From the same team that ported Greylancer to modern consoles, Gynoug is another Sega Mega Drive exclusive now made accessible to American players for the first time. Much like Greylancer, this is an entertaining shooter, especially for fans of the genre and that never played the original, but the lacking quality of life features are a bit disappointing.
A virus has mutated most living things and it is up to you, and your Icarus-like wings, to save the day by blasting the crap out of anything that moves. Each of the six available stages are lengthy, usually taking about 7-8 minutes to complete for skilled players, and also feature a mini-boss and a mega stage-ending boss. It wouldn’t be fair to call this a bullet hell although the action is fast paced and the screen can be filled with both bullets and enemies simultaneously to impressive results. Although, for some reason, pretty much every enemy is some type of face monster. Why all the faces?
This game was released in the early 90s but it still holds up visually and gameplay-wise. In fact, each stage looks drastically different from the last, outfitted with parallax and unique scaling effects. My only complaint comes from the intentionally gross intestine stage. The swooping visual effect would have been fine for a short period but you are ready for it to be over by the time you reach the end. It also makes seeing your shots nearly impossible as they blend in with the background. This is a perfect example of over-doing it but still is impressive as a whole.
The smooth gameplay and upgradeable weaponry always makes the player feel powerful and in control. When fire power reaches its max potential, it takes up almost the entire screen which is cool unto itself. This doesn’t detract from the balance either as the player is still annoyingly vulnerable to the upper and lower screen borders. Bumping into these barriers is always painful and there are plenty of frustrating moments, like enemies spawning behind you without warning or a mini-boss that moves with incredible speed, but it isn’t anything a little memorization or trial-and-error cannot fix. That, or milking the rewind feature.
There is an implemented CRT visual filter but the rewind feature is the new element that will get the most use and be the most appreciated. It is also possible to activate cheats from the main menu so players do not need to hover their finger over the rewind button every other second which is also an immediately welcomed unlocked addition. Unfortunately, outside of rewind and cheats, there are no notable quality of life features. The lack of an online leaderboard, not being able to start from any stage, no boss rush mode, and even the absence of a tutorial makes the presentation feel empty. While anyone can pick up and play this game, this is a shooter after all, I still didn’t understand the magic system, what the letter pick-ups mean, or what other collectables actually do. There is a magic attack button, but only found one in the first stage and had no clue how to acquire it again. Without explanation, I was able to finish the challenging six stages but I was not able to fully appreciate them because the game is never explained one of its most important mechanics to the player.
It is really cool this forgotten and Japanese exclusive game is now made accessible to English speaking players but it is a shame more care wasn’t put into the final product. Maybe I am just spoiled to the emulation wizardry and passion of M2 as they always go the extra mile to include amazing and thoughtful features but Gynoug is still playable even though it has a weird name and lacking extras.
Also available on PS4 and Switch.
Don’t Forget About: Crisis Wing
For Something A Little More Naughty Play: Waifu Discovered 2: Medieval Fantasy
Also Play: Crimson Clover
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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