Guntech 2 is a free-roaming shooter shmup that incorporates twin-stick controls, 4-player co-op, and plenty to upgrade.
Best played in short bursts, this shooter offers quality, mindless fun despite a few painstaking flaws that hold back the experience. Using both sticks to aim and shoot is wonderful, and I am amazed more shooters do not include this gameplay element. While you aim your main blaster with the right stick, the more limited power attacks launch from the tip of your ship. This needs to be highlighted thanks to the gravity and momentum system. Thanks to the lack of gravity, your ship reacts to the force of canon blasts and parts of the environment that push/pull. While never as unwieldly as classic Asteroids, the floatyness is something to always keep in mind and makes the game what it is.
Each area is level based but it is not auto-scrolling. Instead, the player is usually given an objective type, like destroy a certain amount of enemies or save X number of survivors, before the stage-ending portal opens. Having a shooter with a fly-anywhere stage design, with twin-stick controls, is refreshing. Unfortunately, the stage design lacks and can play against the player. Without a map screen, it can be easy to get lost or venture out of bound into the black nothingness thinking you might be on your way to find a hidden secret. There is a tiny radar indicator at the tip of your ship but it is nowhere near detailed enough. Sometimes the border of the stages will have a hole that leads to the outer perimeter but doesn’t lead to anything, again, thinking you should go and check it out because it looks like there could be a secret there. But nope, it is just bad stage design.
Coins that are collected can be spent to upgrade your ship. While this is a welcomed RPG features, navigating the complicated menu system is a slog and found myself just continuing without wanting to deal with the painful UI. There are tons of weapons and upgrades available but using the default combo is usually enough to get the job done. It is a shame that there is a whole weapon system here but the interface doesn’t make it easy to experiment and equip.
There is 4p co-op but it is restricted to local play only and there is an online leaderboard feature but it caps to the top 50 players. This isn’t the end of the world because what does it matter if you are ranked 1,786 at that point. The music also goes really hard but feels out of place for a deep space shooter. It is also weird that you are a tiny spaceship but yet you fight literal giant viruses, blow up mega test tubes that just so happen to be floating in space, and then pick up abandoned scientists who are just pacing back and forth without wearing a spacesuit. Sure, an overall wearing plumber jumping on top of mushroom creatures doesn’t really make sense, but here all these elements seem like they are thrown together because these assets were easily available.
While not the best shooter, there are some bright spots, like zipping around your ship and dealing with the floaty gravity, but then the repetition sets in and dealing with the menu system is cumbersome. However, I am just happy it is not another roguelike and is ideally played one or two stages at a time.
Also Try: Solar Jetman (NES)
An evolution of: classic Asteroids
Play It Instead: Sophstar
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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