Review by JackintheBox333
"A Classic Not Good Enough for Steam?"
Gunman Clive is a run n' shoot side-scroller in the style of the old NES Mega Man's. You play as either Clive or Ms. Johnson, who must navigate 20 levels to save the character you did not pick. The game itself is set in a wild west setting with the look to match. The colors are fairly bare-bones with everything looking like a moving sketch. The times in which there are splotches of color, which are often enemies, allows them to stand out. The 3D mode also is fairly standard. The characters pop out, it it still plays fine even in 3D with no detectable slowdown.
The controls are fairly simple; you use the D-Pad or Circle pad to move or duck, B to Jump and Y to shoot. That's it. There is no touch pad input, instead there is a fairly simple level map, which shows approximately how close you are to the end of the level. You can pick up power-ups to your gun as you go through the levels, however is it extremely difficult to even tell which power-up you are picking up, as they all use a similar looking gun icon, which is rather annoying, as some gun power-ups are extremely poor, making you find the nearest enemy or enemy projectile to get hit by. You keep the gun power-up from level to level, so long as you do not get hit. One hit, and you lose not only some life from your life bar, but your gun power-up as well. The levels can be beaten without taking damage, but that is often not the fastest way to get through the level if you are playing for time, which the game encourages you to play towards, as it saves your fastest times through the level.
The difficulty is fairly standard. You have three difficulty levels, Easy, Normal and Hard and you have infinite lives. The game auto-saves after each level, so you can go in and out of the game with ease if you have too. After you beat the game, you have access to level select, where you can replay the level to try and beat your best time.
The game also has a third character you unlock after beating the game for the first time, the Duck. The Duck has his own play unique play style in which you have to navigate the stages without killing a single enemy, as the Duck cannot damage enemies at all. This Pacifist character is a really unique challenge to try to navigate the levels with, but the character is extremely quick due to his ability of limited flight. The only down side to this mode is the lack of bosses.
The game is only priced at $1.99 on the US 3DS E-Shop. For what you are getting in this game, that is a more than fair price point for a great game.
Gameplay: 8/10 The game itself has okay controls and decent challenges for you to conquer in its 20 levels. It isn't perfect, but it a well thought out game.
Visuals: 8/10. The game is helped and hurt by its visual style. The washed out look makes the game look poor, but at the same time, the limited color palette emphasizes the game's wild west setting. The 3D works and looks fine, but doesn't really add anything relevant to the game.
Music 6/10. The music is really nothing special. It consists of tunes that are all riffs on wild west themes. For what they are, they do their job well enough. They communicate to the player that yes, you are playing a game in a western settings, but it is all average at best. Nothing stands out as quality music like is present in VVVVVV, but as a portable game, the music really does not matter too much. More often than not, the volume will be off anyway.
Portability: 10/10. The levels are short enough to be played in 2 minute gaming sessions and the game autosaves after each level. The "story" mode doesn't have to be done in one playthrough, it could be done in 20 if the player desired.
Replayability: 8/10. The game is rather short in that it can be completed in under an hour, however the Duck character and the ability to time attack the levels adds enough that the player will want to come back and replay the game over and over again, in order to beat their time in each level.
Final Verdict: 8/10. The game isn't perfect, but it is enjoyable. The music is average at best, which is really the only somewhat negative thing I can say about it. The game is currently stuck in Steam Greenlight and probably will never be seen on that service, which is a real shame, because this game deserves to stand with the likes of Super Meat Boy and VVVVVV as one of the best Indie games ever made.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 01/09/13
Game Release: Gunman Clive (US, 01/03/13)
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