Review by NeoGeo

"GunValkyrie nails a large sign outsire "Hardcore gamers only""

When SEGA stopped the Production of the Dreamcast Gunvalkyrie was a long way into development. Instead of scrapping the project Smilebit decided to improve the visuals and put the game onto Microsoft’s new console, the Xbox. The story is set in 1906 where you play as one of two Halley’s Chosen, an elite group of people that can be around the debris of Halley’s Comet without being affected. You mission is to bring back these pieces of the comet and fight off hoards of alien creatures in the process.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics were beefed up from the Dreamcast version for release on Xbox, but not too much as you can still see what platform the game was originally planned for. The two characters you can play as, Kelly and Saburouta fly about the different areas in combat suits that can boost in all directions and are fitted with some very heavy weaponry. The animation for the characters is excellent as they boost, hover, shoot and roll. Some nice effects are used when you shoot you weapons and jet your self into the air. The environments are of high resolution and detail but a lot of the edges look too straight and unnatural.

Sound: 7/10
Voice acting here is above average and the sound effects sound good and realistic. This game however does not support Dolby Digital 5.1, so users with surround sound will miss out. Digital sound however is not that necessary here as it would be in a game such as medal of honour.

Gameplay: 8/10
The main point of the game. Playing Gunvalkyrie is similar to the classic arcade game Space Harrier. But with a difference because you have much more freedom of movement. The left stick moves you character forwards, backwards and turns left and right. Whilst the right stick looks around and aims. This was spoilt by the fact that there is no way to customise the controls since I am used to pushing up on the stick to make the gun point up, such games are Halo and Timesplitters two. Since this cannot be done you just have to get used to the reverse. You can hold up to three weapons and changing between them is easy due to the corresponding buttons on the controller. To get anywhere you have to use the L-trigger to boost your way up to higher platforms or across vast canyons. The problem is you have to love Either Smilebit or SEGA or both to enjoy this game. It brings a new twist to gaming but is difficult and frustrating if you miss one jump. It is not so much the enemies you have to worry about as falling down from a high cliff then having to start jumping up again. If you have a lot of patience though you will find the game rewarding.

Overall: 8/10
An interesting game that will provide fun for a while. The missions are linear, but it can be fun once you have mastered all the moves your character can pull off.

Rent or Buy?
It is a good game, but you can manage to complete it in a short time then it is not worth shelling out 40 quid for. That is why you should rent it to see if it is your kind of game, it will only suit a segment of gamers. It has good visuals and tricky but in the end rewarding gameplay.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/04/02, Updated 12/04/02


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