Super Gunworld 2 is a mega Metroidvania retro game with a lot of heart, and a lot of glitches. Retro platformers have a soft place in my heart, as I grew up in the NES era and SG2 is certainly reminiscent of a Mega Man style game, up to the frustrating dying from being knocked back into a pit. The game does a lot right, but, there are some major glitches with the game that made me have to start the final level over 7 times from my earlier save points. One testament that the game is fun is the fact that after quitting several times, I still went back until I beat the game. Super Gunworld 2 is no Shovel Knight, but it is also worth giving a try.
You play as Dwayne, on a mission to rescue a president, who is an eagle. You must defeat his captors, The Exaction Faction, a no-good group consists of a bunch of animals with strange powers, such as a Buffalo with dumbbells. The characters are certainly where Super Gunworld 2 finds grounding to be something different in the dime a dozen, indie-retro scene.The game’s design combines Metroidvania mechanics (you could only access certain parts of the map once you defeated certain bosses for their powerups), light RPG elements (the navigation of the map is similar to the original The Adventure of Link), and action platformers (shooting enemies on a 2D plane). Gunworld gets props for uniquely blending all of these elements together.
The storyline is farcical but feels like an old-school RPG (that you may take more seriously), so this oxymoronic feel actually adds to the game. Being on a mission to save an eagle while fighting a cloning Meerkat in a world where you plant guns to take out odd creatures that look like a 4th grader drew screams “what the hell is even happening in this game?!” Once you defeat bosses, you will receive a gun with the boss’ power. These guns will need to be planted in order to use. Seeds can be bought in the main town of the game (a town very similar to one that players would find in The Adventure of Link), along with other upgradeable items. The game basically plagiarized the “mini-Ganons” that appear on the overworld map in The Adventure of Link, and the mechanic of bringing players into a 2D, platforming area with random enemies. Whether these are tribute elements of the game or blatant copying is sometimes hard to tell, but something tells me that between the trolling, and the remixing of game elements, this is exactly what the developer wanted. With that said, these aspects of the game encouraged me to continue my adventure even though I was always one step from quitting the game altogether.
Another positive aspect of the game are the secrets to upgrade your character. This aspect of the game double dips in the Metroidvania-ness by making secrets in the levels unobtainable until you receive certain power-ups (therefore, advancement and secrets are both built on this system). This gave the game a certain re-playability and allowed me to power up my character for the final battles of the game. Collecting coins (which had very random values) to upgrade my gear and buy seeds enhanced the RPG feeling.
Now for the glitches. Several times, I had to restart my game because I was knocked back by a flying blue-rock type monster-creature-thing and into a vast arena of blackness. The game kept thinking I was playing, but alas, I was stuck. I had to reload my last save, which made the final parts of the game annoying (as you only save in town). At one point, a glitch did help me out because it made a saw blade disappear that was a nuisance. All in all, I kept going back to the game, but these holes in the game certainly hindered the experience.
Continuing with the negative aspects of the game; at times, it felt like the game was trying to be Mega Man difficult just for the sake of being difficult. At one point the game even trolls you with areas that do absolutely nothing (and admittedly was put in the game to troll players). Since, I was invested in the game, the mechanics, and the style, these elements brought me out of the game and frustrated me in a way that made me want to quit. But, alas, I did not. I completed the game despite these frustrations (even though I shouted at my television several times, “I hate this game, why am I even playing it”), so props to the developers for getting a lot of the game right. On the flip side, some of the game was incredibly easy, including some of the final areas where you have to refight all of the previous bosses (much like Mega Man), but with the twist that you fight two of them at once. The bosses were incredibly easy to defeat with the exception of the final boss, which almost feels like another trolling moment due to the fact that players will be completely confused on how to even attack this boss was If you were able to find and buy the cut-off jeans upgrade, and Leveled up to 10, taking out these guys was a cake walk.
Each piece of this game feels satisfactory, but also a little uninvolved at the same time. With that said, I enjoyed the game, the process, and felt a need to finish the game (even Tweeting developers to figure out how to access certain parts of the game). If they were to take these formulas and make a Super Gunworld 3, they could hit a home run. I think a longer, more expansive (and maybe boost in graphics), less quirky and more seriously flushed out version of this game would be very desirable. Also, props to them for inserting an Easter egg for Kinda Funny. Anyone who is a big Playstation fan will likely know the Kinda Funny crew, and this gave me a chuckle (along with a Team Fat trophy). At the end of the day, Super Gunworld 2 kept me coming back for more.Super Gunworld 2 is a quirky mash-up of several of your favorite genres of retro-style games, and worth taking a look at (even if you want to throw your controller through the screen). (Note, the game is more truly a 7, but with the glitches, I can’t justify anything more!)
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