Gun Crazy is the latest release from the Ratalaika wheel of games. Things are tough in this side-scrolling retro shooter, apt as it has a minor Contra look to it, with a dose of Megaman. The graphics feel very retro and the arcade-style ties in to make it feel like a first-gen game. The audio has a high tempo backing track to it which suits the game, but it does have a really annoying death soundbyte.
This game is void of a story and all you can deduce is that you are some sort of android that works for the police. I say android as your arms are replaced with one Megaman-style arm blaster and another robotic limb. I can only assume the world has gone to hell as everything wants to kill you. From green slimes, shooting circular turrets, giant robots to oversized praying mantis enemies. There is no link I can see from the enemies, so it just seems all the enemies from buddy games have all been injected into this game.
The controls are very simple as you can move, aim, jump and shoot. You have 5 hit points per life and about 3 lives per continue. You can only continue a few times before a full game over, so there are no endless credits here. There are 4 unique levels in this game and there are multiple bosses on each. I have only made it to level 3 and to be fair they are different, which is interesting. The first level is a real run and gun affair, and the faster you move shooting forwards and up only, the better you will fair. There is no reason to take it easy as the enemies are endless and unless you are plumping for a high score there is no reason to take out more enemies than you need to.
The second seems straight out of the game Pang, where you are on a single screen shooting at bouncing balls. The third has you placed on a car which moves with you as you go side to side, and I have never made it to the 4th level. The bosses of the game have the usual memorise the pattern feel to be able to take them on. There are gun power-ups to pick up on each level hidden away in coloured crystal blocks which you can shoot or melee open. These range from a machine gun, a laser or 3-way shooting gun. Unfortunately, you cannot bank the guns, so you have to use them straight away and they have limited ammo. You can try to preserve your ammo but with the onslaught of enemies, that’s easier said than done.
The most irritating part of the game is dying for sure. It’s never fun to die in a game anyway, but the fact they have used a loud ear-piercing shrill when you lose all the hit points is doubly annoying. This is reinforced by the fact that the game is quite tricky so you will die a lot. Once you have burned through your lives and continues you will be faced with the flashing skull with taunts you before you are taken back to the main menu screen.
However, if you are a bit more skilled or have the patience you can complete it quite quickly as the game is quite short. There is an extra mode called the 1CC mode for the experts, as it only unlocks after you complete the game. I can only assume the game gives you a single-life or no continue mode to make it that bit more challenging.
This is a simple fast past side-scrolling shooter that holds a fair amount of challenge. For those who need a no-nonsense shooter then this could be a quick pick me up. Really skilled players might breeze through it though and it may not hold enough replay value. If the annoying scream doesn’t bug you when you die, you might get some value out of this bright arcade retro shooter.
This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox One console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.