Old school gameplay
meets next-gen technology. One of the few
truly challenging games to come along in
a while (in a very good way).
After playing through GunValkyrie
the first time, the game reminded me of
the classic Sega arcade game Space Harrier.
And in some ways, there are some similarities.
For one, both games take place in a third
person perspective, which gives you a chance
to see and shoot enemies in the distance.
Another similarity is that your character
can hover and reach new levels.
GunValkyrie also incorporates
some of the classic gaming elements of
Bionic Commando as well as Nintendo's Metroid
(such as the grappling hook that can be
used to reach some of the higher levels).
That's really one of GunValkyrie's strong
points is that it rewards players for finding
innovative ways to get through the levels.
I remember spending hours playing Metroid
back in the day trying to bomb every part
of the wall to find a hidden level. Now
keep in mind folks that this was before
the time of strategy guides. It took me
months to beat Metroid. GunValkyrie does
an admirable job of capturing and paying
homage to some of the great game play innovations
from the past while bringing it to the
year 2002. Basically what they did was
take Space Harrier and give the player
complete freedom on how to play and beat
the level. Isn't technology grand?
A hard game is good to
GunValkyrie is not a easy
game by any stretch of the imagination.
There are some parts that can get rather
frustrating. That's one of the problems
I find with video games these days is that
developers sugar coat and dumb the game
play down way too much. I think that a
challenging game is more rewarding overall
and basically more satisfying when you
know you finally beat it and got past that
impossible level. Most gamers, probably
wont give GunValkyrie the time and attention
a game like this deserves. Besides Halo,
GunValkyrie ranks right up there as one
of the most satisfying game experiences
I have had on the Xbox so far. And that
goes a long way when it comes to reviewing
game after game.
The story may remind some
people of the movie Starship Troopers.
In fact at the very end of the first level
when the aliens start to fall from the
sides and you find your self surrounded
and your finger begins to hurt from squeezing
the trigger button too many times, it may
give you a idea what it was like for those
marines who were bunkered down while the
bugs were attacking.
The graphics are very good,
and I did not notice any detectable slow
down considering amount of characters on
the screen at once. The weapons effects
are also nice, and the Xbox does another
great job when it comes to textures. Each
successive level is very different and
you really see a nice variety. Draw in,
or the games ability to show distances
with out the annoying pop up is also very
impressive. You can see quite a long distance
with out the use of the obvious fog or
other visual distractions. The game levels
are very colorful, which is very pleasant
to the eye.
is a mixed bag. There are some instances
that are very strong -for example; the
techno like music in some of the levels
really fits with the onscreen action. Overall,
the music does not detract from the game
experience and does a nice job of setting
the ambience and tempo of the gameplay.
The sound effects are somewhat comical
in certain instances. When a creature takes
a bite out of you it sounds like "Chomp!",
like something out of a cartoon.
The controls do take some
getting used to. [Remember, the controls
in Halo took a little getting used to as
well. - Ed.] If you are a gamer that gets
frustrated easily you might want to take
a rain check when it comes to this game.
While at time frustrating, given time,
you can get used to the controls, and be
rewarded with some really cool gameplay.
You can pull off some very cool evasive
maneuvers as you try to dodge the enemies.
The controls are rock solid,
and there is no delay between a button
press and the action happening on the screen.
The nice thing about GunValkyrie is the
way the levels progress and allows you
to learn the more demanding techniques.
There is a learning curve and for those
players who master it will be awarded with
a great playing game that is nearly impossible
to put down once you start. The game is
recommended for anyone who enjoys a challenge.
The way the game rewards
players with weapons upgrades is very cool
and does add some replayability. Basically
after every level you have a chance to
power up some of your weapons or purchase
new weapons and techniques which you then
can use with the next level.
Used to spend all of his quarters playing Space Harrier at the arcade.
Over all, Smilebit did a great and I hope to see a sequel
soon because games this good (requiring this much skill)
do not come around often. Gamers with enough patience
to get past the steep learning curve owe it to themselves
to try this game out. GunValkyrie is an experience that
you owe to your self to face and enjoy.