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Two Hands Up! - Gunman Clive HD Collection Review
Ever wonder what it would be like to merge the gameplay of Mega Man and Donkey Kong Country? Ever dream of gunslinging your way through the faces of evil in the form of robbers, robots, and ...ducks? Gunman Clive HD Collection let's you live this reality by combining two great 3DS indies into one package on the Wii U. Gunman Clive and Gunman Clive 2 hit the big screen in 1080p and 60 frames per second.
Platforms: Wii U [Reviewed]
Developer: Hörberg Productions
Release: September 3, 2015
Press Copy provided by Hörberg Productions
Let's start with Gunman Clive (1), the first half of the package. Clive controls quite simply, B to jump and Y to shoot his pistol. Initially you'll be stuck with the standard gun that shoots one bullet at a time, but you'll soon find temporary upgrades like a triple shot or homing missile in the form of random enemy drops. Enemies will also drop cake (no we're not lying) at random that will give you a small but almost always needed life boost.
Assuming you play as Clive (there are two other playable characters from the start) you'll find yourself pursuing a captured Ms. Johnson in compliance with the typical damsel in distress scenario. Interestingly, this is all the background you'll get about your adventure, there is no further story and Clive is an entirely silent protagonist. It's all you'll need though, since Gunman Clive is all about the gameplay.
In Gunman Clive you'll find yourself advancing through a western world in the form of 20 unique levels. Because there are no checkpoints and the obstacles are rather unforgiving, you'll be playing some of these levels over and over in an attempt to complete them. Although most of these levels are based on run and gun gameplay, there's a great variations including a minecart and a rocket level, a la Donkey Kong Country. You'll also find yourself at the helm of a boss every few levels, all of which are fun and just challenging enough to make you stop and figure them out before proceeding. Our biggest complaint is that 20 is not enough levels, but this is remedied because there is got an entire sequel to play through.
Although clearly based on platformers that came before it, Gunman Clive still manages to feel like it's own thing. The art style if very unique and the physics don't feel like the typical Mario game, but are easy to adjust too and feel right for the atmosphere. The music offering is good, but nothing stands out as incredible. Overall Gunman Clive is a well polished expirience that does a lot of things right and doesn't neccesarily do anything wrong, but also plays fairly safe and doesn't do anything incredible either.
Gunman Clive 2 is about as true as sequels get. The first few levels feel like they'd fit right into the first game, with nearly identical physics, enemies, and environments. It doesn't take long before the second game becomes it's own thing. Although most levels are still run and gun, there are even more unique variances that include piloting an airplane, riding a very cute panda, and another minecart ride. The environments are also more interesting; you'll find yourself on a tour around the world making stops in places like ninja-ridden Japan, kangaroo-filled Australia, and jungle-covered South America. Improved platforming and cooler bosses also made their way into Gunman Clive 2.
Atmospherically, almost everything is an improvement. While it's predeccesor was brown-scale, the sequel is colorful. The color is especially noticeable because you'll find yourself in more environments that aren't an old western town. The music is also a little most intense and more plentiful to suit different levels. The expirience lasts a little bit longer as well, now sporting 25 levels which are generally a tad lengthier and more challenging than the first game.
Both games include 3 difficulty levels (the only change is how much damage you receive) and 3 playable characters that are unique and add to the game's replability. There's also an unlockable character that serves as a reward for beating each game that is both hilarious and offers a completely new way to play the game. Platforming fans will find that Gunman Clive takes from a large variety of classic games (and a little extra from Mega Man) but still manages to offer a unique expirience that is very much Gunman Clive. Although the entire HD Collection can be completed in 4 hours, the game is also less than 4 dollars and will be a great addition to the library of any Wii U owner.
- Unique atmosphere
- Interesting boss battles and enemy design
- Tribute to many classic platformers
- Incredible platformer at $3.99
- First game doesn't offer enough variety
- Both games are too short
Great games are generally good buying decisions and are recommended for those with an interest in the genre. There might be a few flaws that detract from the gameplay, stories, controls, presentations, or value, but the game is still an enjoyable experience that justifies a full playthrough.
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