Gunvalkyrie is an alternate history/science fiction video game developed by Smilebit and published by Sega for the Microsoft Xbox.
Originally developed for the Sega Dreamcast, it's visual style was very similar to the final Xbox version. The Dreamcast version's distinguishing feature was that during the game's development, GunValkyrie utilized a unique control scheme using both a light gun and a controller. This control scheme was dropped when development shifted to the Xbox version.
The gameplay is very different from most third-person shooters, due to a unique dual analog control scheme, which is the main contributor to the steep learning curve of the game. Players travel to various worlds investigating the disappearance of several colonies, with only giant mutated insect creatures left behind. These insects comprise the bulk of the enemies you face along the way.
Players control Kelly or Saburouta with both analog sticks, the left controlling forward/backward movement and turning, while the right aims their weapons, and when clicked, allows quick-turns. Clicking in the left stick while pointing in a direction causes the character to boost. The left trigger is a boost/jump, and when combined with the left analog boost, can be strung together into combos to keep the player off the ground entirely, which is a necessity for some levels. Face buttons are used to select weapons, and the right trigger fires the selected weapon.
The game comprises ten levels, the story unfolding via text between levels, or the occasional in-game cutscene. At the beginning of most levels, excluding boss battles, you have the choice of picking either Kelly or Saburouta. Kelly's primary weapon is fast but weaker, and she's overall faster and more maneuverable. Saburouta is slower, has more limited maneuverability in the air, and carries a stronger primary weapon, the Matchlock Cannon. Basically the two characters make up the two difficulty settings, with Kelly being the "Normal", and Saburouta being the "Advanced" setting. The real difference being that Kelly's style allowed several lock-on targets, while Saburouta's weapon splashed and was aimed at specific targets. Because of this, Kelly's gameplay is more frantic and requires less direct focus, while Saburota required specific aiming and direct attacks to be effective. Kelly is also the only character to upgrade her gearskin.
The artistic style of the game is similar to the steampunk subgenre of fiction, but the game's designers prefer to call it "elec-punk," described as a step even further, with the harnessing of electricity for imaginative new uses. The game's stages are divided into indoor mechanical looking levels, with lots of gears and ornate metalwork, and outdoor stages, set in very organic looking valley's, craters, and other fantastic otherworldly locations.
Reviews View More
- Later platforming-focused stages are still annoying. These levels have extremely far jumps and falling results in effectively restarting the level. They also do not intertwine well with the combo boost combat. I don’t believe these few levels play to Gunvalkyrie’s strengths.
- Aiming while flying is still cumbersome, even with all the praise I’ve given this games’ combat
- In the levels where you must eliminate all enemies, map usage is paramount. Opening the map every 5 seconds is inconvenient and breaks the flow.
- The addition of a second playable character is odd to me. It’s suggested and advertised to play as Kelly, the female protagonist. You can’t even use Sab in boss battles. It feels a bit forced.
- There’s no frame rate issues, but there’s slowdown issues. Slowdown changes the timing of boost combos which can result in dropping combos unfairly. This only occurs on two boss fights
1-even with fast turn, I still wished a free camera, especially for turning left and right. Because you have to keep using fast turn just because an enemy is a bit too left or right to lock on and it gets bad in frantic situations
2-some bad enemies. Some enemies are both super fast and small so you can get needless damage from out of the camera's side. Also there is an enemy that can go invisible, it's such an annoying enemy to fight. Because you have to wait for himself to show up again and again. Also rest of the enemies are boring ants. They are boring tbh. I would rather get enemies that are well designed and challenging to fight over quantity for the quantity sake
3-Bad map. More than half of the game's objectives are, destroy all the enemies or all the enemy spawners. It wouldn't be bad but map is 2d. But there is a lot of both vertical and horizontal maps in the game. So you know what happens most of the time? You are searching for that one damn enemy that you lost and waste your damn time
4-there is no remapping settings. I know first xbox controller have some weird quirks okay, so it would be important to give to the player an option to remap buttons also invert the camera options. But there is none. If I couldn't remap the keys with the emulator, I wouldn't continue this game. I am not kidding
5-also a locking camera to the enemy option would be nice, especially for the bosses. Because I can't count how many times I get damaged from an attack I couldn't see. For example the "A" button is unused. Why not use it for locking on to the nearest enemy? I don't understand? It still wouldn't take away from the challenge after all you need to continue dodging enemies yourself.
Thanks for reading everyone!
The lack of weapons is a let down too. I said the combat is fun but it easily could have been more fun and replayable if you could have a load out of weapons to pick from.
Sega bring Kelly and Saburouta back.