Downloadable gaming services are funny. Sometimes they have titles you’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Sometimes they have stinkers you can smell a mile away. Is Gunman Clive, for the 3DS eShop, a lone gunman of greatness? Or is it destined to rot in a ghost town?
The first thing you will notice about this game is it’s price point $1.99. Many would think that a game that low costing is destined to be awful but actually the cost is quite fair. This is a very brief game. I managed to complete the entire game on normal difficulty in just over thirty-five minutes. This is not a case of a company trying to put up a full retail game that lasts only a few hours. The creators seem to know this is a budget length game so it has a budget price. Is the game good though? Well…yeah.
The second thing you will notice is the presentation. The game has a unique sepia-toned color scheme. Backgrounds, and the main character are a dull brown while msot enemies will pop out in shades of blue or yellow. The 3D effect also works well. Certain background elemnts swing into the foreground and the use of depth actually adds quite a bit to the platforming. Sound effects are inspired by action games of old and the music fits in with the western world. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming the main level theme.
Gunman Clive plays like a classic action-platformer from the days of old. There’s plenty of leaping from object to object and taking down evil gunslingers. Controls are precise and jumping is fluid. There’s not much in the way of new or groundbreaking platform tricks, the game plays it safe with the tried and true, but it’s all remarkably well polished. A sampling of power-ups add to the shooting. The game wears it’s retro-inspiration proudly. Expect a few cheap deaths from mistimed jumps and a few respawning enemies. The shortness of stages make sure it’s not too much of a hinderance. The trial and error boss fights make take a few deaths before figuring out their paterns, but conquering them is cause for celebration.
It may seem like a game this brief can offer next to no replay. Surprisingly this game does feature some. There are two playable characters who play totally differently. Clive is a standard action hero, quick with his pistol, and Ms. Johnson uses her petticoat to float and guide jumps. There’s aslo a special charm in playing the lady who must rescue the kidnapped cowboy. In addition to the two main characters there is one of the most amusing, and enjoyable, unlockable characters I’ve seen in a game in quite some time. Stages are brief but the game keeps track of your time and makes a note of if you cleared a stage without damage. This makes replays and perfect runs easier to attempt.
Gunman Clive is a brief but fun game that comes at a very small price. If you’re a fan of side-scrolling shooters you’d definitely enjoy picking this game up. The presentation is great, the action is tightly controlled and enjoyable. The replayability may not rival something like Grand Theft Auto, but it’s still a great game to invest in.
Pros – Solid and fluid platforming, unique presentation, very inexpensive
Cons – Some cheap deaths.
Verdict – A fun old-school action game for the price of a cup of coffee (or less, depending on which cafe you frequent) Gunman Clive is not to be missed.