Rating

B+

Specific Ratings

GameplayB+
GraphicsC+
Learning CurveA
Replay ValueB
SoundB

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Immediate gratification
  • $14.99
  • Splendid action, fast and very fun!
  • Extremely satisfying environmental destruction
  • 3 very different, very cool characters
  • Awesome presentation, nice voice acting
  • 53 minutes of anime cutscenes
Cons
  • Only 8 hours long
  • Camera/lock-on problems
  • Epilepsy warning is very serious

Gungrave OD (PlayStation 2)

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Summary

Insane bliss.

Description

From the shadow of death rises, "Beyond the Grave", a dead man, who kills like an army and moves like a stylized action movie. Brought to life by a young girl, the dead man is sent out to defeat the evil Corleone family and their production of the gene-altering drug named "seed".

This is the story behind, Gungrave Overdose, the sequel to the love-it-or-hate-it original that was released on PS2 a few years back. Fortunately, the developers at Red have done many things to make the game better and hopefully, this time American audiences will take note.

First of all, "Overdose" is true to its title. This game is INSANE with action. I like my action games, but this game is the first in awhile where I actually feel insane when I play (which is a good thing). Leading your character through a symphony of bullets while anything and everything around you is being blown/torn to shreds by the chaos is unquestionably satisfying. This game is the closest thing in gaming to the infamous marble hallway battle in the original Matrix movie.

Second, the game is much faster than the original. The pace is unrelenting and the action is plentiful. Despite being a two-button game (melee and weapon attacks depending on the character), various combos and powerups (leveling up) can be found throughout the game. This variety is altogether satisfying and, with the inclusion of two new, and VERY different characters, this game offers a ton of replay value due to it being a different experience gameplay-wise with each.

Topping off the package is an absolutely phenomenal presentation. The slick anime cutscenes (there are a ton to watch!), suitable voice acting, and streamlined menu system pull together a package that is way too impressive for a $14.99 game. It seems like the developers utilized their resources to their absolute fullest in making this game a cinematic gaming treat.

Overall, despite its shorter length, some awkward moments of locking on (its better just to fire away anyhow) and camera troubles, Gungrave Overdose is the definition of a sleeper hit. Although, with the grit and gameplay displayed throughout the game, I'd be a fool to ever associate it with the word sleep.

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