I should start a "Modern Cult Classics" classification and start sticking some of these in there. I had bought the original Gungrave years ago for $5 and wasn't that impressed with it...until I took it out again, realized there was a "run" button, and had a lot more fun with it. The sequel is in general much better though. They're basically the type of games that would feel at home in a modern arcade, if such a thing actually existed. It's definitely more to wow you with its style and action, than provide any really interesting gameplay. But when the style is this good, and the games this cheap, they're definitely worth checking out.
Post by tollmaster on Jan 10, 2007 21:46:07 GMT -5
Great article! I appreciate all of your work, but Gungrave just does not get the respect it deserves. I recommend it to people who don't understand how shmups work--your average shmup is short, but hard, so you need to spend a great deal of time getting better at it to progress through the game at higher difficulty levels. The fun isn't in seeing new stages, but seeing if you can improve your skill. Gungrave has that kind of ethic, but without the barriers that curtain fire games, for example, present to your first time players.
What I wanted to say, though, was that there is a small inaccuracy about Gungrave: Overdose in the article. There are 9 demolition shots, but the "upgraded" forms also use a different amount of demolition shot stock--level two uses two DS, and level three uses three. While the higher levels are more powerful, there is a very definite tradeoff, and much of the strategy of the game when played at Hard/Kick Ass difficulty stems from knowing when 3 Level 1 DSs are more than worth 1 Level 3 DS, and vice versa. A Level 1 DS also refills half your armor, while 2 fills it 3/4 and 3 fills it full--if armor is more important to you at that moment (which it often is) it's more efficient to use the Level 1s, and not hit the enemy hard all at once.
In fact, I think you should explain the armor mechanic a bit more, as it plays a large role in the strategy of the game. Learning how to take armor damage (which can be refilled via DS or just not shooting for a few seconds) and not health damage is the first thing a serious player has to learn, and it's interesting enough a mechanic that I think readers should get an indepth explanation of it. If you need some reference, I would be willing to help with the details.
Sorry if this sounds like too much criticism, but I wanted to explain a few things a bit better. Your site is one of the few whose reviews I actually find interesting, because you have a great understanding of the core matters at hand--how system X works and why, or what the charm of a particular game is, for example, rather than "here is the story from the press release in different words and some pretentious joke about modern gameplay" which seems to consist of much of the Internet. Thanks for just existing; you make the world a better place, and I don't feel like the entire world is stupid.
Huh. It kind of creeps me out that not a few days ago, I bought this, Rygar, and Shinobi, all of which happen to be mentioned in articles. Outside of the pretty graphics, I can't say I was terribly impressed with the game, though.