By: Matthew Striplen
For those wondering how to best create a sequel to a beloved game, look no further than Gunman Clive 2. This game achieves everything a good sequel needs by polishing up the original’s mechanics, tweaking the graphics a little, and then adding tons of new, innovative content, including a handful of new characters and enemies. Let’s go shoot some stuff. Yeehaw!
Anyone that has played a platformer knows that tight controls are paramount in creating a good game, and Gunman Clive 2 delivers. The intuitive layout of the buttons instills a sense of complete control over the character. Gunman Clive 2 does so much right that finding flaws becomes a challenge. In short, this game achieves what every game strives to do: create a control scheme so natural that the player forgets the controller in their hand.
The first aspect of Gunman Clive 2 that caught my eye is its unique art style. From the environments to the characters, everything looks like it was hand drawn with a pencil. This title is a huge step up from its predecessor, having a greater level of detail, while playing up the sketched look even more. Additionally, the amount of color is significantly increased. Gunman Clive 2 is easily one of the best and most interesting looking games on 3DS.
Gunman Clive 2 performs well with both the soundtrack and effects. Each new track adjusts its character to fit with Clive‘s environment as he traverses the globe. Even the sound of the basic pistol firing is satisfying — and also reminiscent of Mega Man‘s blaster. The wide variety of genres is admirable, as each one reflect the stage it accompanies.
If you’re not convinced on whether or not you want to shell out a few buck for Gunman Clive 2, even after seeing the screenshot above, I don’t know if there’s much hope for you as a human being. It’s a dude dueling a dinosaur! What’s not to like?
Gunman Clive 2 stays close to the formula created in the first installment but adds a tremendous amount of new goodies. Most notable is the inclusion of two new characters, one which can temporarily float in the air and another that wields a melee weapon instead of a gun. There’s one more secret, and hilarious, character to unlock, which makes the game unbelievably difficult, but I’m not going to give that one away.
The replay value is significantly boosted by their inclusion, and it also provides a completely new experience and perspective on the same game. Although the game itself is not particularly long, the replay value more than makes up for that fact.
Most of the player’s time will be spent platforming through a wide variety of places, from the old west to feudal Japan. Certain levels add something special to spice up the gameplay, like various modes of transportation. The first, and arguably least interesting or polished, is a horse in the old west.
Players control everything, running speed, direction, but aiming is a little wonky. Clive can only face the cardinal directions, which makes aiming in a 3D environment awkward. Other than that, the vehicles are amazing. Just to give you a little taste, you get to ride a panda. Yes, you read that correctly… a panda.
Each area is concluded by a boss battle, and boy, are they challenging. Each one adheres to the rest of stage’s theme — for example the T-Rex seen above — and presents a different and fun strategy to overcome. Not to mention they’re all quite physically imposing. Defeating any of them is sure to instill a sense of accomplishment.
On the subject of difficulty, Gunman Clive 2 is frickin’ hard. Anything above easy mode brings some serious pain. Think old school “Nintendo Hard.” Combine that with the fact that the game sends you back to the beginning of the level with every death, and you’ve got a recipe for making the most out of a game.
Despite the high degree of difficulty, everything feels fair and justified. Defeat never feels cheap or hard for its own sake; I always felt that defeat was my own fault, and something which could be overcome.
Gunman Clive 2 elegantly showcases what all sequels should be. With its polish, playful attitude and engrossing gameplay, there’s not much more one can hope from a game. At the ridiculously low price of $2.99 on the Nintendo eShop, there’s no reason not to buy this game. What’s almost more impressive is the fact that the developer, Hörberg Productions, is comprised solely of Bertil Hörberg. Well done, Mr. Hörberg. Well done.