October 13, 2001
Gungriffon Blaze - Review
Release Date Publisher Developer Players Rating Price
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Explosions are quite impressive.
In Japan mech battle games are one of the biggest genres on console. Indeed, almost every game based on the idea of massive robots running around blowing each other up is usually met with high anticipation and impressive sales. Swing have picked up the rights to release this game in Europe and will be hoping it can emulate the success in Japan.

The storyline for Gungriffon Blaze according to publishers Swing is as follows;
In the post-apocalyptic future the nations of Earth are divided in numerous small splinter groups. And again it is up to the powerful Western Alliance to secure peace and stability. With an arsenal of infiltration units of the AWGS class, bristling with steel, at their disposal, the veteran soldiers of the Alliance have all they need to teach the thieving scum of the new world order the meaning of fear. You have been called upon to join these elite peace keepers. So - show a brave face - stand tall and proud - there is a world that needs saving.

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One of the many briefing screens.

Upon beginning this game you can create your own mech with it's own strengths and configuration. Naturally you can also select your weapons of choice for each mission which are crucial for success. The game also includes over 40 different enemies to defeat each of which has it's own abilities and strengths. Some are agile and will move around making targeting very hard while other have some massive weapons.

The first thing that hits you with this game is the complex controls. Few console games really use all the buttons on the Dual Shock controller, but this is one of them, and it takes plenty of time to master. Even in simple mode the game is quite a challenge although there are options to customise the controls. Once you get used to the controls however playing the game becomes quite a joy. The opponent AI is pretty solid although at times you can fire on an opposing mech and he'll just stand there until he's destroyed. When you get into the later levels you'll need all your skills to defeat your foes.

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Level textures are rather bland.
GameArts, who are currently porting their spectacular Grandia II to the Playstation 2, have done a respectable job with the graphics and sound in Gungriffon Blaze. The frame rate, despite the numerous mechs, explosions and action is solid while the special effects are adequate. It would have been nice to see a little more detail in the game world as the texturing leaves a little to be desired. The sound effects are suitable for a game such as this while the music is pretty much forgettable.

If your after a mech game on the Playstation 2 then this is probably your best bet, but it's not a patch on PC mech games such as Mechwarrior. With nothing else similar in style on the horizon, and if you're after something a little different, then Gungriffon Blaze will probably keep you satisfied for a while.

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