You are Bunny; a bunny girl cursed with having cat ears. The one being who could tell you how to get rid of said cat ears just got mauled. Now, completely on your own, you must brave this strange place they have brought you to.
Good luck, you’re going to need it.
Bunny, luckily, isn’t your average girl, and I’m not talking about the fact that she has bunny ears and cat ears. Through the use of special power-ups, Bunny can manipulate time. Time plays a huge role in puzzle solving and can even be used to give the edge in some of the fights she’ll get in on her quest.
Gameplay is in the style of Metroidvania games with a large map sectioned off into separate areas. Getting into most of these areas requires an item hidden in another area, and generally a lot of backtracking to exploit new found abilities. Throughout the game, Bunny will find various weapons, like the Spike Hammer and Silf Shooter (giant spiked ball and chain and throwing knives, respectably), as well as earn different time control abilities, such as Time Stop and Time Rewind. While getting the weapons is relatively easy, as they are in torches littering the areas, getting these time powers is going to require some work. It’s also going to require braving this game’s many bosses, which range from a large cat (that used photoshopped images of an actual cat in the original release) to a Dracula clone, who can kill Bunny if she looks at him when he flashes her. Top this all off with oldschool platforming and difficulty, and you have your work cut out for you.
Graphically, the game is reminiscent of SNES titles, which is perfect, given the way the game operates. The sprites do a good job of capturing the whimsical nature of the game and helped me feel more calm about dying over and over.
What really stands out, though, is the soundtrack, which has been arranged by “Woofle,” who was responsible for arranging the soundtrack for Hitogata Happa. Each of the tracks stays faithful to the original score while also managing to give it some new flare. I also would like to take a moment to mention that the translation of the game is extremely faithful and well done. There are some extra little touches that most will not notice if they hadn’t played the original version of the game. It’s details like this that really show off Rockin’ Android’s dedication.
Bunny Must Die pays homage to Metroid and Castlevania in almost every way possible, even including nods to both games in terms of design. This also carries over into the controls for the game, which means you’re going to be spending a lot of time doing some of the more tricky jumps and maneuvers over and over again. Even after playing the game for hours, there are some moves that I could only perform half of the time due to the controls. Those of you that grew up on the NES and SNES will know exactly what to expect, but gamers who started with the PSX and later systems will more than likely not be prepared.
To put it simply: this game is a modern take on classic gameplay and it works well. If you are a fan of Metroidvania games, then there is no reason not to pick up this game. The only real downside is that it’s not very long, but then again, neither was the original Metroid. Regardless of this fact, I’m sure others will have as much fun as I did with the title. However, if you aren’t up to the frustration of dying a lot, you might want to pass on this game, as it is quite difficult.
GO Rating: 4/5