Title Gungage
Developer/Publisher Konami
Type Action Shooter
English Version Not Available
Reviews #1

Review #1 by R. Hunter Gough

Capsule Review: Cross Syphon Filter with Elemental Gearbolt, Konami-style.

With games as good as this one and Silent Hill coming out of KCET you really have to wonder how crap like Castlevania 64 ever got made. Gungage is yet another awesome concept game from Konami, which begins by telling you that suddenly, at locations everywhere, beasts have begun to appear and attack people. Fortunately, when you have a machine gun with infinite ammo, that's really all you need to know.


Very reminiscent of the enemies and scenarios in Elemental Gearbolt, Space Harrier and the anime Warriors of the Wind (Nausicca, for those of you up on your Japanese names), Gungage takes place in the patently-Japanese "mideval fantasy world with really big guns". The enemies are very well designed, from the trilobyte-like sand-skippers you encounter in the beginning town to the eerie flying eels that you encounter later at the monoliths and the various power-armored soldiers that appear later in the game. The locations are also well-detailed and set the mood appropriately, varying widly from the mystic settings found at the beginning of the game to the industrial complexes toward the end.


:Konami is famous in the video game world for their awesome soundtracks, and this game is no exception. The music fits the scenarios perfectly, adding a chilling mood to the algae-covered ruins of the risen lake-temple, or lending a jumping techno rhythm (with a complex jungle beat!) to the power plant section where you're constantly on the run, gunning down power-armored soldiers. I have yet to compare their names, but I'm pretty sure that the music in this game has the same composer as the Castlevania series. It's just that good. The sound effects are also exceptional, with great skittering and slurping noises attributed to the various bizarre creatures you encounter, and appropriate howlings and whimperings from the demon-dog bosses and blood-curdling screams from the pterodactyls as you gun them down and they plunge to their deaths.


The controls in this game are wonderful, and the fact that there are four unique characters with their own (mostly) unique missions and completely unique weapons, and the 100 hidden flowers (this game's equivalent of stars or jigsaw puzzle pieces or whatever) adds tremendous replay value. You begin the game as Wakle Skade, who despite his lame name is a lot of fun and a great starting character. The other characters, each with their own mission-variations include Kard Berdish, with a huge gun that shoots homing missiles, plasma lasers, grenades, and a flamethrower, Steyr Harquebus, an outlaw girl with a machine-gun as tall as she is, and Dee Van Feng, the android boy with rocket launchers and gravity bombs.


Perhaps if I understood more Japanese there would appear to be more story. But for the most part it's pretty bare-bones, and only gives you what you need to know. There's monsters. Kill them. There's boss monsters. Kill them. There's guys in power-armor. Kill them. There's a big evil Satan-thing living deep beneath a base hidden in the desert. Offer it a fudgecicle, then kill it. Wakle is a loner with a big gun. He kills things. Kard is a decorated military ex-patriate with a mysterious past and an even bigger gun. He kills things. Steyr is a tiny little rebel girl with the biggest gun of all. She kills things gracefully. Dee is an android created for killing. Duh. What more really needs to be said?

Clueless American Playability

Almost all of the text in this game is in English. The only really key Japanese text is in-game when characters say things like "Oh no! A giant caterpillar-thing!" which is kind of superfluous, since there's a giant caterpillar-thing galloping toward them as they say this.


If you like blowing things up with really big guns, this is your game. If you like wandering through beautiful scenes with strange dreamlike creatures, this is your game. If you like wandering through beautiful scenes blowing up dreamlike creatures with really big guns, this is definitely your game. Awesome game, awesome soundtrack, great replay value. Another necessary addition to your super-cool Japanese Playstation games collection.