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GunGrave porte bien son nom : il est grave mortel bourrin. Plutôt sympa graphiquement, et assez bien réalisé, il ne plaira pourtant qu'aux fans du genre.
You probably remember my import review of Red Entertainment's Gungrave. That was a bit of a high-concept piece -- see, the secret to expressing strong opinions in a generally reticent business is to just make sure you deliver them two at a time, so there's something for everyone to agree with. And Gungrave does tend to inspire strong opinions, in either direction, on a number of different points.
This is one of two import games I picked up while on my last visit to Japan. I was hoping to pick up Custom Robo GX for the Gameboy Advance, however, that game wasn't getting released until 4 days after I left, so I had to be content with only picking up GunGrave.
So you decide you want to play a game where you jump around and shoot lots of things, but Devil May Cry is too technical and Max Payne is too hard. Look no further; Gungrave is the game for you! Developed by Red Company and published by none other than Sega, Gungrave takes you for a ride through a living comic book on your Playstation 2. It begins with a small girl dragging along an enormous case almost the size of herself. She ends up making it to her destination – a scientist by the name of Dr. T. This doctor sort of takes care of our hero, and as he lays her on his couch a very large man busts through the door. It’s none other than Grave, the games main character.
GunGrave is all about violence. Geen verhaal, geen diepgang; gewoon schieten totdat na drie uur je duim er af valt. Gelukkig ziet het er allemaal super goed uit en komt het uit Japan.
Gungrave is a fun button-masher, but it's lacking in a number of areas. Typical arcade boss fights, unintelligent camera angles, short actual game time (the cutscenes can be skipped and viewed later after unlocking them), and an overall challenge rating that is exceptionally easy makes this game come up a tad short. It's still enjoyable, and the pick-up-and-play structure will appeal to casual gamers, yet there just seemed like there should have been more to Gungrave. Brilliant looks and attitude (each new level starts with the message "Kick Their Ass!") only get you so far.
It all depends on what kind of gamer tackles Gungrave. A modern player weened on the heavy storylines of Metal Gear Solid and Grand Theft Auto 3 will be turned off by Gungrave’s lack of movie-style presentation. Gungrave is a videogame through and through, and in the oldest school sense, its not actually beating the game that matters, its how many points you score. But even more than that, it’s how you actually score the points. Gungrave is such a unique, visceral experience that it is worth playing over and over again just to get a better and better style rating.
GunGrave invites controversy, as it breaks all the rules of modern gaming. It doesn’t mix genres, it doesn’t expand upon the paradigm and it hearkens back to a retro period in the medium’s history when simplicity made for accessibility. It does all this, and yet it still manages to bring a highly developed artistic sense to the table. Your goal won’t be to beat each level so much as it’ll be to master it with the tools given. Despite the artistic brilliance of both the cutscenes and the beat system, this release isn’t without its flaws, and the determined focus that creates its strengths is reason enough for many people to be turned off immediately. There’s also some criticism to be leveled at its incredibly short duration, despite its wanton invitations to replay. In the end, GunGrave isn’t for everybody, but it was truly made for its target audience, and they’ll probably be too busy working on their beat count to care what anyone else thinks.
GunGrave is a solid arcade experience, but not a fulfilling console game. It's pretty, and it sounds amazing, but it's a limited experience that is great for a rental, or when the game goes into the budget bin. I have found myself play through it a few times, especially to show friends, but there just isn't enough here to keep people interested for more than a weekend.
In Gungrave, you play as Grave, a one-man slaughterhouse who lumbers around with a coffin strapped to his back (think The Man With No Name meets The Crow and Blade) and uses his dual pistols to annihilate wave after wave of bland street slime and other thugs. It's a cool concept with an intriguing character (kind of like Chakan: The Forever Man for the Genesis), but Gungrave comes off like low-rent Max Payne. There?s no shortage of cel-shaded flash, but an abundance of slowdown and repetitive, one-track gameplay?shoot, move, shoot, move, and then shoot some more?quickly shoots Gungrave in the foot. It?s loaded with unexciting action.
Y en esencia esto es Gungrave, un arcade puro y duro que peca, precisamente, de ser tan lineal y simple. No negamos que resulta un juego divertido, pero no es un juego que gustará a todo el mundo. A los amantes de los arcades clásicos segurísimo que sí, pero el resto tiene opciones mejores en el mercado. Y es que a veces la estética (en este caso, manga) a veces no basta para satisfacer al público general.
Au final Gungrave est donc assez décevant. Le jeu se pare d'un design somptueux, d'une bande-son magnifique (cela dénote, je l'avoue, d'une profonde subjectivité de ma part) et d'un gameplay privilégiant la simplicité, pour faire en sorte que le joueur puisse jouir en toute impunité du soft. Quid de cette déception, me demanderez-vous dès lors ? C'est simple. Le jeu est décevant d'un point de vue graphique (tout admirable qu'est le design, je le précise une fois de plus), et le titre se boucle très rapidement (comptez moins de 2 heures pour finir le soft en mode Pro), dommage, véritablement dommage.
Gungrave is an extremely short and easy third-person shooter. But it's got a lot of style. Featuring character designs by popular anime artist Yasuhiro Nightow, best known for his Trigun series, Gungrave definitely looks cool. It's also a textbook case for why great graphics don't do you much good if the underlying game is shallow.
Ever since Sega went the 3rd party route in 2001, the company has been like Jeckyl & Hyde at times – alongside their brilliant sports games and the great Xbox offerings, along with Virtua Fighter 4 for PlayStation 2, the company has released a small share of games that go against their grain of quality. How many 18-wheeler games do we need, anyway? The latest unusual decision was to grab the rights to publish Red Company’s GunGrave. With character designs created by the same individual behind the Trigun anime (not that I know that much about anime), and Devil May Cry gameplay, expectations were pretty high for the game, especially since it was coming stateside through Sega.
At times Gungrave feels as ho-hum and pointless as that disgrace to software State Of Emergency, but with an attacking onslaught, rather than fleeing innocents. It also has that on rails feel of gun games like Time Crisis, except that you have control over your direction. But maybe this sounds appealing to you - if you want a mindless, good looking blast that you can dive straight into, then by all means give it a crack, but stood next to any of the better games of the year, Gungrave feels like a depressingly hollow experience designed to showcase some nifty graphics. You might get an hour's entertainment from it, but for forty quid, that's a hefty price to pay for something you'll probably never want to come back to once you've given it a run through. Maybe Gungrave is worth a rental if you're a fan of the art style and instant action gameplay, but at the full price you'd be mad to consider parting with hard earned cash for this.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a true hero? Nerves of steel? Super strength, perhaps? How about great hair and a snazzy outfit? Awesome theme song, perhaps?