GunGrave: Overdose is the sequel to the slightly successful GunGrave, released for the PS2 a couple of years ago or so. While the squeal does improve on the original, that really isn’t saying too much. Basically what we have here is another anime type game where the style and look of the game is more fun than playing the game. Overdose is a pure action game where all you need to know is if it moves, shoot it.
Yea, I guess there’s a story and if you are really interested we can go over it. See there is this drug called Seed and it’s a mean drug…yet people want to take it. That seems to happen a lot with the nastier drugs. If people would learn to Just Say No they would not have to worry about anything! Oh well. Anyway, an evil crime syndicate controls Seed. Your job, if you choose to accept it, is to find out who is behind the distribution of Seed and stop them. This will roughly take you through 9 levels with lots of cutscenes and dramatic anime stills.
This is where you come in. You will play three different characters throughout the game: Beyond the Grave (OK, that’s a pretty cool name), Rocketbilly Redcadillac (trying just a bit too hard with that one), and Juji Kabane. Naturally each of our heroes has special abilities. Grave, as his friends call him, carries a serious set of guns called Cerberus. Not only that he has a coffin filled with heavy weapons slung over his back. Sure he’s dead, but couldn’t he have left his old house behind! But it does come in handy for a shield. Our man Rocketbilly, who the ladies adore, travels around with a guitar that just happens to shoots energy bolts out of it. And, finally, Juji is the fastest of the three and uses swords that are also guns…oh, he’s also blind.
As I mentioned this is a shoot first ask questions later game. Each of the three playable characters have the same basic attacks, they just look a little different because of their particular weapon. But they all have in common the ability to have a “charge” shot which means hold down the attack button a second or two longer but getting bigger results. Another common thread throughout the game is that you will always be outnumbered in a big way. However the bad guys don’t respawn so once you’ve cleared a section, it’s cleared. This is nice because you can recharge your health by just quietly standing around without getting shot. One neat part is that the environments, while not totally destroyable, can be shoot up pretty good and shows a decent amount of damage.
The more style you can kill with the better on Overdose. You can unlock better weapons and move special moves by timing your attacks. As the game goes on you will find that the same button combo will start yield different and more powerful results. There is also the “Beat Counter” where once you build this up you get up to four “Demolition Shots.” These are special attacks that will be able to take out an entire room of evildoers!
Visually the game is nice to look at even if at times it’s hard to figure out what’s going on because of all the destruction! But a big drawback is the camera. Gosh, how many times have I written that about a game? The game does ooze style and certainly has the overall feel of an anime game. Unfortunately the repetitiveness of each level is just too much to overlook. I was almost wishing for a lever to pull to unlock a secret door somewhere! But all you need to do is repeatedly press a couple of attack buttons and you’ll be good.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 61%. GunGrave: Overdose is an accurate title where you will OD on the repetitive action and the all too common bad camera control. But on the bright side, it’s only about $15.