Let us forget being historical about the previous games in the Gungrave franchise and talk straight about this, the newest addtion: Gungrave Overdose for PlayStation 2. What we have with GunGrave: Overdose is twitch-gaming gone to the extreme, and frankly, it isn’t as bad as it sounds, especially considering the $15 suggested US retail price.
GG:O is a game that literally drips with style. Being based on a popular anime series, there are plenty of over-the-top visuals combined with weird characters and plenty of gunplay. The main character in the game, Grave, has plenty of style integrated into his character models and motion. Just watching him move throughout the levels, spraying thousands of rounds into the air like some sort of human chaingun is worth the price of admission. The storyline does a good job of maintaining your interest in what would normally be considered a mindless shooter.
Twitch gamers will delight in the rather basic, yet addicting gameplay, which has you character mowing through bad guys with his dual automatic pistols and swinging his deadly coffin around. That’s right kids; our hero lugs his own coffin around with him, which receives power ups in its own right, thus allowing it to function as a melee weapon and a shield. One of the coolest features of the coffin is the deflection move, which lets you bounce projectiles back at the sender. As far as health goes, well, it’s rarely worth worrying about, since you have a self-regenerating health bar that quickly recharges between volleys of gunfire.
GG:O’s “beat” system allows you to build up super attacks, which really lay on the destruction. Beats are earned by delivering kills continually, with minimal time lapses between them. Build up enough beats, and you score an extra charge for your heavy gun. Fire off the heavy gun, and watch the fireworks as time slows and the blasting begins. It’s a simplistic power up system, yet when you get to use it, its groovy anime styled assault on the senses makes it something you can’t do without.
As I’ve already said, this game just drips with anime style. The visuals, while not being top tier, are still awesomely fun to watch in action. Character models for the enemies are simplistic and a bit blocky, but the “good guys,” especially Grave, are solidly modeled with interesting character flourishes, especially in their movement. The game’s music is good, though the voice acting for the villains gets tiring awful quickly.
For 15 bones, Gungrave: Overdose is a great title for anyone looking for pick up and play fun without any cerebrally taxing gameplay. Just get in there, blast away and have a ball. It’s far from a great game, but you’ll certainly get your money back and then some if you are interested in a butt-stomping shooter.
- Gameplay: 6.5
- Fun, but very basic gameplay with no multiplayer options.
- Graphics: 7.5
- Splashy and stylish, at times you’ll feel like you’re playing a part in an Anime DVD
- Sound: 6.5
- Good, but not great.
- Replay: 6
- Many hours of gameplay, but it’s always the same gameplay.
- Overall: 7
- Like twitch? This game’s for you. Like depth? Look elsewhere