Game Arts and Capcom are teaming up to resurrect a Saturn classic on Sony's PS2 this August in Japan. You pilot a huge mech and set out on mission after mission with a variety of objectives, be it shooting anything that moves or escorting a helpless convoy through unfriendly territory. This sequel will promise much more action on the battlefield, along with mission objectives that get altered in real time during battle.
Download Gungriffon Blaze
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Looks like Working Designs made a good choice, picking up LucasArts' Gungriffon Blaze for the PS2. It's so much more than just a mech-based shoot-'em-up. Not only can you create a pilot and adjust his/her stats (right down to weight and IQ), but you get to customize your weapons before each outing. The missions all take place in vastly different landscapes, from the desert to snow-capped mountains, and nothing is safe. Not only can you destroy your enemies, but just about any structure you see as well. When the PlayStation 2 launches on Oct. 26, Gungriffon Blaze is definitely a game to check out. A note to owners of the first game: You're gonna absolutely love this one
One of two mech simulators initially launched for the PS2, it's safe to say buyers should use caution before purchasing. Although Gungriffon Blaze has some redeeming qualities, this FPS-mech sim fails to set itself apart from other mediocre launch titles.
Set after World War III, huge AWGS (Armored Walking Gun System) infiltration units dominate modern combat. With the world fractured and freak weather patterns driving people to the southern climates, the Western Alliance is struggling to keep control. Using the newly discovered HIGH-MACS III as its centerpiece, the Western Alliance has the firepower. All it needs now is a skilled pilot to lead the charge. Battling at six different hot spots around the world, your task will be to destroy fortifications and batteries, liberate cities, and defend civilians.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
After watching a short, action filled intro, you'll be asked to create a pilot. While most games simply ask for your name, I was astonished to then fill out my nationality, sex, age, eyesight, blood type, IQ, height, and weight. Why they asked for all this information, I have no idea. It doesn't appear to have any effect on the game and was generally useless. Once you have finally selected ALL your pilot's characteristics however, you're ready to start.
As the game begins, there are only six different missions to choose from -- this definitely hurts the game's longevity. Since one of the missions is only for training, it takes little time to burn through the other five missions. There are also points awarded after each attempt, so beating an old score might give some reason to replay a level. Even with that, it doesn't take long until the same five levels begin to get old. You might also expect there to be some plot that unfolds as you progress through each mission or maybe a debriefing on the completed mission. That isn't the case however -- when one mission is completed, it's right on to the next.
Even though the replay value is low, the game plays surprisingly well. At the beginning of each mission, your objectives are given along with maps detailing a suggested route. After getting the mission objectives, you're ready to equip the AWGS with optional weapons and parts and there isn't an unlimited supply of those components since they're collected from previous missions. Repeated failures can quickly leave you at a disadvantage since the components selected are taken from your reserve whether you finish the mission or not.
Once the mission begins, the first challenge is adjusting to the controls. The default settings are unique, but easily learned. Rotating between weapons and firing is accomplished using the right triggers and jumping and swiveling using the left. The left analog stick controls the movement while the right handles the targeting. What surprised me was the sensitivity of the analog controls. They had a perfect touch and gave a greater feeling of control. In addition, there is also a sniper mode, which zooms in while standing still. To only be able to zoom while standing still does require you to be closer to the action, but firing at a distance is still easy. After completing the training mission, you'll be more comfortable with the controls and you'll be ready for actual combat.
One thing you'll notice immediately is, obviously, the interface. Instead of numerous gauges crowding the Heads Up Display (HUD), it has a balanced amount of relevant information. The HUD is presented in a clear and simple manner, without causing distractions. Enemies are outlined with a yellow box and different weapons use unique cross hairs to help identify the weapon selected. One thing missing, however, is a radar screen. Instead, a flashing bar at the bottom of the screen goes off when an enemy is near. This function is generally useless and I rarely looked at it, since it hardly ever happens that the bar is flashing and you don't already know an enemy is near. Running into the edge of the board also occurs without warning. All you get is a tone with the message 'Out of Area'? as you hit the invisible wall. Besides the lack of radar however, the interface adds to the game without distracting from it.
The AI is adequate, but not revolutionary. Enemies tend to be easy targets using the sniper mode and when far enough away, they don't always respond when hit. When they do move however, they repeat the same pattern or run directly at you. Since their aim isn't the best, it creates targets that are extremely easy to destroy. This results in taking out any need for the player to use strategy or cunning when fighting. Standing and firing generally takes care of most targets. It can get boring pretty fast, but also challenging at times.
One of the reasons I purchased a PlayStation 2 was for its graphical ability. Because of this, when games have needlessly lame graphics, I get annoyed. Don't get me wrong, some of the graphics are okay, but when a building is destroyed and falls into large triangular pieces, that's pretty poor. The trees are another issue -- they don't look bad, but for some reason they can stand up to a huge walking machine and any artillery thrown at them. Generally, Gungriffon Blaze seems to be lacking in detail and graphically unimpressive.
The saving grace for Gungriffon Blaze is its gameplay -- the controls are user friendly and easy to adjust to while the interface is clear and straightforward. The game balances things well by depleting the selected optional components from your reserve even if you don't finish a mission. Unfortunately, it's enjoyable for maybe a week. By that time, all five missions will have been finished and you'll get tired of the bland graphics. If you were hoping for something similar to Mechwarrior 4, keep waiting. If you were looking for a new game to rent this weekend, you might give it a try.