Gunman Clive 2 Review: Cowboys versus Dinosaurs
The first Gunman Clive was an unexpected hit on the 3DS eShop. It delivered a quick, albeit tightly constructed, old-school platformer that was as fun as it was difficult. Now that Gunman Clive 2 is here, Horberg Productions has the opportunity to prove the first time wasn’t a fluke. Gunman Clive 2 cleverly expands the scope of the first game without losing what made the original good in the first place, a hard feat to accomplish for any developer when making a sequel.
Gunman Clive 2 upts the original’s “ante” without ever losing focus on what fans want from it. Levels are tightly designed, albeit short, and show no mercy towards the player. Imagine the difficulty of NES/SNES era 2D side-scrollers and you’ll have an idea of just how many times you’ll die here. Players traverse stages of varying colors, picking up weapon upgrades while being assaulted by an endless supply of enemies, some cowboy and others dinosaur. Taking damage will drop whatever weapon upgrade you’ve picked up and your life bar isn’t all that big so you’ll have to take caution and judge situations appropriately.
There is certainly more variety in this game versus the original. Every so often there will be a stage, be it flying or riding on the back of something, where the player will race to the finish in levels that appear heavily influenced by SEGA classic, After Burner. Boss battles are more intense too, providing a challenging yet entirely conquerable change of pace. The T-Rex battle is probably the game’s biggest highlight in terms of boss fights.
In terms of visuals, Gunman Clive 2 doesn’t try to mess with something that works. Horberg Productions, a one-man developer, wisely choose to just experiment with different colors for some stages rather than change the franchise’s signature look. It really makes it stand out on the 3DS’s somewhat primitive hardware and would stand out as a visual delight on any platform.
The games that inspired Gunman Clive 2 are clear. Donkey Kong Country, Mega Man and After Burner are all represented here but Horberg Productions has crafted Gunman Clive in a way that makes all of these influences work to establish an original identity, unique to the series. Only in Gunman Clive can you ride a panda and eventually shoot a T-Rex to death. The soundtrack is very good too and stays consistent with the cowboy theme while not being overbearing with said theme.
Gunman Clive 2 is an absolute steal at $2.99. It should be a crime to not have it on your 3DS, seeing as its such a great value. It delivers old-school challenge in a new package with a unique style that stands out from the rest of the indie offerings on the eShop. Its a short experience, clocking in at roughly 2 hours, but you’ll enjoy every minute of it. It would be worth it at triple the price easily.
Gunman Clive 2 should cost much more than it does. It delivers far more than any $3 game ever has and will rank near the top of the best 3DS platformers years from now. Review copy provided by Horberg Productions.