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 Review: Gunman Clive 2 (3DS eShop)

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Cap'n Pancakes

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PostReview: Gunman Clive 2 (3DS eShop)

Platforming is best in the Old West


Gunman Clive 2 is a run-n-gun platformer developed by Bertil Hörberg. As you can probably figure out by the "2" at the end of the title, this game is a follow up to the 2013 hit Gunman Clive. For those unfamiliar with the first game, it was a rather simple platformer that started out as a relatively low profile release on iOS, only to be met with massive success upon its move to the 3DS. You controlled Clive or Mrs. Johnson through 20 stages of classic cowboy fun. It was a relatively generic game, but well made and bolstered by its unique sketchbook artstyle. Despite only lasting about 40 minutes on one playthrough, the game became quite popular, due in no small part to the lowly price tag of just 2 dollars. So now with the sequel out, does it live up to the legacy of its predecessor?


I'm happy to say that Gunman Clive 2 not only lives up to the original game, but surpasses it in every way. The gamplay remains largely unchanged here. You have 25 stages filled with creative setpieces and plenty of enemies and powerups. Aside from the traditional 2D levels there are a few new additions as well. These take the form of behind the back flying stages (and one on a horse), somewhat similar to Star Fox 64. They don't pop up too often, but are a nice change of pace. Though the core gameplay has gone unchanged, the levels are much more dynamic this time around, resulting in a much more interesting experience overall. While the original Gunman Clive felt somewhat bland due to basic level design and repetitive visuals, Gunman Clive 2 has an identity with plenty of fresh scenarios. No longer is the game confined to the western setting, taking you all over the globe. From snowy mountains and pirate ships on the raging seas to Japanese pagodas and and island filled with dinosaurs. The extra variety is extremely welcome, and its a lot of fun seeing each new idea and wondering what still awaits you. Those familiar with the first game may remember the antigravity sections that take a page from Super Mario Galaxy. These are much more common in Gunman Clive 2, and although they can be frustrating at times, for the most part they are used creatively to enhance the levels. Many of the enemies also return here, bringing along plenty of new friends as well. Sadly, there are not any new powerups, as only the triple shot and heavy shot are present. It's possible that the homing shot and laser gun are in the game, but I never encountered them in my playthrough. You do have access to a brand new character in addition to Clive, Mrs. Johnson, and a secret unlockable character. Cheiftan Bob plays very differently, only having a melee attack with his spear. Playing as him is a great way to shake things up and give yourself an extra challenge.


Speaking of challenge, Gunman Clive 2 has plenty of it. The original game was compared to Mega Man not only for their similar gameplay, but for their challenge as well. The sequel carries on this tradition, and is actually more difficult than the first game. Because the levels have a lot more going on in them this time around, it can take a bit of trial and error to get things right, but it never feels unfair at any point. There are no checkpoints in the levels, but considering they are all under two minutes long it's not a huge deal. Overall, the game took about an hour for me to complete. As mentioned before, there are four total playable characters, as well as speed and no damage badges to earn in every stage. For a mere $3, this game packs quite the punch.


As you can probably tell just from looking at the screenshots, the presentation for the game has been improved significantly. While Gunman Clive did have a very unique artstyle, the backgrounds were very simple and the game never really did anything with what it had. After a while, it got tiring looking at the same yellow stages again and again. Right from the minute you turn the game on, you can tell Gunman Clive is different. No longer are the stages just yellow notebook paper, but a wide variety of colors. The colors help in making the stages stand out from each other, and look very pleasant in general. As a whole, the game is a lot more polished and has quite a number of new effects that really complement the unique design. From the fire in the very first stage to the subtle orange glow around Clive in darker levels, you can tell a lot of work went into the game to make it look better than the original. Similarly, the audio has also been improved. There are a few familiar tracks to accompany the host of new tunes. Each piece fits area it is played in very well, and the selection is a lot more diverse.


Overall, Gunman Clive 2 is an excellent platforming experience. Variety is the key here, because even though the game is very short, it is constantly throwing new ideas at you so that the experience never gets stale. It's clear that Bertil Hörberg was not content to simply design a few new levels and slap them together in this sequel. It's a well crafted game that a lot of love went into, and it really shows because it surpasses its predecessor in every way. You can't ask for a better way to spend three dollars, and I would consider Gunman Clive 2 a must have for anyone with a 3DS.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Review copy provided by Hörberg Productions


Last edited by Cap'n Pancakes on Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Review: Gunman Clive 2 (3DS eShop) :: Comments

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Re: Review: Gunman Clive 2 (3DS eShop)
Post on Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:30 pm by Knuckles
I forgot how well you wrote reviews @Cap'n Pancakes!

Welcome back to the team!
Nice review Capn!

I bought the game, unfortunately with all the Club Nintendo rewards I've been a bit distracted lately, but I definitely agree with your first impressions, the game is so visually diverse that I already like it better.
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@Knuckles
Thanks man, it's good to be back.

@Clay
I played both games back-to-back and was immediately impressed by Gunman Clive 2. It really is a huge step up from the original.
 

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