You are Beyond the Grave and you wield two twin handguns called Ceruberus and a coffin filled with heavy weapons that you like to use, a lot. Brought back from the dead to stop the people responsible for the creation and distribution of “Seed”, a powerful addictive drug that makes the users into powerful warriors, you will not stop shooting until you have kicked all their @$$es. As you can probably tell, GunGrave: Overdoes is a shooter game with heavy emphasis on shooting and blowing things up. Actually, I would have to say that I haven’t shot so many bullets in a game in a long time. GunGrave: Overdose is almost like a 2D scrolling shooter game, such as, Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun, but from a third-person perspective. I am trying to figure out which game has more bullets and destruction on the screen at once. If you like 2D scrolling shooters or games like Smash TV then you should definitely check out GunGrave: Overdose.GunGrave: Overdose has a first-person shooter look to it, but it feels more like one of the other games mentioned above than a game like Unreal Tournament 2004 or Quake 3. There is just too many bullets and destruction on the screen at once to fall into the standard 3D shooter game genre in my opinion. Now, some people may say GunGrave: Overdose is shallow since there isn’t much more than shooting and blowing things up in it, but that is what makes it so much fun. You don’t have to sneak around corners or try to evade every single bullet coming your way. In GunGrave: Overdose it is all about the shooting and you will usually be going head-on at the enemy with guns a blazing and a smile on your face. And to get an even bigger grin, unleash one of the super weapons that are locked in your coffin you carry on your back. Bwhahahaha…
Unleashing the bullets and weapons of destruction is a lot of fun and looks good too. Granted GunGrave: Overdose’s graphics are not the best you will ever see on the PlayStation 2, but with the amount of destructible items, bullets, and characters on the screen at the same time without any slowdown they are still somewhat impressive. The level design is repetitive in some ways and you will see a lot of walled in environments that range from a grocery store to an office building to a casino. The environments may be bland but your character’s animation is done really well and he looks cool while unloading his limitless clips of bullets. The enemy characters are not as impress as the main character or other games on the PS2, but decent none the less.
The full motion video cut scenes and non-animated cut scenes are very nice looking and help to move along the story. You can tell that Red Entertainment spent a decent amount of time working on the cut scenes because they really make you feel like you are playing an anime movie. Actually, GunGrave is now an anime movie that is out on DVD and I recommend it if you like the game. The animated cutscenes look like the same animators did them and have the same quality as the DVD movie.
GunGrave: Overdose’s voice acting is also top notch and very well done. This also helps you get the feeling of playing an animated movie. The sound effects of things blowing up, enemies taking hits, bullets flying everywhere, and missiles being launched are all appropriate and accounted for in GunGrave: Overdose. The music is also anime styled and has a rock and jazz style to that fit’s the game perfectly. Red Entertainment has really worked at bring the anime experience to GunGrave: Overdose for PlayStation 2 and it shows.
The game may look like an anime and have cut scenes and music like an anime but how does it control? I am happy to say that it is very easy to lay down a ton of gunfire and you can do it in style. The controls are pretty standard with a jump, shoot, and special move button. You can also use the left trigger button to lock onto your enemy but I noticed that I didn’t get close enough to the enemy a lot of the time to use this feature. I took more of a stand back and just blast away until they fell attitude. As you blast away you will build up your special move power and once you have gain enough you can unload them on your enemy for even more destruction. You can also jump sideways to dodge bulletins and attack or jump up in the air and come down to release a shockwave that stuns you enemies for a few seconds. Also, if you are in close quarters you can uses the coffin on your back as a weapon to hit people with. Tons of ammo, guns a blazing, and a huge coffin on your back, how can you beat that?
Beating the game will also take you a decent amount of time and once you do you can go back and play it again with the two side characters, Juji Kabane with his two swords and Rocketbilly Redcadillac with his electric guitar weapon. You can also unlock bonus items in the game by complete certain task. So, the replay value of the game is decent, as long you don’t mind shooting tons of things over and over. This is the part of GunGrave: Overdose that might get repetitive for some people. You do have to jump and perform some platform type things and there are a few puzzles from time to time, but most of it is just figuring out how to kill the next enemy. Some enemies are easy to kill and others will require more skill. For example, some of the end bosses and normal enemies shoot missiles at you and you have to time it just right to hit them back to them with your coffin. Batter up!
GunGrave: Overdose is probably not for everyone, but if you like games that let you blow the heck out of things and tell you to “Kick Their @$$” at the beginning of every level then it should do the trick. Also, GunGrave Overdose is probably the closest you will get to feeling like you are playing an anime action movie. The production quality of the cut scenes, music, and voice acting is top notch and puts some other higher priced games to shame. Did I mention the price? GunGrave: Overdose retails for $14.99. Yes, that is correct, for the price of an anime on DVD you get to play one. How can you beat that? You can’t, so go buy it or at least rent this game today!
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