Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet
Top Critic Average
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
A few players will absolutely adore Genso Rondo, of that there’s no doubt. For most though, this is an interesting concept that falls short on quality.