Showing posts with label Gunbird 2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gunbird 2. Show all posts

Gunbird 2 - Dreamcast & Switch Comparison

Another day, another Dreamcast shooter comes to the Switch. Following in the wake of both Zero Gunner 2 and Ikaruga comes Gunbird 2, the wacky sequel to one of the Sega Saturn's most beloved vertical shmups. In the very recent past we took a good look at the Dreamcast version of Gunbird 2 (check out our review here) so there's little point going over the whole game again. However, now that it's hit Nintendo's sleek hybrid, we thought it was only right that we did a little comparison of the two different versions at our disposal. So here, for your viewing pleasure is a video showing gameplay of Gunbird 2 on both the Dreamcast and Switch.

The Dreamcast game is not particularly expensive or rare, and likewise the Switch game retails digitally for a pretty low price so we wholeheartedly recommend either version if you like the genre. Interestingly, at the time of writing the Switch version of Gunbird 2 has mysteriously vanished from the eShop (update: it's now back on the eShop), but it's every bit as good as the Dreamcast original.

The Switch version does have some nice added extras, such as the ability to add screen filters and also the option to rotate the screen on the fly from the pause menu. That said, there are some notable absences, such as the different display types (arcade, original etc.) from the Dreamcast version.
Switch Gunbird 2 offers some nice filter options
The Dreamcast footage here was recorded using the Beharbros Gekko HDMI adapter (employing the RGB/VGA trick to force the VGA mode), and the Switch footage was recorded in TATE mode and then rotated in the edit for a better view of the play area. For some reason, the Dreamcast footage kept slowing down while recording, and I think it could be down to the way I was recoding it (forced VGA mode, through a HMDI cable) but then again, I'm only guessing - it certainly doesn't slow down like that when playing through a SCART cable. Check out a better video of the Dreamcast version, recorded by my colleague James here.

What do you think? Will you be picking up the Switch game or are you happy with the Dreamcast original? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or in our Facebook group. Alternatively, call us all idiots in the comments on our YouTube channel.
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A Quick Look At Gunbird 2

Whenever there's a discussion about the best shmups on the Dreamcast, the usual names get bandied about. Ikaruga, Mars Matrix, Sturmwind, Under Defeat, Castle Shikigami 2, Dux. Well, maybe not that last one...but you get the idea. As epic and deserved of praise as all of those games are, there's one that rarely gets a look in when said hypothetical discussion is taking place - Gunbird 2. And since the original Gunbird has recently been released on the Nintendo Switch, I thought it would be fun to jump into the sequel Gunbird 2, and see if it really does deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as its illustrious peers in the genre.
The Dreamcast is well known for certain genres: 2D fighters, arcade racers, crap football (soccer) games...and shmups. Apart from the Saturn and the NEO-GEO, I'm pretty confident that there is no other home hardware format that boasts such an exquisite library of shoot 'em ups, and in amongst the crowd of quality examples rests Gunbird 2. Released in arcades by Capcom in 1998 and then ported to the Dreamcast in 2000, Gunbird 2 builds upon the prequel's gameplay and features, adding several new characters, updated visuals and some pretty fantastic writing and unusual extra features.
A top-down, vertically scrolling shooter, Gunbird 2 will feel very familiar from the off to anyone who has ever played a shmup in this vein. I personally have never played the original Gunbird either in the arcade or on the Sega Saturn, so the fact that it is coming to the Nintendo Switch interests me greatly; and if it plays anything like as well as the Dreamcast sequel a fun time is almost guaranteed...

Guns...Lots of Guns

Aye up! You’ll be pleased to hear that since my last post here at the ‘Yard, I haven’t thrown my guts up once! Two whole weeks without spewing the contents of my stomach all over a) the floor, b) the wall, or c) my bed, curtains or other related soft furnishings. I’m actually quite proud of myself. I have, however, been on the receiving end of a fist (well, several fists) and have duly acquired a black eye and a suspected broken nose. Such are the risks when one partakes in the quaffage of alcohol. Which I won’t be doing again for a while. Cough.

But you don’t want to hear about my drunken escapades. You want to know about man’s greatest feat of technological engineering – No, not the Stargate – the Sega Dreamcast! More to the point, Sega Dreamcast GAMES! Yes, even more games, by way of eBay, have landed on my desk and then jumped into my console. Are they good? Well, we’re about to find out…

Conflict Zone

I personally can’t understand why there was never a Command & Conquer or Starcraft game released for the DC. I’m pretty sure EA hadn’t swallowed Westwood at the time of the Cast’s reign – so why no port of either?! Even the fucking N64 got (blurry, cut down) versions of both. As with most things to do with Sega’s white brick of joy – The Mind Boggles ™. Aaaaaaanyway, back to the present. Conflict Zone, then. About as close as you’re likely to get to playing Command & Conquer, Starcraft, Warzone etc etc etc on your Dreamcast. Basically it’s a top down real time strategy game that has you constructing a base, building tanks, training troops and then marauding over the countryside wiping out enemy units. The premise is a simple but effective one – and one which proves to be immensely enjoyable…if executed correctly.

These are PC shots, but the DC version is practically identical. Looks sweet, no? Wait till it moves...
With this in mind, Conflict Zone has all the right ingredients, but it seems as though the chef is a retard. With dribble on his chin and shit stains on his apron.

Let me digress. In conflict Zone, you are only allowed to build your base where the computer wants you to build it – so forget about scouting around for a good location that may be naturally fortified or protected by trees etc. Also, you can only place buildings next to each other in a grid pattern so when you do finally get up and running, the base looks more like a council estate than a highly functional military outpost. This is only a minor thing – but still quite annoying. Slightly more niggling is the graphics engine.

It may look pretty sweet in the screen shots, and for the most part it’s quite a good looking game – especially since the whole battlefield is modeled in 3D – meaning that you can zoom and spin the camera around to your heart’s content. It’s just that the whole engine seems to creak and strain as soon as you have more than a few units chugging around the screen. Wouldn’t it have been better to just use a 2D engine like Red Alert 2’s?

Don’t get me wrong – Conflict Zone is a highly playable real time strategy romp – certainly the best (only?) example on our favourite console, and features some great ideas. For example, gaining public support for your campaigns by treating civilians well is a nice touch, as is the way you get more funding depending on whether your war is seen as just by the media (clearly the stuff of fantasy, eh, Mr Bush?). It’s just that the interface is unwieldy and the graphics are so jumpy…

You get the idea. It’ a nice try at a new take on the strategy genre and for the most part it’s quite good. Just not as good as it could’ve been. And nowhere near Command & Conquer.

Gunbird 2

Yet another uber-camp Dreamcast game? Looks like it. Yep, following on from Fighting Vipers, Tech Romancer and Bust A Move comes Gunbird 2 – a super gay 2D shoot ‘em up that features a fat bloke on a magic carpet, a semi-naked school girl on a broomstick, Count Dracula and a Bon Jovi lookalike that can turn bullets into roses. Just a normal day at Capcom, then. 
There’s not actually much more to it than that.

Once you get through the ridiculous intro and loading screens (of which there are many), you get the choice of whether you want the screen to be the size of a postage stamp, normal or bigger than the telly so you can move it around whilst playing. Sounds weird, I know, but I you play it you’ll understand. After that, you chose one of the aforementioned oddball characters (again, why is there a fat bloke on a magic carpet?) and then launch into the game. Like I said, it’s a 2D up-the-screen shooter like Xenon 2 (anyone remember that classic?!), where loads of flying baddies come down and shoot glowing shit at you. Which you must dodge. Or die. That’s it. Hold down the fire button and Bob’s your uncle. It also kinda reminds me of Raiden on the Jaguar, only with really well drawn enemies. The graphics are very slightly blocky, but it’s packed with detail – there are even people walking about in the streets below the action, obviously oblivious to the frantic battle between fat blokes on magic carpets and flying mechanoids going on above their heads.
Which leads me to the next quandary. If the enemy forces in Gunbird 2 have the funds and technology to build such impressive battle-droids and flying fortresses, why can’t they manufacture a gun than shoots in a straight line? Strange…

That aside, Gunbird 2 is a wholly inoffensive shooter that passes time nicely. Can’t really complain.

European Super League

A football game, unofficially based on the Champions League…that doesn’t feature Manchester United. And only has 16 teams in it. And has no running commentary. And has shit graphics, shit game play and shit sound effects. That’ll be European Super League.

Again, these are PC shots. Although the DC version is practically identical. Look at his arms! Chortle!

Based on the already arse Viva Football engine, ESL comes straight from the bottom of the Virgin Interactive cess barrel without so much as a fart, let alone a fanfare. Joining the rest of the Dreamcast’s utterly pathetic crop of footy games, ESL does nothing to buck the trend that the rest of the pack so adamantly adhere to, ie it has a complete lack of anything good. Although the pitches are nice and green. Complete sewage.

So there we have it. 3 games – two of which are OK, one of which is the gaming equivalent of face cancer. My advice? Give Gunbird and Conflict Zone a whirl, avoid European Super League like you would a Lenny Henry DVD boxset.

Reet, I'm off to watch Cloverfield.