Ortolan is a bullet-hell-eske game.


At-a-glance


(Adult) Content?
No.

Censorship?
Not applicable.

Hours of Game-play?
Two or three hours.

Modding Support?
No.

Patch Available?
No, not necessary.



Foreword

Attention!

This article is pending review. It is either incomplete, out-of-date, or I feel the need to disclaim my shame for a something I’m not proud of.

Gameplay

. . . in a nutshell

I need to make some revisions.

out the shell. . .

This is a very-difficult bullet-hell-eske game that with simple, pretty visuals. It’s almost fun, but it is relentlessly hard, and I honestly found it too frustrating. Maybe I just suck, but holy crap where do I start? My biggest problem with this title is something I call “accessibility”. I’m no expert at games with a ton of projectiles, but (in my opinion), you need to design your software to be enjoyable by everyone, regardless of skill-level. I mean, look at the latest Borderlands (3) game. If you find enemies too hard, you can level up. If you die, you can jump right back into the action. There’s even an “easy-mode” which can be switched-to at any point.

This game has two modes. There’s basically an easy and hard mode, and I started my first game(s) on easy. I can’t even imagine how hard “hard” must be. I guess I should talk about the game-play first though. You represent a girl, and you have to kill your enemies by hovering your mouse cursor over them. One hit they die, one hit you die. You start with fifteen “hearts” (allowing you to “die” that many times). If you click the mouse button, you can (briefly) slow down time, allowing to dodge enemies or quickly dispatch them.

The game starts off easy enough. You fight slow-moving enemies that follow and surround you. By the way, enemies infinitely spawn. The only way you can make them stop is too kill one-hundred consecutive enemies. If you get hit, you have to restart. They will fill the screen, which means you gotta kill ’em fast. You also have to fight these ghost-water things, that move much, much faster than you, and home. All enemies home straight your location. They are deadly when combined with the first enemies, but manageable. But then there are these flying pumpkin enemies.

They are absolute worst. Not even fun. Just frustrating. They move faster than you, and bounce across the map, and (to my knowledge) can’t be killed. They always bounce towards you too. If you get caught in the corner of the map, you die. If have to fight multiples at a time. They spawn with all of the other enemies, which also move faster than you (and home straight to your location). They single-handedly spoiled the experience. I found myself wanting to lose after dieing 20+ times to them on the same stage, so I could just leave and write this review.

Sometimes I’d spawn, and be instantly killed by a nearby pumpkin because it happened to spawn next to me.

Between stages, you can get a new hand-weapon, and a gun. Guns always get me killed, because you have to reload, and enemies move so fast. They will surround (and kill you) faster than you can say “[‘family friendly’ word]”. Did I mention I was playing on “easy”? There are also perks, which will give you a set chance to avoid damage or regenerate one heart for every 50+ kills. That one’s a staple, you’ll need it.

Speaking of hearts, there’s a shop. I think if you beat the game, your leftover hearts become a currency. But only if you beat the game. So if you die half-way through, you don’t get squat for your efforts. You can’t restart where you left-off, and you will have nothing to show for yourself. Why not give the player this currency for every heart (or item card) they earn? It’d massively increase the replay value.

Upon buying this game, there was a tag that said “Sexual Content”. What sexual content? Unless there’s a written part I missed, there isn’t anything here. I couldn’t even find nudity. I went out of my way to extract the assets of this game to find the “sexual content”. If you count a mildly-ripped bunny suit (with a bitty-bit of under-boob) a “sexual content”, well I guess you’re in luck.

As I mentioned, this game needs to be more “accessible”. To be frank, I think this game blows. But, most of it is fun. The visuals are nice, and I really like the artwork. The English isn’t the best, but it’s good enough. I could figure out what things did and whatnot. Perhaps allowing players to pick-up where they left off, with say a “stage-select screen”. Or make the shop-currency obtainable without beating the game. If you can beat the game without the shop’s help, why would you need the shop at-all? Maybe the pumpkin-things less infuriating. Maybe reserve the one-hundred consecutive kills for “hard-mode”. Maybe just penalize “easy-mode” players a certain number of kills for getting hurt.

Story

Visuals

The Goods

Verdict

As I said, maybe I just suck. But I think this game is too unforgiving, and it doesn’t give me much incentive to grit my teeth and master it. If you’re good at bullet-hell games, this might be up your ally. If you came here for “sexual-content”, even if it was here, it’s not worth the effort.