NES hard with a lot of heart.
I’ve been playing video games for a very long time. Well over 25 years. I started on the NES as many people my age did, and those “Nintendo hard” games still stand out to me, both for nostalgia and for just being great games. Games like Mega Man, Zelda, and DuckTales really bring back a lot of great memories. In the past year or so, there was a game that released that really nailed that nostalgic feel of the games from yesteryear. That game was Shovel Knight, and anyone who knows me knows how much I loved Shovel Knight. Now, a small developer, in fact, a one man developer has released GunWorld 2. I honestly have never heard of GunWorld 1 before, but after putting some time into this sequel, I can say it really tries to capture that NES hard feel, and for the most part pulls it off.
Taking place after the events of GunWorld, GunWorld 2 puts players in the role of Dwayne, a gun wielding warrior that once saved the planet and is now tasked with doing it again. Oh, this planet also has plants that sprout guns. Literally, guns grow on trees on this world. Because of this, aliens from another planet decide that the inhabitants of GunWorld shouldn’t have all that power and decide to take over and “bring order” to the people. Well, not on Dwayne’s watch.
Platforms: PC, XB1
Price I’d pay: $7.99
GunWorld 2 takes a lot of inspirations from other classic games of the NES era. The main game play, along with the boss fights, feels like Mega Man, the overworld looks and has mechanics of Zelda 2, etc. It harkens back to numerous things, not only with the look and feel, but with the character interactions. We all know where this is going.
Like the Blue Bomber, Dwayne can obtain new weapons to use after beating bosses. These new weapons must be purchased in seed form from a vendor in town, and with the exception of the standard handgun (mega buster) each new weapon has a certain amount of uses until players have to plant a new seed to harvest. This can be done mid level/boss fight without having to go through a menu.
Another aspect of the traversal and combat is the knife. Dwayne uses it to knock armor off enemies, as well as to climb on certain surfaces. This comes into play a lot when platforming, and can be a bit of a tricky task when trying to make jumps while avoiding enemies and holding down the left trigger to hold on to climbable surfaces.
Each boss level has multiple areas to it with a few checkpoints thrown in. They are few and far between, but to counteract that, the game allows players to purchase respawns that can be used when dying. These will activate upon death and allow the player to place Dwayne anywhere on the screen where he died. After using a few, I found this to be really helpful. You know, since the game is so hard. I’m not joking around when I say that either. Sure, some old school veterans may find it a cake walk, but for me, this was no easy game.
On top of that, I ended up getting lost twice while playing. The overworld map is minimal at best, and while I know this is like the old school RPG’s of the 1980’s, telling me once at the beginning of the game where bosses may be isn’t helping me out three to four hours in. Just trying to find where the next boss was took me a bit longer than I had hoped for.
The look and art design is totally going for that 8-bit 1980’s classic style. It works, and looks pretty great in some instances, and the soundtrack is catchy and really fits with the overall game.
GunWorld 2 does a decent job of grabbing that nostalgic feel of the older NES games while still keeping it difficult as hell. It has enough going for it and plenty of secrets to keep people busy for a decent time, and while it does seem to lack a bit of polish, I can’t help but admire what mo7Games has done. It’s difficult, slightly confusing at times, and sometimes clunky, but damn if I didn’t have fun playing it. Players looking for something that harkens back to the old days can find some good fun here in GunWorld 2. It doesn’t have it all, but there’s enough here for a decent time.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.