It seems like every week, and new indie game is released on PS Vita. In fact, it’s the one genre I think the PS Vita is not short on. There are tons of indie games available and many of them are actually quite fun to play. They might not have the graphical appeal of big budget AAA title, but indie games more often than not, bring unique and awesome gameplay to the table that are sometimes lacking with AAA titles. For instance, how long has it been since you’ve played a really frantic, side-scrolling, run and gun shooter? I’d bet not since the days of SNES or SEGA Genesis. Well, for those who are feeling nostalgic, check out Orangepixel’s newest PS Vita game, Gunslugs. Gunslugs is a retro styled run and gun arcade shooter that will take you back to the days when gameplay was most important and save points were like unicorns.
Gunslugs is a run and gun game. That means the main goal of the game is to make it to the end without getting killed. Like most games in this genre, all you have is your trusty weapon to fend off bad guys with the ability to upgrade your weapon to ones with more power and abilities. The game does also play like a traditional side scrolling platformer where you’ll have to jump to reach different platforms and ledges. You have a traditional health bar that decreases if you don’t avoid the enemy fire as well as an ammo bar that depletes if you use up all your ammo. Shooting enemies will yield both ammo and first aid drops that will help replenish both your health and ammo bars. Drops also include weapon upgrades like the double gun, grenades, and egg shooter.
What’s cool about this game is that each time you play, the game is never quite the same. It randomizes each level you play so locations of items and objectives is always almost different. For each level, you have to destroy three beacons. These beacons are located on top of buildings which you can enter by tapping the jump button. You can also reach the beacons by just directly jumping of the top of the building if you can reach it.After blowing up three beacons, you’ll move on to the next area. After 3 areas are complete, you’ll face a boss character, just like you would have with classic run and gun games of the past.
Scattered about are also random buildings that you can enter which feature bonuses like extra ammo, health, mini games, and even secret levels. You can even buy continues if they randomly appear. On top of the main game, there are also neat little mini objectives you can aim for. As you play, you’ll unlock new levels to play on as well as additional characters you can choose to fight as. These characters seem to give homage to some of the 80’s and 90’s most classic action adventure heroes.
Graphics and Audio
Graphically, the game looks like an old school 8-bit action game. It’s heavily pixelated with rather simple design of both characters and background environment, though for a game like this, it works. Since it is an homage that is suppose to remind you of games from our past, it works very well here and the simple art style lends well to the gameplay allowing you to concentrate on what’s going on around you. Despite the simplicity of the art though, you still get some sense of detail. shooting enemies creates little pixelated pools of blood and shooting down a helicopter makes a fiery explosion.
Audio in the game is also quite excellent. The soundtrack sounds like it was ripped right out of an old NES game and harkens back to the days of Contra, Metal Slug, and Ghost ‘N Goblins just to name a few. Gunslugs is basically an authentic representation of what an 8-bit run and gun shooter should be. This is the perfect game for the nostalgic gamer or even newer generations.
Gunslugs is quite an interesting game. It’s been a while really since I’ve played a traditional run and gun game like this and it reminds me of why I used to love these games so much as a kid. Action games like this used to occupy all of my time back then and I’m glad that I can now revisit my childhood via my PS Vita with Gunslugs. It’s a challenging game that is just as hard as games used to be before save points became a common thing and is the type of game where constant play only made you better because you knew that if you didn’t get good at it, you’d never get very far.
Gunslugs would make a great addition to anyone’s collection. Not only that, its cheap entry price is very reasonable at only $2.49 for the game of $1.99 for PS+ members. This is one of the cheapest games I probably own on my Vita but the amount of time you’ll spend playing this is worth a lot more in my opinion.