Review by Grand Admiral

"Wait for it to arrive in the bargain bin"

In 1835 advances in science increase astronomically with the advent of Halley's Comet. Why? I dont know, comet power or something, but the point is that this Dr. Hebble Gate guy made all these inventions and discoveries and by the year 1906 we're shooting lasers and colonizing planets. Its not the history I was taught in school, but then again I never paid attention in class anyway. So back to the story, under mysterious circumstances Dr. Gate disappeared. The game takes place 4 years after his disappearance and you are dispatched to the Tir Na Nog colony to investigate a lead on his disappearance.

Ok so its not exactly Oscar material, but I can work with that. Besides when you start playing the game you wont really be paying attention to the story anyway. Initially you will be engrossed by awesome gameplay and I say initially because later down the road it gets boring and hard! To explain why let me run you through the specs.

Graphics are kind of bland, but that's what you would expect from an older Xbox game. However, one should not be concerned about this because it does not really inhibit gameplay. environments are what really suffer. They look like they were taken out of an old 70s sci-fi flick. But what I do like is the monster models. They looked so wicked it freaked my wife out.

Many people complain about the controls and I really don't get it. The controls are very easy. The only difficult part is remembering what everything does, but after about 10 minutes of play you'll get it down. This game literally uses every single button on the controller, including the analog stick buttons. If you think these controls are hard pick up a copy of Armored Core and then we'll talk. I would like to make one suggestion if there ever will be a sequel and that is to include the ability to strafe. The absence of strafing in this game can at times lower your battle effectiveness, but you learn to get use to it.

Before I picked this game up I was under the impression that you could play two different characters with two different storylines ala Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 2. Not so! Although you have a choice between Kelly and Saburouta as playable characters the missions are exactly the same. Actually the purpose of choosing your character serves only as a level of difficulty. Saburouta is extremely difficult to play with. His attacks have a much shorter range and he is slower while Kelly is quick and can attack from farther distances. Fanboys of this game try to play it off as a balancing act, but do not be swayed, Kelly would whoop Saburouta's butt in a fight. While old man Sab may pack a bigger punch he is outclassed in speed and maneuverability. It is also important to note that he does not receive the same amount of upgrades as Kelly does.

So what exactly do you do in this game? Gun Valkyrie is a shooter. So basically you go into rooms and kill all the bad guys. What sets this game apart from others is the variety of weaponry and moves at your characters disposal. Many times the action gets really intense and while your flying all over the screen at super fast speeds you need to find time to shoot enemies and change weapons. So it goes without saying that this game is really deep in terms of gameplay. However, it eventually gets boring because that is all you do. It would be nice if they changed it up a bit by providing different types of missions.

Music in this game is bland and downright horrible. Again I emphasize that the creators spent about 90 percent of their time on gameplay and completely neglected other departments. Music consists of boring elevator music with a spidazz(You like that word huh?) of techno. Sound effects are standard Voooms and Zooooms nothing mind blowing or entrancing.

So how is the replay value you might ask. Well I guess after you beat the game you could beat it again. At the end of every mission you get a grade on your performance that you can improve. Other then that not much. Whats really nice about Gun Valkyrie is that its a pick up and play title. So if you have 15 minutes to kill this is a perfect game to just pop in unlike RPG's that require hige chunks of your time.

To answer the question, ''Should I buy this game?'' really all depends. I would not pay $30 for this game which is the MSRP.I would pay no more then $20. In fact I got it for $15 at ebay. Better yet, you can beat this game within a rental period. I insisted on owning this game though because its made by Smilebit.

Grade: C (7/10)
+Great controls
+Equally awesome gameplay
-Meaningless story
-Boring music
-Lack of variety in missions

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/05/03, Updated 03/05/03

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