Social Media - Follow, Like and Friend

23 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Ganryu 2 on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Ganryu 2 is a retro style, 2D arcade platform game, instantly reminded me of Shinobi. 

Let's take a look at the storyline.
"After his victory against Kojiro, Musashi decided to meditate and try his hand at art, in the north of Japan, in the province of Hokkaido. During one of his meditations, a spirit contacted him : "Miyamoto Musashi, our fight is not over, I am waiting for you to finish our fight once and for all! All of Japan will pay for your insult! I'm waiting for you Miyamoto Musashi!"

There is no doubt for Musashi that the voice was the Sasaki Kojirō's one. His body was defeated, but his spirit remains, and his intentions were destructive. Miyamoto Musashi then understood that he would have to travel across Japan from north to south and go to the island of Ganryû-jima, where he firstly defeated Sasaki Kojirō, to fight again and liberate the spirit of Kojiro forever."

You might guess by the name, but Ganryu 2 is a sequel, now you will be forgiven for not hearing of Ganryu, since it was a late 1990s NeoGeo game.

You play as Miyamoto Musashi and travel through a 17th century fantasy Japan. The levels are split up, which as a whole become a Stage, and there are various Stages to complete.

Some levels will have you playing your classic side scrolling type arcade action, which is throwing ninja stars, or performing Ninja style attacks. Each level will have a boss, which you need to beat to progress. Some levels do change, for example the second level in the game has you riding on train tracks, where you have to time jumps from one trailer to the next, all the while fighting off the enemies. 

You will see some of the same types of enemies over and over, and the bosses although tough at first follow a routine that as soon as you learn, are quite straight forward to beat.

There are your usual collectables, 1ups, and health boosts and so on.

This is predominantly an arcade game, and in that sense, when you die, that's it, there is no playing from a level you reached previously, it is back to the start. This isn't a massive problem but might be frustrating to younger gamers who have never stood in front of an arcade machine putting in 10p after 10p.

The game is quite tough and unforgiving, and the controls can be a bit frustrating, the wall jumping can be tricky to master, and one little mistake with an enemy is costly.

The Good
I am a fan of the old school arcade side scrollers, this is what I grew up on, and playing this on a Switch Lite was fun. This is the kind of game you will pick up, play for 20 minutes or longer, usually till you die, and then put down until the next day.

The graphics are exactly what they are supposed to be, the sounds are as dodgy as they were in the 90s, so fit in well.

The Bad
The controls could be better, there seems to be options for the character that don't make much difference, and special attacks that are too rare to be used tactically. I also think you need to have a regular arcade mode, and a separate story mode that keeps your progress. Getting far in the game and dying, and knowing that you have to start from the beginning again feels more frustrating than it does challenging.

A game that reminded me of the countless hours spent in the arcade. 
More of a nostalgia game for people over 35 I suspect, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing.
I score Ganryu 2 a solid 8/10

Out Now on Nintendo Switch

No comments:

Post a Comment