Review: Assault Android Cactus

I believe I’m pretty much done with accepting Bullet Hell games from this point on. It may change in the future, but I don’t think I’ll find one as enjoyably frustrating as Assault Android Cactus is (AAC from here on out due to sloth). That said, it’s a pretty fun romp up until it kicks you in the rump.

Oh Starch, you're my favorite because you're just so goofy. Who else would compare destroying a whole mess of robots as playing tag? No one would... and that's why we're friends.
Oh Starch, you’re my favorite because you’re so goofy. Who else would compare destroying a whole mess of robots as playing tag? No one would… and that’s why we’re friends.

Aside from other Bullet Hell games, there is one major aspect of AAC that lets me enjoy it and allowed me to play far longer than others in the genre. There are a plethora of characters when it comes to who you want to rampage with. To note: they are not carbon copies of each other either. They all have different weapons and definitely different playstyles. From lasers, missiles to homing bullets there are plenty of options if one robot protagonist isn’t doing it for you. I’ve needed to experiment with all of them just to get past certain levels. Like the rail gun? Well, don’t get too used to it, there are some levels that just don’t accommodate that slow rate of fire. You’ll need the laser instead or maybe that triple-shot gun. No matter the situation, you’ve got options and that’s the simple point I’m trying to get across. Got it? Good.

I've had higher chains, obviously, but since I didn't think of turning on Fraps until the writing of this article, I had to stop every now and then to snap a picture from Steam itself. That's very far away from my controller in my brain at least.
I’ve had higher chains, obviously, but since I didn’t think about turning on Fraps until the writing of this article, I had to stop now and then to snap a picture from Steam itself. The button is very far away from my controller (in my brain at least). That and this also shows off Aubergine’s singularity move and how cool it is. Blender time!

Something else that is brought to the forefront if you’re one of those people who just skips past cut-scenes, you shouldn’t with AAC. Each character has a different set of dialogue with every single bad guy/girl/thing. While I do appreciate most of the straight-to-the-pointness of some of the characters or their devotion to justice, you just can’t beat Starch with here crazy, scatter-brained comments. They are actually coherent, but they are still a bit odd-ball. Even picking her in the selection screen wakes her up and she yelps out “Pineapple!” What? That’s just weird… and I like it. It was awesome to play through different levels and see the different interactions between the characters… awesome I tell you.

Oh Starch, you complete me in this adventure!
Oh Starch, you complete me in this adventure!

To throw it out there, my second favorite character is Aubergine. She’s also the main reason I play with mouse and keyboard. Her weapon puts the burden on the player to control two characters at once (essentially). With your weapon being a spinning bot of death, you’re main job is to stay alive while moving your weapon around the level to finish off the baddies. This character is also helped by her alternate ability to create a singularity which drags all/most things near inside of it. Then you just move your weapon inside and let the blending commence. While this character is super fun to play, it can also be very difficult to track two things at once all the while tracking all of the bullets and baddies on the screen.

Yeh... you'll see this a lot I'm sure.
Yeh… you’ll see this a lot I’m sure.

One of the main complaints I’ve had with most Bullet Hell games were the controls. They would either try something “new” and going with what everyone else has been doing lately and making your character rotate instead of move with parts of the left stick, but not here. The controls are brilliant! I even played with the controller a bit. Trust me when I say that that means something. I, however, continued to play with the mouse and keyboard most of the time due to wanting to play with Aubergine a lot. It was so much easier to control the two-part aspect of her character with the mouse and keyboard than it was with the controller. I also didn’t want to relive my Watch_Dogs gameplay with the jumping back and forth between controller and keyboard for certain parts of the game, or in AAC’s case, characters.

While some may be shocked that I'd give a Bullet Hell game this high of a ranking, that just goes to show you how much fun I had. End the end though, I couldn't complete the game due to it's unrelenting nature of throwing way more crap at me than I think a game should. While difficulty may not be a ruiner of other sites scores, fun is paramount here and being roflstomped is not my desire in any scenario. That said, the controls were tight, the music was excellent, the characters were fantastic and the game can be fun with multiple people. Witch Beam did a good job with this title. If their next game uses the same universe, but isn't a Bullet Hell, you can sign me up!
While some may be shocked that I’d give a Bullet Hell game this high of a ranking, that just goes to show you how much fun I had. In the end, I couldn’t complete the game due to it’s unrelenting nature of throwing way more crap at me than I think a game should. While difficulty may not be a ruiner of other sites scores, fun is paramount here and being rofl-stomped is not my desire in any scenario. That said, the controls were tight, the music was excellent, the characters were fantastic and the game can be fun with multiple people. Witch Beam did a good job with this title. If their next game uses the same universe, but isn’t a Bullet Hell, you can sign me up!

More Assault Android Cactus info: FaceBookOfficial Page / Steam / Twitter
Jonathan Amarelo Sig

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