to each character. Don’t let the fact that this is a fan-made game make you think it’s lacking in content. Genso Rondo makes it’s mark on the Touhou universe. While paying homage to the official works that came before it, the game provides a new and exciting approach to the fighting game genre.

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Besides the core concept being interesting, I really don’t have any other compliments to give Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet. It’s a disappointment for a number of reasons, and it really sucks that a lot of North American gamers’ first experience with the Touhou series will be this bad spin-off. Hopefully one of the entries in the main series, or at least the PS4 fighting game, will come stateside and get this bad taste out of my mouth.

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Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet has something going for it and it is honestly something I had never seen before, but the way it plays mixed with a confusing tutorial that doesn’t explain things in the best way it could really make this game feel like I’m slogging through an interesting game while in the dark.

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