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Legacy Review, Critic Reviews (5)
In the year of 18XX, the west is overrun by thugs and outlaws. A group of bandits have kidnapped Mayor Johnson's daughter and are spreading havoc across the land. Gunman Clive must rescue the girl and and bring order to the west, then finish the fight in Gunman Clive 2. His battle against the bandits takes him all around the world and beyond.
Jump and shoot your way across diverse and challenging levels and fight massive bosses. Gunman Clive is an old-school sidescrolling action platformer game set in the old west. Bring out your inner cowboy and get ready for some real gunslinger action.
Image courtesy of Hörberg Productions PR
Early in 2015 I was privileged enough to receive an early review copy of Gunman Clive 2 for the 3ds.
While on the short side I played through the game a number of times completing it with all available characters.
Just 8 months later both the original gunman Clive and its aforementioned sequel have arrived on the Wii U as a combined package with shiny HD graphics and then released on the Nintendo Switch in January 2019.
This collection included no extra levels, bonus characters or indeed anything else the original 3ds games didn't have other than better graphics so is this a cheap cash in or worth your consideration?
If you don’t already own either of the 3ds versions buying both together as a HD package is actually a cheaper option (any sales aside.)
If you do already own one or both of the games then it will obviously largely depend of how much you liked the games 5 years ago and how often you might want to play them again either on a TV or a bigger portable screen.
For anyone new to the series both games are fairly similar you can play as one of 4 characters the fourth of which must be unlocked by beating the game with any of the other 3 characters and many of the ideas from the first game are carried over to the second.
That’s not to say no improvements weren't made, the second game has a far greater colour pallet and despite taking several of the originals ideas it adds to most of them often making things a little bigger, better and often just a little more crazy.
Both games can be beat on normal mode in around an hour (or well under that if you’ve played it before) with the majority of levels taking under 2 minutes, so both games can be over very quickly.
But there are still a few options that give the games some replay value, beating the game with all 4 characters will likely push each game into a 4 - 8 hour play time and a hard mode is also included to double that time again for those looking to get the most value for their money.
I doubt the majority of players will beat both normal and hard modes with every character on both games in under 20 hours.
Of course the vast majority of gamers probably have no desire to play both games across 2 modes with all 4 characters in particular with no Achievements to be had for doing so on Nintendo systems.
So it will probably come down to exactly much value you put in such play time potential and how likely you are to replay the game multiple times.
The first game game largely sticks to the cowboy theme but does throw in a few random enemies like ducks, sumo wrestlers and ninjas just to keep things that little bit surreal.
The boss fights are usually giant, unexpected and out of place random enemies including a train that clearly thinks it’s a transformer but they are varied bunch and usually put up a reasonable battle the first time you face them at least.
There are also a number of tributes to Nintendo including Donkey Kong mine carts and some horrible bouncing mushrooms (thankfully they weren’t n the second game)
As I already briefly touched upon earlier in the review many of the first games best ideas were carried over to the second while ditching some of the less fun stuff like the bouncing mushrooms (yes I really hated the mushrooms) the mine cart section was not only made longer it added in riding upside down and across a number of Dinosaurs!
And that wasn’t the only level in which Dinosaurs were invited to the game you’ll do battle a T-Rex boss ride a Triceratops (Think Poochie from Yoshi) and ride a pteranodon (We’ll that’s the flying Dinosaur I’m going for anyway) through the skies which at least has more leg room than a conventional airplane these days
The bosses for the most part are bigger and largely better than the original though a couple of them prove to be far more of an annoyance than any on the original did.
You’ll also have plenty of gravity pulling annoyance (at least annoying for me) towards the end of the game.
The final battle is relatively easy and unfortunately ends the game with something of a whimper but the overall package sees an improvement on an already very good original game.
There’s plenty of death to be had in both games and not a single check point in sight.
That will put off some players and understandably so but the levels overall are so short there isn't really is a need for them in the first place, even if a particular level is claiming a few lives it shouldn’t take that much practice to finally get it done.
As an added incentive the game will also mark down levels on the map you manage to clear damage free.
If you’d really like a challenge how about going through every level in both games with all 4 characters not only death free but without taking a single hit?
I would suggest anyone attempting such a feat (let alone completing such a challenge) can expect well in excess of 50 hours game play. (A potential legacy challenge for the future perhaps)
Finally the one thing I thought both games should have had on the 3ds and should almost definitely have now as at least one bonus extra for the Wii U and Switch is an online leader board for level completion times.
With the levels being relatively short it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle for players to start it up every now and again to attempt to beat their previous records.
It would also give more players an incentive to return to the games they’ve probably beaten in just a few hours.
I’m a big fan of the Gunman Clive series from a personal point of view I intend to beat the game with every character including that pesky duck at some point in the future on the HD upgrade (I have done so on 3ds)
With everything is exactly the same if you loved it on 3ds you’d love it here too but unless you are desperate to play it on the Tv or the game pad is that really enough?
Given it’s low price and potential price in a future sale for some I would say it will be.
For others it’s never going to enough on its own and that’s hard to argue against.
An online leader board for level completion times for all 4 characters would have been a nice bonus to include in this version and offer a difference between the two.
If you’re new to the series and would like an at times mildly challenging platform, shoot em up this should be a serious consideration.
A review copy of the game was provided by Hörberg Productions and reviewed in accordance with our review policy
Gunman Clive HD Collection looks and sounds great, but it doesn't bring much new to the table for fans of the 3DS versions of the games. Chieftain Bob in the first Gunman Clive is a nice bonus, but not exactly a major selling point. Still, these games are just as good now as they were the first time around. New players should give the HD Collection a try, while returning fans should enjoy the games just as much in glorious HD as they did in humble 240p on 3DS, provided they keep their expectations for new content in check.
If you’ve never played the Gunman Clive games, get on that. They’re wonderful, no matter what you’re playing them on. For old pros? I think this HD Collection is worth the double dip—if for nothing else, then for Chieftain Bob’s ending in the first game.
Gunman Clive HD Collection brings together both games in one package. With a cheap price tag, nearly 50 levels to go through, and a unique visual style, it's easily worth the price of admission. The first game might not hold up as well, but the advancements from the sequel balance it quite well.
All in all, Gunman Clive HD Collection is an absolute no-brainer. For the low price of entry, you are getting HD versions of not one, but two of the most impeccably-crafted action platformers of the last decade. They may be over a bit too soon and they may not always have the most fair level designs, but there's more than enough replayability here to cancel out both of these problems. Do yourself a favor and go download this game immediately.
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