Top Critic Average
Calling Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet accessible would be a joke in poor taste. Even so, there’s never been a better time in history for those upset with conservative shooters to set aside all preconceived notions and just experiment. Touhou deserves to be praised equally as a bullet hell and a fighter, performing like almost nothing else on the market. This, ladies and gentlemen, is bullet heaven.
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.
When all is said and done, you’ll be hard pressed to find another game that rivals Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet’s bizarre yet captivating premise in the PlayStation 4’s library. While it may not be much of a looker, don’t let the scaled-down presentation fool you: CUBETYPE and NIS America’s latest release is a high-energy mashup that fans of both fighting games and shoot ’em ups who are looking for craving something a bit different should definitely add to their collection.
The game includes a Platinum trophy, and a full run requires playing through with all available characters in the Campaign and Arcade modes. As expected, there are also some online trophies thrown in the mix to keep you busy. Playing this game for my Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet review was certainly a nice change of pace from the other games I’ve been reviewing lately, and I highly recommend that you give it a go.
We enjoyed launching a game that we can jump right in and play, one that'll fulfill our need for twitch-combat goodness and edge-of-my-seat competition, and Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet fits the bill. Some are bound to be turned off by the low-polygon count and lack of fancy storylines, but the gameplay allows for barrels of strategy and quick rounds that can go either way until the very end. Each match is like a close superbowl heading into the final stretch, and that's what every fighting game should strive to achieve.
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.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Touhou Genso Rondo Bullet Ballet is a game that successfully takes Touhou's gameplay and turns it into a two player game that is fun to play and has depth to boot. However, its lack of variety and features put a minor damper on an otherwise good experience.
When a game has such a unique premise in terms of its gameplay, I find it disappointing to see it limited by the same traditional modes as in the average fighting game
Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet catches the feel and tempo of the titles in the Touhou franchise, but it still contains enough to make this experience different from the main titles. The biggest weakness is that it has a poor single-player experience due to how easy it is, but it shines as a multiplayer game, and it is certainly a title that fans of the franchise can pick up and play with their friends or online.
Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet is an interesting mashup between two genres I had never really considered mixing before - bullet hell and fighters. The idea is certainly interesting, and some of the concepts work well while some other mechanics are less effective.
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.
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 parts of the equation have their fun moments but the melee can be cumbersome and awkward. The game also has some nice bones but could admittedly use more meat as both the gameplay and story, while cute, can feel shallow after extended play. It's not a game that would float everyone's boat for sure, but fans of Japanese titles with both an otaku flair and indie feel might still want to check this one out. Now bring over the main Touhou games!
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.
Overall, Tohou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet is a fun, but repetitive, and sadly shallow bullet-hell battler, which aims to catch the eye of Touhou fans; if you're a fan that has yet to pick up the game, you're more than likely to love the combat, humour and visual style of the game – However, if you're an outsider looking into this game, I would wait for a sale or price drop before seeking this game – For fans, I'm sure the game is worth the £30 price tag alone, but for newcomers and people only hearing of the franchise now… I would have to say that the game isn't worth £30 for the amount of content provided. Given that, however, I can't help but find myself returning to the game over and over again; it's like a drug, hooking it's claws in - I don't think it's the greatest game ever, but I can't help but continue to come crawling back for more.
Touhou Genso Rondo : Bullet Ballet is a weak title in every respect, especially from the point of view of content. The story mode is not only suffering from enormous narrative flaws, but it can be completed in less than four hours, and even one of the few playable characters is only available via DLC.
Review in Italian | Read full review
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.
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.
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.