Monday, January 28, 2013

Full Review: Gunman Clive

After 1 hour 57 minutes and dying 76 times, I was able to finish Gunman Clive, playing as Clive.  I could spend another hour playing as Ms. Johnson and probably another hour and-a-half playing as The Duck (you read that correctly) and write a full comprehensive review, but that word is not part of our title.  So I'll begin this review of Hörberg ProductionsGunman Clive with just having played as Clive.

Until I learn how to take screen caps on my 3DS, you'll have to settle with this.

The graphics for Gunman Clive are pretty simple, in that their line drawn and have a constant "sketching" appearance.  It reminds me a lot of the FMV used in the updated Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions.  Initially you might think it would be distracting to have everything around the character looking like it's constantly being sketched, but I didn't notice any distraction.

3D Effectiveness
The 3D effect in this game was subtle and while it looked cool while it was on, I didn't feel like. . . ok wait.  With the exception of the glitch during the second boss battle, I had the 3D effect at about 75% on the rest of the time.  There wasn't a whole lot that made me feel like it needed to be on, but when it was, it pushed the background back and added a subtle cool factor that the game didn't have when playing in 2D.  Is the game playable in 2D?  Yes, very much so, but at certain times, like on the train stage, it was cool having the things. . . I don't know what their called, I'm not up on my train car anatomy, the things that hold logs and such, but having those on both sides of the train car in 3D, it looked pretty cool.

Game Play
The game plays like your standard platformer.  There's stuff to jump on that moves while enemies and automations shoot at you.  there are ducks, wolves and horses to avoid while said jumping.  Pretty standard stuff and not breaking any new ground.  BUT!, that's perfectly fine and not a fault I find with the game.  It was a refreshing short platformer that was quite difficult at times.

Some of the gameplay differences though lies with the different characters.  Clive is a straightforward character.  He runs, jumps, ducks and shoots.  Ms. Johnson can hover, similar to Princess Toadstool (before she became Princess Peach), but she'll only hover as long as the B button is depressed.  I did notice with Ms. Johnson that bullets will pass through her hair, which sticks up even when she ducks  The Duck can fly/hover for 5-6 flaps of its wings.  That's it.  The Duck can't attack so your approach to the game is run and dodge.  It's a pretty clever way to play through a standard action platformer.

Depending on who you're playing as (Clive, Ms. Johnson, The Duck), the story is pretty straight forward.  Either Ms. Johnson or Clive are kidnapped and you have to rescue them.  As The Duck, um. . ., I don't really know.

I commented on my own post about Gunman Clive after it's initial posting that the soundtrack was available to buy from the composer, Arne Hörberg.  I also noticed that the music runs continuously through the stages.  When you die, the music doesn't abruptly stop, but continues indefinitely until you complete the stage and the next stage begins with either a new music cue or the same music.

Final Thoughts
There are a lot of games that try to recreate both the platforming glory days of the 1980s and 90s, as well as the difficulty level of games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mega Man, or Ninja Gaiden.  Gunman Clive manages to create some of the difficulty, but also the fun at being able to kill a boss that has killed you a half dozen (or even a baker's dozen) times and still not be frustrating to the point that you don't want to play anymore.

Gunman Clive is a short game, comprised of four leves, each having five stagesl including a boss fight.  Sure it's short by most game standards, but it's an independently created game that's selling for only $1.99, a price probably created by Nintendo, possibly because of the shortness of the game.  I would have been happy even if I had paid $5 for the game.  

"Shut Up and Take My Money!" Very Much Applies Here

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