The term “bullet hell” has rarely been used outside of the shoot-em-up genre, and with good reason. The pattern recognition required in most bullet hell games would be next to impossible without the third person view that many shoot-em-up’s provide. Drunken Robot Pornography, however, is attempting to be a first-person bullet hell shooter. In doing so, DRP ends up being extremely fun and incredibly frustrating all at once.
Drunken Robot Pornography’s plot is…well, it’s not really important. You play as a bartender in a futuristic world. Your robot employees have been stolen and brainwashed into trying to destroy humanity and you need to stop them. It’s kind of like Mega Man but with martinis.
Levels in Drunken Robot Pornography often revolve around attempting to reach a certain score within a set amount of time. These levels often act as filler though, as a few levels throughout the game will have you facing off against Titan class robots. These giant death machines are incredibly designed and often provide the only real challenge in the game.
The art design is bright and vibrant, even if the levels are oftentimes very small. The titan class enemies have some incredible style to them, as well. Dejobaan Games has shown with AaAaAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity and 1…2…3…KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby) that they can make beautiful looking games and Drunken Robot Pornography is no different.
Moving through each level is incredibly smooth. Your character is quick and the jetpack allows you to move around the environments easily. The additional jump pads present throughout almost every level make Drunken Robot Pornography feel like Quake. This fast paced movement is oftentimes needed as the game will have every single enemy within a level firing off a ton of shots at you at once. Your speed is your friend though, and with a little practice, you’ll hardly ever get hit. In fact, you’re more likely to have enemies collide with you than for you to actually be hit.
The ultimate problem that DRP suffers from is the time limits present within levels. Finishing a level wouldn’t really be all that difficult without them. You can easily figure out specifically how to avoid enemies, swerve around the levels and collect all the power-ups, but within a few levels, you’ll find yourself running up against the time limits. More often than not, you’ll run out of time before you are killed in any given level. These time limits would be fun within a different game mode, but trying to get through the main game with them in place is the most frustrating part.
Additionally, there’s a huge amount of repetition. While, visually, each Titan has a lot of flair, the formula for killing them rarely varies. Shoot the flashing red area until it breaks. Shoot another flashing red area, rinse and repeat. This becomes even simpler when you add in the three different weapon power ups.
Speaking of power-ups, it would be nice to see more variation with these power ups. Basically, once you collect all of the power ups in a level, you become a walking death machine, only to be stopped by a timer. There’s little strategy required, which is actually the opposite of what bullet hell shooters are supposed to be. With bullet hell shooters, you need to build muscle memory and recognize patterns. With Drunken Robot Pornography, you just need to collect all of the power ups and kill everything that moves.
Drunken Robot Pornography is not without any redemption, though. The fast paced shooting can be a lot of fun and the environments are beautiful. However, the time limits for each level feel like an almost artificial difficulty. Instead of dying from enemies or having to memorize patterns, you just have to shoot at everything before the time runs out. Had those time limits actually been removed, Drunken Robot Pornography would have been an absolute blast to play through. With them however, it’s only mediocre.
SCORE: 6.5 out of 10
A code for Drunken Robot Pornography was provided to Pixel Related for review.