Game Review

Mania Grade: C+

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  • Platform: Xbox
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Genre: Action
  • Players: 1
  • Save: Yes
  • Developer: Smilebit
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Suggested Retail: $49.99
  • Graphics: B
  • Sound: B-
  • Gameplay: C+
  • Replay: C
  • Fun Factor: C
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: C+


Aggravation at its finest

By Troy Roberts     May 06, 2002

© Sega

GUNVALKYRIE is the newest title from Smilebit, the same people who have brought you the JET GRIND RADIO video games. At first glance, many people will believe that GUNVALKYRIE is a third-person shooter, where you run through the levels blasting anything in sight. Well, it is a third-person shooter, but there are really not tons of things to shoot. And that running through levels stuff is about as hard as running directly into a tornado.

GUNVALKYRIE takes place in the year 1906 (in an alternate past...the only explanation for things like lasers and futuristic weaponry being at your disposal). In this alternate past, the use of Haley's Comet and other scientific findings have allowed for such huge jumps in technology. The man behind all of this is named Dr. Hebble Gate. One day, four years before the game begins, Dr. Gate disappears, and contact with the civilized planet of Tir Na Nog has been cut. Apparently, the planet has been overrun by these giant bug creatures. One good thing Dr. Gate did before his disappearance was found the GunValkyrie organization, and they are sent to Tir Na Nog to investigate.

GUNVALKYRIE's graphics look pretty good, although certain elements of the levels are used too much. The whole valley scenery is way overused, and none of the enemies are overly exciting, since they're all huge bugs. Other than that, the graphics are nice. The characters are designed and rendered nicely, as are the special effects. One gripe about the graphics is that there is no shadow. Most of the game involves jumping from platform to platform, so a shadow would be expected to help you see where your character is landing. No such luck, and too many times I've missed my jump and have had to backtrack close to 10 minutes of playing time to attempt the jump again.

As I stated earlier, I expected GUNVALKYRIE to be a full-blown shooting game. I was a bit disappointed to find out that it wasn't. GUNVALKYRIE's gameplay is more of a "shoot occasionally, jump a lot, and try to figure out where you're going" type of game, which can be extremely irritating at times. The game is a normal third-person perspective game with the addition of a jetpack. During the whole course of the game, you have to "experiment" and see what works properly at a certain place to find your way through the levels.

One of the main annoyances in the game is to not be able to change the controls. The controls don't seem to fit unless you play for a long time, and will turn off most gamers if they can't get used to the controls. Also, the sound is okay, and the soundtrack is pretty good, but for the most part, GUNVALKYRIE is relatively quiet.

And, to be perfectly honest, this is about the hardest game I've ever played. Rarely do I get frustrated at a game, but I found myself constantly pausing this game and walking away to blow off steam.

While GUNVALKYRIE isn't a bad game, it's not necessarily a good game either. Most casual gamers will probably not find GUNVALKYRIE interesting because of its lack of shooting things, and because of how hard the game is. I recommend GUNVALKYRIE only to people who have the patience to sit through a game where you have to "guess and test" your way through levels.


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