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GunGriffon (Saturn) artwork

GunGriffon (Saturn) review


"GunGriffon: The Eurasian Conflict is a first-person, giant mecha game that doesn't like to hold your hand. In fact, it'll kick you in the nuts if you don't learn to play properly immediately. Sure, it provides two optional, very simple exercises, but they're not great representations of the actual missions. What will surprise many people that play GunGriffon for the first time is that they'll be thrown right in the middle of a battle, literally having to hit the ground running. The..."



GunGriffon: The Eurasian Conflict is a first-person, giant mecha game that doesn't like to hold your hand. In fact, it'll kick you in the nuts if you don't learn to play properly immediately. Sure, it provides two optional, very simple exercises, but they're not great representations of the actual missions. What will surprise many people that play GunGriffon for the first time is that they'll be thrown right in the middle of a battle, literally having to hit the ground running. There's always a group of tanks, mechas, and helicopters nearby, and you're usually tasked with having to destroy them quickly, either because they're coming for you or your allies that you have to protect with your life.

Now, considering you have this high-tech machine at your disposal, you're probably scoffing at the idea that tanks and helicopters are a credible threat. Why, you might even be thinking you can charge into a group and annihilate them with ease.

You fool! That's the last thing you want to do!

Dash into a trio of tanks, and watch in horror as they make you look like a bumbling idiot with their simple, but very effective, circling maneuvers. And the helicopters, oh God, the helicopters are the second biggest threat in GunGriffon (heavily-armed mechas coming in first) if you don't know how to handle them correctly. I've lost a few missions simply because I couldn't swat down these pesky bugs... The one thing this game quickly teaches you is not to take any opponent with a weapon for granted. Actually, I should also say not to take your ammo for granted, either, because you really don't have enough to finish a mission. What intensifies combat in GunGriffon is how much you have to rely on supply helicopters in heated war zones. Ignore their presence too long and the enemy is going to make quick work of them.

No supply helicopter means no refill.

No refill means no more ammunition.

No more ammunition means be An Hero.

Needless to say, you're going to die a lot in this game thanks to the difficulty. It's the type where you normally have to play a mission two, three, or four more times before understanding where specific enemy formations are placed and when certain events are triggered. You will get frustrated, but GunGriffon is the kind of title where you want to jump back in and try again, since you're so emerged in the intensity of the battlefield. And it helps that you're placed in various circumstances, like navigating in a city at night, forcing you to use night vision, fighting through a heavily-guarded, snowy forest in an attempt to destroy a passing train, and protecting a plane trying to take off from a base that's being assaulted by a ruthless force hell bent on preventing that.

Though, some might find the reason why the game is tough is due to certain factors, the most notable one being the controls. Wanna move? Press X to walk forward and A to moonwalk. Jump? Z button. Or how about turning the turret in a different direction while walking in another? Hold the L shoulder button. Yeah, the control setup might seem whacked at first, but it's surprisingly easy to get the hang of if you don't give up so soon. Besides, you can customize the layout in the options menu, so this "issue" is moot to those that can find the Key Assign screen in two seconds. Also, another potential complaint is how the view is restricted to first-person only, in a game developed by a Japanese team, no less! Why not an additional third-person perspective? Well, for me at least, the first-person works well, because, since you're inside a giant mecha, it gives you the illusion of being a larger than life wreaking machine. This is especially true when tanks and helicopters swarm around you like you're King Kong.

However, there are some minor, legit complaints to be had with GunGriffon.

One reoccurring annoyance is unknowingly bumping into objects. Turn slightly to the side and be done with it, right? Wrong. In many situations, you'll need to either walk backwards or make a 180 degree turn, depending on what's behind you. Of course, in the heat of battle this causes obvious problems. Another downside is how short the game really is, with a total of eight stages, each with a typical time limit of ten to fifthteen minutes. The only reason it will feel longer is that you'll be dying all the time, though once GunGriffon is mastered...-ish, it should normally take under two hours to complete. It would have been great for a game like this to have a few more missions to mess around with, but for what it is, GunGriffon: The Eurasian Conflict is a tough, fun little game for the Sega Saturn. So if you're willing to work with these shortcomings for a challenging game with a tense atmosphere, then this is going to provide a nice alternative to the Saturn games you're used to seeing.

Rating: 7/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (August 11, 2010)

After reviews about Gradius, Salamander, Parodius, and Otomedius games, PickHut attempted a Scramble review. The idea never materialized into writing...

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zippdementia posted August 12, 2010:

This is a nice little review. I'm guessing the simplicity you mention in your blog involves "kill all enemies?" Though from the screenshots it looks like there are protect missions, too.
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pickhut posted August 12, 2010:

Yeah, basically just destroy all or protect. The protect missions are hard, though, especially the plane mission...

Oh, and that screenshot of the plane blowing up? That was just me accidentally shooting it. But it looks cool!

<_<
>_>

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