I take a look at the brand new run and gun platformer, Gun Crazy from Ritual Games and Ratalaika Games!
My Cup of Tea
There are few things as satisfying as an action platformer. They’re simple in concept making them easy to learn, but they’re also great at testing a player’s skills and understanding of the core mechanics. In turn it makes these types of games challenging and rewarding to master. I mean, it’s the whole reason why I love franchises like Mega Man, Contra and Gunstar Heroes. Truly, they’re a blank canvas for mechanical experimentation that with even the smallest tweaks can make compelling and fun games! But it’s an action platformer’s strong foundation that keeps us coming back for more!
Well Gun Crazy from GrabTheGames and Ratalaika Games hopes to boil down the genre to its essence by giving us a pure and simple action platformer that’s both satisfying to play and flashy as all heck! That being said, will it’s simplicity quench the thirst of the most parched platforming fans?!
Ale You Need is Love
Developed by the UK based small indie dev Ritual Games, Gun Crazy was originally released in 2019 on Steam as an homage to the classic run and gun shoot ‘em ups of yore. Boasting tight action, a multitude of weapons, and challenging boss fights, you follow a fierce futuristic police officer as she tries to stop the ne’er do wells of the world by blasting her way through 4 hectic and arcade-like stages!
No Way Rosé
Now, I know I’ve said this before, but there’s beauty in simplicity and Gun Crazy showcases this nicely! It’s an easy game to pick up and play, and within a few seconds you’ll be jumping, dodging and shooting in a glorious display of explosions and mayhem! In that sense it reminds me very much of how Gunstar Heroes played. Not only in the action, but also how the special weapons are distributed and the way the enemies are presented. Unfortunately, it’s a little more straightforward than Gunstar Heroes. You don’t have a throw, you can’t combine the different special weapons, and there isn’t quite the variety of enemies and bosses. Instead you’ll just have a simple dodge/dash that can absorb enemy bullets (giving you points) and a “melee” attack that’ll dispatch enemies that get too close.
That’s where I kind of think Gun Crazy’s simplicity hurts it. It’s just too barren at times. With there only being 4 stages total, I find I long for more. I mean, they do add some replayability by giving you a 1CC mode if you beat the game, which challenges you to complete it with one continue, but I’m not sure if it’s enough. Since the gameplay mechanics and enemies lack variety, even if Ritual Games were to expand upon it, they would definitely have to make the gameplay a bit more complex to make it interesting. Otherwise, I’d be worried that it would become mundane. Nevertheless, the boss fights are probably the best part of playing Gun Crazy and it’s where the gameplay is truly showcased. You’ll have to memorize their attack patterns and hone in your dodging skills to be successful, and that’s all a shoot ‘em up fanboy could ask for!
Short of it’s gameplay, Gun Crazy’s presentation is fantastic! The sprite work is colorful and well animated and the music and sound effects, though a little high pitched at times, are fun and suit the action! It’s really too bad there’s no real story to speak of, because I think Ritual Games have an interesting concept on their hands, but honestly that’s not why we play these games anyways!!
It’s Worth a Shot
It’s great seeing developers still trying to bring new games out in the action platformer genre. With it being one of my favorite types of games to play, it always brings a smile to my face. Although Gun Crazy may not deliver on all fronts, with small tweaks Ritual Games could expand upon the franchise and really deliver something special! Because of that though, at its current $4.99 price point, I might hesitate to pick it up on a whim, but with a slight discount I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you check it out. Especially if you’re a fan of action platformers!