Bite the Bullet (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

In the far future, most humans have left Earth for other planets as food is scarce.  The people who still live on Earth have cybernetic implants installed that allow them to eat anything.  And I do mean ANYTHING.  Rocks, metal, zombies, you name it, just to survive in this war-torn Earth where food is hard to come by.  When trouble erupts, it’s up to Chewie and Chewella to run and gun and eat their way to victory.  Bite the Bullet is a 2-D run and gun game where you can eat any enemy to boost your stats.  The game has been out for a while, but has new DLC which adds, “new levels, enemies, double the frame rate for animation, and plenty of secrets.”  The announcement of this new DLC is why I’m reviewing the game now, but since I didn’t play it before, I haven’t noticed the difference.  But anyway, Bite the Bullet is available for nearly all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

To start, you’ll pick your playable character: male Chewie or female Chewella.  You’ll visit a hub area where you can talk to people and get mission details, and then select your stage.  In these levels, you’ll run, double jump, dash, and shoot your way past enemies.  Each enemy has an energy gauge above them.  Make sure you shoot the enemy enough so their energy gauge is almost, but not completely empty.  When that happens, they’ll become dizzy and you can run up and eat them with the circle button!  You can eat regular enemies, zombies, robots, and just regular food just sitting around.  But be careful not to shoot them too many times, or you’ll destroy them without getting a chance to eat them.  Also, when you kill and eat enough enemies, you’ll fill a gauge and when it’s full you can temporarily transform into a Hulk-like monster for tough situations.  When you visit certain scales in a level, you can transfer points from enemies you’ve eaten to stat boosts on a HUGE skill tree.  After you beat the boss at the end of the level, you’ll go back to the hub world so you can tackle the next area.

I like the idea of this game, as eating everything is silly and reminds me of games I enjoy such as Kirby and Pac-Man.  But man I had so many problems with this game.  Levels are WAY too long and very hard.  Luckily you can continue as many times as you like at the last checkpoint you cross, but it still wore me out after a while.  I also had trouble with some of the controls and gameplay aspects.  One time I went into the menu screen to toggle some things, and when I came out I was shooting automatically rapid fire without any way to stop, and I couldn’t figure out how to end that.  I don’t know if that was a game bug or something I did.  I also couldn’t figure out things like how to craft weapons or switch them out, and when I did I couldn’t tell a difference.  Same thing when applying skills to the skill tree.  I didn’t notice a change in what I did.  Only thing I could tell was when I ate certain enemies, my energy would refill.  The text in the game is very hard to read, and the action is just a bit too chaotic for my tastes.  Visuals are kind of disgusting, too, as you can barf and whatnot.  The game says that if you eat too much you get fat, but I didn’t notice that happening no matter how much I ate.  It’s not like Metal Slug where if you eat too many food items you can get fat and run slower or whatever.  I liked the pixelated 16-bit graphics, but the more advanced lighting effects they put in just got distracting.  The whole game is just kind of sloppy.  But if you like Contra and gross toys like Garbage Pail Kids and Madballs (I’m probably aging myself there), you might still enjoy Bite the Bullet.

Kid Factor:

Bite the Bullet is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood, Drug Reference, Language, and Violence.  When you eat or destroy enemies, pixelated square bits of blood fly everywhere, and you shoot anything that moves so of course it’s violent.  Some of the items you pick up look like needles, so that’s the drug reference, and the language is just in the text only.  But because of all this and the high difficulty, I’d say the game is best for older players.

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