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Gunlord

version: region free, limited edition - year: 2012 - developer: NG:DEV.TEAM - publisher: NG:DEV.TEAM - format: dreamcast, cd-rom - condition: mint - rarity: n/a

The packaging is really impressive, with gorgeous artwork printed on quality paper which comes to life in the beautiful full-color manual. This limited edition has an alternate cover and includes a soundtrack CD well worth listening to.

 

The intro has been changed/censored in this Dreamcast release, with foul language replaced with a "you are cute" comment which doesn't actually make so much sense, but it's funny :)

 

Backgrounds are varied and very colorful, and have an unmistakable 16 bit feel to them. Keep in mind that for best results, you should play this game on a CRT TV via SCART since Gunlord was developed in low resolution.

 

The first boss is big but rather easy to kill

 

This mid-boss is animated flawlessly with plenty of frames, but that's the exception rather than the rule in Gunlord

 

Most bosses are big but animated very little like this one

 

This level uses a forced scrolling so it is slightly trickier to get passed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review - NG:DEV.TEAM has been steadily acquiring a cult following on Neo-Geo and Dreamcast and it is safe to say that Gunlord is sofar their best work.

Gunlord clearly borrows from many older games as influences (and more than just that) can be traced back to past glories such as Turrican, Rendering Ranger, Metroid and even Lionheart at least for some of the graphics and definitely for the last boss.

The main character actually looks like the half-brother of the insectoid-looking character from the 8 bit masterpiece, Zamzara!

Also Blazing Star comes to mind in level 2 for that lonely, short but totally gorgeous side-scrolling shooter part of the game when you jump into a ship and take on the skies...

Gunlord is a platformer/shooter reminiscent of the old days, with challenging but fair gameplay, which encourages careful exploration and slight pattern memorization.

The art style has been significantly improved over Last Hope and Fast Striker, while graphically, Gunlord looks like a game which really would push the known boundaries of the 16 bit Neo-Geo beyond its known limits!

Given the fact that this has been ported straight to Dreamcast with minimal changes, it doesn’t really use the power of Sega’s 128 bit machine, but it still manages to impress.

Large worlds to explore, beautifully 2D detailed and colorful backgrounds reminiscent of the Amiga classic Shadow of the Beast, huge and intricate bosses (which could use some more frames of animations though), fast gameplay and smooth scrolling with occasional slow-down, Gunlord is pure pleasure to play.

The 9 levels provided will keep you busy for a little over an hour of intense shooting, jumping and cursing, as required.

On the downside, as usual with NG:DEV.TEAM productions, options are a bit sparse with only two game modes (original and arcade), with original allowing you to continue from where you last died while arcade sends you to the beginning of the level.

Also, the ability to turn into a spinning ball is a bit underused and is only really needed to collect bonuses, and is basically not required to advance in a level (except maybe once) or even to defeat a boss, which is a bit disappointing.

Finally, don’t expect anything new in terms of gameplay, as this kind of game has been done elsewhere, many years ago with great success.

The developers played it safe, paying tribute to a number of gems from the past and borrowing some of the play-mechanics to provide a game that may not shine for originality, but is really enjoyable to play.

In fact, I can say that Gunlord is maybe the first game from NG:DEV.TEAM for which I could almost justify a Neo-Geo AES cartridge purchase.

Bottom line: The best game from NG:DEV.TEAM sofar will teleport you back to the 1990s when 2D hand-drawn graphics ruled the galaxy. Not only Gunlord looks special, but it also plays like a dream. 9,5/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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