By Steve Baltimore / August 17th, 2018
|Title||Bullet Girls Phantasia|
|Release Date||August 9th, 2018|
|Genre||3rd Person Shooter|
|Platform||PlayStation 4, Vita|
|Age Rating||N/A (But certainly mature)|
A while ago I checked an ecchi third person shooter on the Vita called Bullet Girls. This game was from D3 Publisher, known for games like Onichanbara and Earth Defense Force, and I found it lacking. This was mostly due to the horrible controls and terrible enemy AI. They have released a new entry in the series titled Bullet Girls Phantasia. This is the first title in the franchise to get an English release in Asia. I saw Play-Asia was carrying it and I had to check it out. I loved the premise of the first game, so if they fixed the gameplay this should be a ton of fun. Let’s find if this army got some massive upgrades over the years!
The story follows a group of girls that attend the Misakimori Academy. These girls are all members of the Ranger club. They are training for the upcoming Blood Sweat and Tears Athletic Meet when they are suddenly teleported to a strange fantasy world. They soon discover they have ended up in the world of Midgard. The people here are struggling against a jet black dragon that leads the monsters invading their land. The girls will have to use their cunning and weapons to fight off these hordes and find a way back home. They will even meet some very unique allies along the way.
This is not a ground breaking tale here, but it is interesting enough to keep you pushing through the game’s missions. I feel like the characters and their interactions with each other are much better than the overall story. All the girls have their standard anime tropes. Saki is lazy and only wants candy, Hardina has an age complex from hell, Aki is the cute, tomboyish girl and so on. There are more funny moments between these girls than I could easily point out, and I was always entertained by their banter back and forth.
Graphically Bullet Girls Phantasia looks good. The girls are all nicely detailed down to the many different pairs of underwear you can unlock. Their costumes look great as well and you will unlock them in alternative colors along the way. The enemy models look nice as well, for the most part. I felt that the vehicle models looked a little halfhearted. They are passable but another round of texture polish wouldn’t have hurt one bit.
The music in the game is very fitting. There are lots of upbeat fantasy type songs to get you pumped for battle and some happier tunes for the game’s lighter moments. The music is great but the voice acting is simply outstanding. The game is fully voiced in Japanese and all the actors do a great job bringing these characters to life. The Intense Drilling Section is where they take this to another level. Those girls really get into these roles of being teased with plenty of sexy moans. Your inner pervert cannot help but be satisfied with this.
If I ever dreamed up in my head what a third person Musou style shooter should be, this is pretty close to what I would’ve come up with. The game functions like most third person shooters, you aim with the right stick while moving with the left. It didn’t work like this on the Vita and it was very clunky to get the girls to move and shoot. This is a vast improvement in this area as these controls are tight and responsive. You can even customize the layout and sensitivity to your liking.
Each girl can take up to three weapons into battle, and since the natives of this world don’t use modern firearms you get a nice mix of goodies to choose from. These include everything from bazookas to a quill and arrows. I’ve noticed some weapons work better on certain types of enemies so don’t be afraid to experiment till you find a setup that works for you. You will be able to upgrade all of these weapons in the in-game shop with the gold you gain from missions.
The girls will power up by obtaining stronger weapons. They will also gain stats boosts through leveling up by completing missions. This will not only improve your base stats but give you points to spend on the skill tree as well. Players will find enhancement items during missions as well. These can be equipped on each to girl to provide boosts for specific weapons, HP boosts, EXP boosts and many other buffs. Certain panties and bras will grant the player the same effect, so the girls are not only looking sexy but getting more badass as well.
One area I felt the game was lacking was in the enemy types. There just a few found in the game, and they consist of orcs, slimes, skeletons, wizards and a few others. They do mix this up with a boss battle between against another character or a dragon, but you will see a lot of the basic creature types I mentioned. I guess this is OK since this is a Musou style game, but I do feel like this is one area they could’ve improved a bit more in.
The other main issue I had is while I think the maps were nicely sized, looked great and each felt distinct, there just wasn’t enough of them. In the 38 main story missions these maps will appear a few times over. I don’t think this a really terrible offense, since they do have different enemies when you return, I just think they could’ve put a little more effort in this area. Other than this the only other two minor issues I can think of is sometimes the AI isn’t very smart. It’s much better than the previous games, but it still has some duh moments. The last issue is the load times. They are pretty hefty with some missions taking around 40 seconds and you will notice a little lag during dialogue scenes where it is loading in the next set of characters with voice lines.
Missions are divided up by story chapters and there are four missions in each chapter. Most of the time you can freely select which girl to use and a buddy to help you out. In previous games you had a supporter instead of a buddy. The main difference being a support would give you buff, while having a buddy gives you an actual AI partner to help you out. There are some missions that do require you complete them with a specific character before being open to use anyone you wish. Missions usually consist of you getting from point A to point B while slaying everything in your path. This means most of the time just clearing the map of enemies will complete your mission. Though some missions will have a boss battle or an Intense Drilling Session at the end of them.
The Intense Drilling Sessions are what makes this one stand out. They had these in the previous titles as interrogations. They work basically the same way this time around. The girls are bound and you will will use your hands and various objects to umm…. stimulate them! You will be able to equip four different items to the face buttons and the girls have 29 different locations you can tease them with. The player will be given a score of Good, Bad or Excellent. This will fill one or both of the good and bad meters at the top of the screen. When these meters are full the girls are in pure ecstasy, and judging by the sound they make I got a pretty good idea of what is going on here! Just keep in mind when you break an area on the gals it will take a few seconds for it to cool down, and if you destroy two within five seconds of each other it starts a combo for more points. You can also shove food items in their mouths for added effects. These include extra time and damage. These sessions can be done with a single girl or do a double session with two girls at once. Though you will have to progress the story a bit to unlock the double sessions, some poses and backgrounds. There is also a reverse drilling were the girls tease you as the player. The mechanics here work a bit differently, but there is an in game guide to help you out.
While I cannot say Bullet Girls Phantasia is a perfect game. I can undoubtedly say it is a fun game. I really enjoyed the characters and the combat is fast and fun. The game has three different difficulty settings which gives the game some replay value, and completing story missions on higher difficulties will unlock new outfits, items and extra missions for you to enjoy. I’ve spent a solid 10 hours with the game and still have quite a bit to unlock myself, but I did complete all of the main story missions before writing this review. I feel strongly that it is worth the $55.99 price tag if you are a fan of third person shooters, Musou games or ecchi. You owe it to yourself to snag this one today. You are bound to have a ton of fun with it despite its flaws.
Game provided by Play-Asia for review purposes. If you’d like a copy, please use our affiliate link below and support the site.
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bullet girls phantasiaD3 PublisherecchiPlay Asia