I used to love a good old side-scrolling shoot’em up but as time has gone by, I realised I haven’t played one in a very long time. Gryphon Knight Epic has most certainly not rekindled my love for that genre.
You play as a knight named Sir Oliver who rides upon his trusted gryphon Aqulia. Having just saved the kingdom from an evil dragon with his friends who then take the dragons treasure comprising of; gold, an amulet and various weapons for themselves. Sir Oliver then decides to settle down and have a family. Unknowingly to Sir Oliver and his friends, they released an evil when taking the dragons treasure, forcing Sir Oliver back into doing what knights do, saving the world!
The game gives off a great retro feel. With gorgeous graphics and some really great detailing in both the background and in the immediate gameplay, it makes me feel as if a wave of retro gaming nostalgia just washed over me. You can tell the developers Cyber Rhino Studios, spent a lot of time perfecting the finer details in this game.
Where this game falls down is in its gameplay. Shoot’em ups are, I find, the Marmite of the gaming world. You either love that genre or hate it. I was never the biggest fan of the genre but games like R-Type and Life Force on the NES had me playing over and over again. Shoot’em ups are designed to be a challenge. Usually there is a lot of frantic gameplay and reflex based movement with this genre, but I found with Gryphon Knight Epic this rarely happened. Don’t get me wrong there are some frustratingly hard parts in the game, especially the mini boss and boss battles, however the rest of the game just seemed lacking. Most of the enemies encountered are just re-skinned to fit with the theme of the level and there wasn’t much variation in the way they attacked. The mini-boss and boss fights though are really good fun. Varied and challenging makes way for a feeling of achievement when you finally put down that boss.
After defeating a boss at the end of the level, you are awarded with their weapon. This weapon gives you a new ability that will help you along your journey. This coupled with different upgrades and potions that can be bought from the gold coins you collect on the way, can help you on Sir Oliver’s quest. However, I only really used the weapons that were awarded to me just because it was a change. I couldn’t really find any advantage to using them. They didn’t really give me any clear advantages.
There are a few hidden secrets in the world of Gryphon Knight Epic, that can be found adding a little replay value to the game. Various runes are tucked and hidden away that can only be found by shooting all the levers through a level or shooting something specific. These runes then unlock special abilities, allowing for the player to take different paths in each level.
Overall, Gryphon Knight Epic is a very mediocre game. If you’re a fan of this type of genre, have at it, but there are many games in this genre that do a much better job. I can quite easily, find myself completely forgetting about Gryphon Knight Epic. Although, great effort has been spent working on the finer details the overall gameplay just feels a bit dull. I want fast and frantic gameplay when playing a shoot’em up, not slow and boring. This game definitely ranks in the middle of the ratings spectrum. Not great but not bad either.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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