by Hörberg Productions
Reviewed by Philip "Pocket
Squirrel" Wesley (Deluxe Version Review 01/29/2015)
Size: 571 BLOCKS on the eShop. (Verified
by our Download Guide)
Save: SD Card Backup/4 Slots
Works with: 3DS Software
ESRB Rated: T
Rating Descriptions: Violence
Discloser: A review code was
provided by Hörberg
Productions, before the launch of this title, to aid
first Gunman Clive was an interesting surprise
for the Nintendo
3DS eShop back in 2012. The first title was an odd looking 20 level
side scroller made by practically one person and released for about $2
on the North American eShop. The developer had previously only worked
on minor PC/Mobile games. The game had a distinct style that harkened
back to the posters for a particular kind of movie genre that is
lovingly called a "Spaghetti Western."
If you need to know what a
Spaghetti Western is,
please do yourself a favor and find a way
to watch Sergio
"Once Upon A time In The West." A quick primer to the genre
would be to watch practically everything movie with Lee Van Cleef
in it. I will also recommend The Dollars Trilogy of films that
includes: "A Fistful of Dollars," "A Few Dollars More," and "The Good,
The Bad, and The Ugly."
Gunman Clive caught everyone's
taking the aesthetic of those posters and combining
it with a weirdly technology based, side scrolling shooter akin to
games like Mega Man or many older Capcom "platform shooter" titles. The
biggest issue with the first game is that it was considered to be too
"short" and the announcement of work on a sequel was met with somegreat
fanfare and hype.
Now, in 2015, the man who
created Gunman Clive brings us the sequel.
When I have waited
three years to play a game. It is a
shame I can only review it once!
sequel picks up fresh on the heels of the first game. After
rescuing Ms. Johnson, Clive returns to find the town in shambles as
members of the same gang from the first game have exacted their revenge. This time around, Clive, Ms.
Johnson, and their new friend Chieftain Bob must track down the bandits
across the globe and take out their leader.
The gameplay is pretty simple, for the most part, each character
has a set style of play to help them get through each side scrolling
stage. The basic level structure is to get from Point A to Point B
while navigating obstacles like disappearing platforms, variable
gravity, and manipulating level specific items like a rampaging
Triceratops, mine carts, or a friendly panda.
The gameplay is broken up this time with some new style of
stages like a flying stage similar to games like Star Fox or a riding
level similar to Outrun. When you are in a flying level, you can invert
your controls if you wish to. There are about 25 levels to fight
through to take out the evil leader of those bandits. To break down the
gameplay further, let me explain what each of the four playable
characters can do.
The game has three difficulty levels and the amount of damage
you take and where you respawn from a fall is determined by the
Gunman Clive is your main character. He jumps moderately well
and uses a gun. He can also pick up upgrades for his gun to shoot in
three directions or cause more damage.
Ms. Johnson is also a gun-toting gal, but she moves a little
slower than Clive and has the ability to slow her descent from a jump.
This is actually quite useful.
Chieftain Bob carries a spear that has a decent amount of reach
to it. He jumps higher and seems to move a little faster than Clive,
but his attack is short range, so you can not take out enemies from
afar like Ms. Johnson or Clive.
Duck Mode is available when you beat the game. This allows you
to play as a duck with no weapons and the ability to "fly" for short
periods of time.
Many of the level specific obstacles involve learning and reacting
to the patterns of the minor enemies and the much more complex patterns
of the bosses. Overall, if you are a veteran of games like Mutant
Mudds, Mega Man, or Bionic Commando, you will feel right at home in the
fast paced world of Gunman Clive 2.
Liked: Personally, I feel
like I could play an entire game made up of the style of the flying
stages in this game. I like the new bosses and interesting level
design. I also like that the game appears to have increased in
difficulty in comparison to the first game.
Hated: At 25 levels and a
few new types of levels, the game still feels a little bit short.
Although I may feel this way because I really want more.
Chris Pratt has nothing on Clive.
first game had a lot more limited color
pallet with a mostly tan
or light brown color to everything. This time around, the living sketch
style is enhanced by striking color choices like shades of Red, Purple,
Blue, and so forth. The extreme contrasts really pop when using the 3D
option and the art style really adds a unique "living" feel to this
title. I love a good art style and this game has an extremely unique
one that feels a bit like the way that the Game Boy Color would add
color to black and white Game Boy titles. Everything is easy to see and
visually interesting. The game also moves a lot faster than the
previous title at a solid 60 frames per second, even when using the 3D
option. If you have hardware with the 3D option, go ahead and crank it
up! It adds to the visual look of the game immensely.
Clive and his entire world are made
up of 3D models, but textured to appear semi-flat. When the game is
paused, the graphics appear to "keep moving."
According to the developer, this is the only time you go "West" in the
Panda, PANDA, hold me close.
That Midnight Cowboy.
Liked: There is a
level that takes place on a snow covered mountain and it is my favorite
looking level in terms of the side scrolling part of the game play. The
game moves along briskly and everything feels centered around that
sweet 3D experience. The levels where you are flying or riding into the
screen make superb use of the 3D. There is one flying section, in
particular, near the end of the game that is just a visually wonderful
experience. The "boss" near the end of that level shoots a screen
filling laser that escapes the bounds of the screen in a fun and
interesting way. Overall, the added details to the backgrounds and
enemies, combined with the high contrast in color choices makes this a
striking game to play.
Hated: If you do not like the art style, you are going to find the look
of the game a little painful. If you are not playing in 3D, the game
looks slightly flat and somewhat less impressive.
Sumo! OH MY!
favorite "feature" of this game is the ability to pause a level and
listen to the music continue.
As I write this, the game is
paused on Stage 15 as I listen to the music through headphones. The
game has a distinct theme which is remixed and inserted into the
composition as the game progresses. The music is high energy and full
of interesting instruments. Stage 6 in particular has a wonderful
section which sounds like plucked bells. In order to "pluck" a bell,
you need to place it on a soft mat and then lift and drop the hammer
while holding the bell firmly. This provides a muted sound that is
distinctly a bell, without producing a loud ringing bell tone. A lot of
the general tone of the music appears to take inspiration from Ennio
Morricone's sweeping score for "Once Upon A Time in the West" with a
dash of Lindsey Stirling or Bond. The opening theme is just a gorgeous
tribute to The Ecstasy of Gold. The sound effects are appropriate for
the action happening on screen and the music really enhances the action
on the screen.
There is a reason that the composer, Arne Hörberg, has a title
On a side note,
you can actually
the music and purchase it from Arne directly!
Liked: If there had
been a harmonica or vocals in the opening theme I would probably have
died by melting into a blob of purely satisfied audio joy in my chair.
Hated: There is a
distinct lack of jaw harp in this soundtrack.
only time I had any trouble with the controls is the odd gravity
reversal sections where you push UP to duck, but I can see how
they wanted that to be that way. The characters are diverse enough to
make playing through the game multiple times a unique and rewarding
experience. The game tends to jump directly into the next level after
you beat a level and this makes the game seem shorter because of that.
You will be firmly invested in the action and the game keeps track of
how fast you clear a level and how many times you have died before you
beat the game. This gives players a reason to go back through and get
faster times. Also, you can beat a level without taking damage, if you
are good enough and that earns you a star next to that level. I find
that both a challenge and also a bit evil. Of course, you can do that
with any of the characters too.
The controls are easy to understand and the only thing that is
not obvious is that press forward twice will make your panda go faster
in the level where you are riding the panda. Also, you can shoot
forward and to the side in the horse riding level. The new "contrast"
for the graphics allows an easy way to tell what elements of a boss
might be vulnerable or might harm you. I also like the fact that this
game is not a "save the princess" style plot and that the "story" of
the game is presented through the level design and backgrounds without
nary a word of dialogue until the end of the game.
The game takes some of the ideas from the first game and expands
on them in interesting ways that make this feel like a natural
continuation of the story of original Gunman Clive.
Liked: Some of the
levels are just superbly tricky to get through with out taking damage,
especially the boss levels. The ability to restart a level in the pause
menu is really appreciated.
Hated: There are
really only five more levels than there were in the first game.
(Free Ideas For Game Designers!)
be honest, this game feels like there should be a Gunman Clive 3
and I will be disappointed if there is not one. This may have to do
with the relatively quick feel of the gameplay. I think what could be
improved is to give the player more interaction with objects in a
level, for example: maybe you need to break a part of the stage to go
further or a hit a switch to open a gate before you hit it in a mine
cart stage or the game could have branching levels where you may take a
lower path or a higher path to lead to a different level path. That
type of branching gameplay could also open up multiple endings and
other additions. Maybe the sequel could revolve around a treasure map
that may lead to a City of Gold (or some sort of diabolical trap).
Also, there needs to be a floating Aztec Temple in the sky level. I
want to be jumping between airships or swinging from vines! Maybe a
level could take place on the back of a giant dragon or a level where
you pilot a crude submarine. The realm of interesting ideas is
The game could also use a list of challenges, so that people may
keep track of set things that they could achieve in the course of
playing the game. Things like "going through a level without firing a
shot as Gunman Clive," or shooting certain objects in the course of a
(Recommended If You Like...)
you loved the first game, picking up the second game is required by law
in some states. Otherwise, I would suggest picking it up if you
like Mutant Mudds, older Capcom side scrolling shooters, and the
aesthetic of the artwork in the game.
first time you play through this game, it is a wild, tense, joyride of
discovery and action. Subsequent plays will reveal it to be a
finely tuned machine that you can exploit for speed running and perfect
"no damage" runs. The game keeps track of your "no damage" runs and
your times. You can also post your best times on the Nintendo MiiVerse
for the game.
If you are a fan of platform
shooters in general, you need this game in your life. Gunman
Clive 2 is a worthy sequel to the first game that expands on what made
the first game great while exploring new and interesting gameplay
The only real issue that the
game has is the relative length of the title, but that can be
expanded by the marked incentive to try and clear each level perfectly,
while improving your clear times. There is a lot of fun to be had with
Gunman Clive 2, but you have to be willing to go back through
previously finished levels.
I also have to really appreciate
that the credits reveal that this game was made almost entirely by one
person. Very few games these days can boast that kind of
statement and the few that can vary wildly in quality. Gunman Clive 2
is a worthy addition to what I hope will be a trilogy of superb
platform shooting action games.
Play Control/Game Design: *****
Star Total: 69
Personal Opinion Merit: 15
Final Score: 84%
Letter Grade: A