Review by Hugh Baldwin

Reviewed: 07/08/05

Back from the dead once again!

Introduction - The first Gungrave game was released in 2002. This cell-shaded Shoot 'Em Up was overlooked for the most part, and those who did play it either LOVED it or HATED it. A few years later, it's sequel, Gungrave: Overdose is released, but like it's predecessor, it also went overlooked.

Story (8/10) - Unlike the first Gungrave this game has been given a more of a story. The story takes place three years after the first game, after Brandon Heat/Beyond the Grave single-handedly took down the crime syndicate “Millennion.” The drug known as “Seed” has once again appeared, and Mika Asagi has called upon the help of Beyond the Grave to get to the bottom of this mess and stop whoever is responsible. Two new characters, Juji Kabane a blind and embittered swordsman, and Rocketbilly Redcadillac, a red-clad ghost haunting an electric guitar (yeah, weird) also join in on the fun. The story unfolds through various “intermissions” between missions and a few animated cut scenes.

Gameplay (9/10) - They’ve improved on many gameplay aspects from the first. For one thing, you no longer have to hold a “run” button to run. Movement is “pressure sensitive.” Move the analog stick lightly in one direction, your character will walk. Give the analog a harder push, the character runs. This makes attacking and moving at the same time a lot less awkward. There are new moves you can do, like charge up your attacks, melee attack combos, and a “defensive posture” you can use to reduce the amount of damage received from the constant gunfire. This game is also more challenging then the original. The enemies will come at you in larger numbers, and there are a few tougher ones to boot. In addition there are two more playable characters, Juji Kabane, and Rocketbilly Redcadillac. The “formula” still stays pretty much the same as the first. You enter an area, kill everything in sight, move to the next area, repeat with the occasional boss battle

Graphics (7/10)- The graphics in this game could have been better. While all other elements of the game have improved, the graphics have actually down graded from the original. Compared to the first game, the graphics in this one are more “grainy.” Lots of loose pixels everywhere.

Sound(8/10) - The sound effects of the many gunshots and explosions are all great. The voice acting is dubbed as opposed to the first which was in japanese, but the voices are great nonetheless. Most of the music is nothing too special. There are some tracks from a few of the boss battles that stand out, but most of the music is bland and repetitive

Play Time/Replayability - You’ll replay this one several times that’s for sure. There are features you unlock based on your performance, and there are also three characters you can play through the game with.

Final Recommendation - Buy it. You won’t find this game anywhere, but if you can find it, get it. An excellent shooter with a $14.99 price tag (maybe even less). You can’t really go wrong there.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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