Super Bullet Break – Switch

Who among us hasn’t been bored and installed a gacha game on their phone at 1am? Clicking through menus and unlocking artwork just to get bored within a week, wondering why you played the game in the first place. I’ll admit I’ve played a few of these gacha games ranging from the addictive Granblue Fantasy to the thinly hidden grind of Arknights. Super Bullet Break aims to fulfil that gacha need with a deck builder roguelike that will have you unlocking characters and firing bullets at monsters as you progress. It’s a shame that the artists took less inspiration from Dragalia Lost and more ISEKAI: Demon Waifu.

Super Bullet Break has a pretty forgettable story and the main focus is navigating through a Slay the Spire style map with combat being turn based battles where you use the bullets you’ve collected throughout to defeat monsters. Each failed run will unlock more bullets you can encounter in your run and the more you play the more you’ll understand the mechanics and tactics you’ll need to progress. The text is all easy to read and although you’ll need to click through a lot of menus to see what everything means the information is there unfortunately as with a lot of Super Bullet Break you’ll just need to decode most of it yourself.

What’s surprising about a game that puts such an emphasis on unlocking characters is how you cannot build your deck before a run. Each run you can summon a random support bullet and then you’ll be relying on the gacha system as you progress. There are shops, random chance locations and encounters to unlock more bullets or heal up. What’s surprising is how you can attempt a run with almost no combat until the boss although this isn’t advisable as the bosses are ridiculously overpowered. What starts out as a simple looking run quickly becomes a balancing act between more bullets and tuning your deck.

The random nature of rolling a dice each time you unlock a bullet makes Super Bullet Break incredibly difficult to build a decent deck. Unlike most deck-building roguelikes Super Bullet Break just isn’t very well balanced. You’ll be stuck with hands of rubbish often and clearing through it will likely result in death as even the early enemies will nearly kill you in one fight. The list of effects, buffs, debuffs and combo effects is extensive but Super Bullet Break doesn’t do a great job of explaining any of them. It really is up to the player to dig in and figure everything out with the hope you can build a deck that works against the bosses.

What should have been a fun roguelike with cute bullets to fire off at enemies becomes a slog and Super Bullet Break is simply too difficult for its own good. I’ve nearly unlocked the majority of the bullets despite not being able to clear much of the game. As you progress through each game the player’s hand will have different effects and change the gameplay slightly but given how hard the first two maps are most players are unlikely to see it. The music and sounds are thankfully background enough that you won’t notice or find it annoying, with a game you’ll be looping numerous times that’s a blessing other roguelikes forget.

The most surprising aspect of Super Bullet Break really is just how incredibly difficult for a roguelike it is. Given how many deck builders I’ve finished over the years it really surprised me how insufferably punishing the monsters and bosses can be. Unlike games like Neoverse you can’t really manage the risk of combat in Super Bullet Break. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll try to scout a bullet to get something useless and end up in combat fighting a monster that will throw out a 52 damage hit. The loop of playing Super Bullet Break isn’t helped by the ridiculous fanservice and cheesecake for the bullets themselves.

Some of the artwork is really nice and some of it makes you roll your eyes hard. There’s a lot to unlock in Super Bullet Break and if you enjoy some bouncy art mixed with a punishing deck builder then you’ll enjoy it. It desperately needs an easy option or balancing to make the combat less punishing. The mashup of styles and themes should lead to experimenting with decks to see what works but largely results in frustration. When it works the runs can be fun it’s just a shame that that experimentation is rarely rewarded and you’ll be back at the start soon enough.

5/10 – Breaking some Super Bullets

Super Bullet Break is available on Switch, PS4 and Steam
*Review code provided by PQube – Check them out here!*

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