Gungrave: Overdose–High On Fun

Guest Post

Gungrave: Overdose is the sequel to Yashiro Nightow’s 2002 frentic shoot ’em up featuring the resurrected mob enforcer Brandon Heat, a.k.a. Beyond The Grave. The people at Red Entertainment must have paid very close attention to the reviews and feedback received from the original Gungrave, because almost every element has been improved in Overdose, giving the sequel a more complete and, most importantly, a more fun experience.

One major improvement comes from the overall storyline, something the the previous game had very little of. This time he gamer does not have to piece things together from different Wikipedia entries or wait for the anime to come out since the plot unfolds masterfully through cut-scenes and in-game dialog. The events of Overdose take place three years after the fall of the Millenion criminal empire. Mika Asagi and her plucky young sidekick, Spike, reawaken Grave to stamp out the remants of Seed, the super-drug that turns it’s users into deformed killing machines. Aiding them in their search are two new playable characters: the (literally) hot-headed swordsman Juji Kabane and the ghostly rock star, Rocketbilly Redcadillac. The story is something that the player can easily get wrapped up in since there are so many twists and so much character development as the game goes on.

The game is very easy to pick up, whether you have never played it or have left it on the shelf for a while. That is not saying that it is easy to beat (that’s probably the reason it was laying on your shelf). Even if most of the enemies do not require too much strategy to beat, they usually come in packs and have an insane bloodlust. Luckily you have a variety of ways to get through them, unlike in the first game which was basically just shoot and dodge.

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Shinobi: Don’t Call It A Comeback…Seriously

Shinobi is the Playstation 2 title that brought the classic Sega series to the 3-D generation, along with a new hero and a new mission. Although the game looks great and is constantly keeping the player on his toes, overall it does not feel like the comeback the franchise deserves.

You play as Hotsuma, the last of the famous Oboro ninja clan, out to avenge the death of your brethren at the hands of the sorcerer Hiruko. To make matters worse, Hiruko has resurrected your clan and forced them to fight against you – and one of the zombies is your own brother, Moritsune! So yeah, the storyline is nothing too groundbreaking, but it gives you motivation and opens up the game to some interesting plot points and character interactions.

Shinobi introduces a couple of new mechanics to the action/platform genre. The main means of combat consists of doing Tates, which is where you kill a certain number of enemies within a certain span of time. Doing so activates a cut-scene that shows Hotsuma striking a pose while his victims split apart around him. It’s a very slick touch, especially when done during boss battles. However, Continue reading “Shinobi: Don’t Call It A Comeback…Seriously”