Video Game Bunny Must Die! (PC) (2013)

Bunny Must Die! (PC) (2013)

Bunny's dash.
Relevant Links:
Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils Website
Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils (Steam Store Page)

Overview:
Bunny Must Die! is a Metroidvania, action platformer. Play as Bunny, a rabbit girl whose been cursed with cat ears, and fight your way through the Devils' Labyrinth.

20150201: [20151101 Edit]
I once tried to play Bunny Must Die! on Desura a long time ago but it was a little buggy (something was wrong with the sound).

Playing it on Steam today, I found the controls hard to learn, but the more I played it the more fun it became - even though the game was difficult.

Part of the premise.
Progression:
1) At first Bunny can only walk forward (and dash backwards), but she can quickly get the power-up to move in the opposite direction.
2) Eventually Bunny earns a dash, executed by double tapping left or right.

Overall:
It's likely I'll play more of Bunny Must Die! some day, but the game was neither enticing nor exciting enough to resume right away.

With that being said, I've played various Castlevania* games and Bunny Must Die! felt like a solid Metroidvania offering. It is, however, more fighting-based whereas Castlevania felt more spell-based and equipment based. For a Metroidvania that's more puzzle-based, check out Teslagrad (PC) (2013).

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Part of a conversation between Bunny and the first boss.
*All the Castlevania games released on the Game Boy Advance (CotM, HoD, AoS) and Nintendo DS (DoS, PoR, OoE).

Steam: 28 minutes

20151101:
Today I decided to start over from the beginning, to see how the learning process goes.

Setup:
I streamed the game from my desktop to my laptop and used the keyboard for input. Eventually the stream shut down (during the 1000th fight or so against the giant eyeball) and I finished playing on my desktop.

Defeated.
Despite starting over, I was able to get to the same point as my first save file rather quickly. Furthermore, I made about three times as much progress after that.

Tips/Observations:
1: The game does lack some fluidity.*
2: The game could have introduced mechanics in a more progressive manner. In a way it does, yet the controls are one of the first pieces of information shown to the player. In contrast, compare to the first part of Super House of Dead Ninjas (PC) (2013) or the first level of Mark of the Ninja.
3: Some games allow the character to initiate a magical physics defying jump after leaving a platform. Bunny Must Die! is not one of those games.
4: A variety of enemy fire will be destroyed by Bunny's attacks.

The third boss.
5: Part of what makes the game feel not so fluid is Bunny's seemingly rigid jump. It seems to always go a fixed horizontal distance.*
6: [I read that in order to jump on enemies and projectiles, Bunny must only do a regular jump (i.e., no attacking)]
7: If Bunny is standing idle when you take a screenshot, she'll turn and pose.

*When I played the game directly on my desktop, the rigidity was still there, but the controls felt more fluid.

Boss Spoilers:
1a: For the first boss I rapidly shot Bunny's Sylph Shooter diagonally when the boss stops to attack. I think I'm supposed to duck when she soars down. Finally, I try to jump over her ground attacks but its not easy.

Bunny poses for the screenshot!
1b: [20151102: In a YouTube I watched, the player used Bunny's guard with her Faust Samurai. In a speedrun video, the runner skillfully uses her Sylph Shooter because he has to save the first Faust Samurai pickup to use the Bunny Doll glitch.]
2: The second boss was easier. I fired Sylph Shooter and moved behind an electrical beam when the enemy shoots large fireballs. I quickly toggle time on and off to lower the beam and reengage.
3a: [A FAQ made me realize a silly mistake: I could have returned to the previous save point after defeating the eyeball.]
3b: After many battles against the eyeball, I ultimately preferred using the Black Wing over the Sylph Shooter - Black Wing goes through most environmental objects.
4: When fighting the cat boss, I prefer the Sylph Shooter for the range, but various other weapons deal a ton of damage. After many tries, I still didn't know what to do when the cat paws dart up. That's why I read the FAQ, see Tip/Observation #6.


Steam: 2.1 hours (session); 2.6 hours (total game time)

20151102:
Playing yesterday morning was enough to encourage me to play just a bit more of Bunny Must Die.

Setup:
This time I played the game on my desktop and used a controller. At first I used the default controls, but then I customized them:
A: Jump/Cancel; X: Attack/Accept; Y: Time
The controller did feel a little more fluid than the keyboard, but only in the sense of timing, Bunny still expresses a degree of rigidity.

Steam: 1.1 hours (session); 3.7 hours (total game time)


Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Potentially rewarding gameplay - for example, I watched the first thirteen minutes* of a No Death/100%/1 Hour run which takes full advantage of Bunny's backdash, guard, dash kick, and dash jump. I later watched a 100%/16 min run which uses those moves to their fullest potential as well as her jump (as an attack). *I only watched the first thirteen minutes because that encompassed my progress.
+ Bunny's sound clips.
+ Humorous
+ Unlockable content: play as Cheasea in Chelsea and the 7 Devils

Neutral:
~ Difficult game
~ Metroidvania

Controls.
Cons:
- Occasionally buggy.
- Controls are intuitive and feel clunky.
- Frustrating level design: some areas are vertically long and a misstep can result in falling all the way through.

Recommendation:
Overall, fans of Metroidvania-style games or players who enjoy a good challenge may come to like Bunny Must Die. In addition to recommending this game to such an audience, I would also suggest testing both a keyboard and a controller as input devices and putting at least 1.5 hours into the game before judging it.

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