Gunman Clive 2 (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Lex Firth 01.02.2015 1

Review for Gunman Clive 2 on Nintendo 3DS

It would be difficult to find anyone who didn't love 2013's bite-sized hit Gunman Clive. Blending a fantastic Western aesthetic with tight platforming, it truly showed exactly what the eShop was made for - small, inexpensive bouts of fantastic game design. Its low price point didn't hurt matters either, and fantastic sales have led to Bertil Hörberg developing a sequel. Two years on, does Gunman Clive 2's predecessor still lead to success?

One of the biggest changes is noticeable instantly - Clive's world has been injected with a healthy dose of colour. While it's by no means game-changing, it does make the Old West setting seem far more vibrant; caves are dark and gloomy, fairytale castles are pink and adorned with ornate decorations, and the opening level - which features the original game's early setting of a Wild West town - is utterly gorgeous, with its purple backgrounds colliding with bright orange flames to produce a fantastic night-time effect.

It's this attention to detail that is echoed throughout the whole game. Gunman Clive 2 is quite clearly a labour of love, and the fact that the majority of the work on the game was down to one man is unnoticeable during gameplay - there's almost nothing to fault here, even with a host of brand new mechanics at play. Where Gunman Clive dipped its toe in the water with low gravity stages and side-scrolling shooter levels, Gunman Clive 2 dives in head first, throwing in unique stages such as Space Harrier-esque 3D shoot-'em-up levels and even a level in which Clive dashes through a forest atop a giant panda.

The panda level is a great example of just how much variety is present here - as Clive travels across the world he leaves the Old West setting and heads to Russia (home to palaces and a fantastic reference to Tetris), Japan (home to samurai, ninjas and sumo wrestlers), and Africa (home to dinosaurs - in the 19th Century, no less). Each location brings new types of enemies and this displays Gunman Clive 2's greatest strength - it never gets boring.

Screenshot for Gunman Clive 2 on Nintendo 3DS

Perhaps it's hard to get bored, however, with such a short game. Gunman Clive 2 follows in its predecessor's footsteps in being criminally short. It may be a good way of making sure that the game's most exciting parts aren't sullied by boring stretches, but it's also a little disappointing that the average player can make it through the 25 stages at play here in less than two hours. Luckily, Hörberg has added two extra playable characters - Ms. Johnson returns from the first game, Princess Peach-style floating dress in tow, as well as a new character named Chieftain Bob, who attacks with a spear. His physical attack style changes the way that several levels are approached, and as a result multiple play-throughs are recommended to sample the different play styles on offer. An unlockable character whom appears after the credits roll also completely changes the game.

Veteran players will know instantly who this unlockable character is, and it's those that Gunman Clive 2 aims to satisfy foremost. It's clear that this game is meant to be played after the first - the first level lets the player know as much, with a difficult enemy from the original game's more challenging later stages appearing almost straight away. Fan-service is prevalent (the final boss in particular will make players of the original game smile) and it's great to see that the developer has been looking at fan reactions.

The music is also a vast improvement over the original - where the first game's soundtrack either fell into a Western style or a spacey, techno style, Gunman Clive 2 heads into new territory as Clive trots the globe. The composer, Hörberg's own brother Arne, has outshone himself here - in Bertil's words, "Arne learned some stuff since the first game". A particular highlight is the tune that plays across the game's final stretch - a techno theme with Latin flair, aptly titled "La Salsa Robótica".

There's no doubt about it - Gunman Clive 2, just like its older brother, exemplifies both its system and its genre. Although it takes its basic charm from classics such as Mega Man, it's impossible to find a game on the eShop that emulates the charm present here. This is more than a labour of love: it's one that's damn fun to play, too.

Screenshot for Gunman Clive 2 on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Two years ago, Cubed3 described Gunman Clive as "a stunning masterpiece of a platform game". Gunman Clive 2 is no different. The scale may have expanded, but the gameplay remains pure and focused. New mechanics are all fantastic and the platforming itself is tight, solid and satisfying. It may be short, but it means that all the fat has been trimmed to produce an unmatched experience that can (and should) be enjoyed by every 3DS owner.

Developer

Hörberg Productions

Publisher

Hörberg Productions

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I'm playing on Normal level and wow, I'm finding it much harder than the first game! Smilie The amount of retries I've used on certain stages is quite shocking Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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