[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 11/20/01 ] = Zero Gunner 2 Is Goods

Developed on the Naomi hardware, Psikyo's newest shooter, Zero Gunner 2 can impress any shooter fan who appreciates a great shooting experience. This game is absolutely fucking amazing. After the impression Cannon Spike left on me, I wondered if Psikyo could top their own 3-D masterpiece that was Cannon Spike. Zero Gunner 2 is a great 3-D shooter, and without jacking all of what Cannon Spike had in it's gameplay; in other words, Zero Gunner 2 is also 3-D and 360 shooting fun, but it has its own unique sense that Psikyo packages with every shooter they make. What's the game like? Why is it so great? Why does it cost so much? Why will it be hundreds of dollars in the future on eBay? Get ready for the answers.

Similar to Cannon Spike, Zero Gunner 2 lets the player shoot in every direction...360 degrees of madness. The game lets you choose from three helicopters, a blue one (Comanche), a green one (Apache), and a yellow one (forgot the name). Each has their own unique power-up system, bullets, bombs, and speed. Each helicopter can move in any direction, in addition to 360 degree rotation, which is accomplished by a third button that lets you rotate your helicopter while you move (or shoot). Like I said, similar to Cannon Spike in the way you can destroy anything around you, no matter where it lurks on the screen. Truly a test of reflexes and skill can be defined as trying to destroy about ten ships on screen all in different areas of the screen, shooting at you (yes, from different angles!). Wow, what an insanely fun and addicting game it is! Contrary to what you may think, the game does not scroll vertical or horizontal only, it scrolls in every direction; sometimes at odd 45 degree angles, or often back and forth between directions as you destroy certain grounded enemies or bosses. Is it difficult to get used to? Well, since I don't use a shitass 'learning curve' like the garbage publications do (GF, GG!, GR, and T&T exempt), I'll just tell you that it's a 3-D game, so think in every aspect. The power-up scheme in this game is also really unique in the way that you can collect power-ups manually, by just 'collecting' them, or you can stop shooting, and your craft acts as a type of magnet, sucking the power-ups toward you - truly a unique way to get power-ups, but at the cost of not shooting for a few seconds. What a great idea to collect power-ups, is there any other shooter with this method? There's also a level-up bar that I think is leveled by collecting the power-ups that come in the most abundance throughout the game (green cubes that come from destroying every enemy!).

The graphical presentation of this game is fantastic. This game was made on the Naomi hardware, and as a result looks absolutely beautiful. Each 3-D model in the game looks absolutely stunning; just look at the intro, and try to tell me that it doesn't look beautiful. From each of the completely different helicopters you get to choose from, or the giant bosses, every single aspect of the design of this game's graphical touches are flawless. Did you think Cannon Spike looked good? Did you think Giga Wing 2 looked great? Well, I love Giga Wing 2, so I can't say I like Zero Gunner 2 better, but Zero Gunner 2 has some amazingly huge bosses and enemies to destroy, and they are all detailed and textured nicely. The stages of ZG2 also look stellar, with snow-covered mountain ranges, winding railroads, torn cities, and other locales by which the duty of destruction is carried out. What about the enemies? The enemies look great too, with individual propellers moving about, as they proceed to spray the screen with a lot of bullets, again, from every angle and direction your mind can possibly fathom. The bosses on this game are just sick; yes, you heard me right...sick. Just as other Psikyo madness, uh, I, ZG2 features bosses with different 'phases' if you will - once you think you destroy a boss, they surprise you by ejecting yet another enemy from the burning wreckage, and sometimes even another craft to destroy, which is what makes this and other Psikyo shooters so great.

The bosses range from every type of bad guy you can think of, but some truly stand out from the others, like the submarine who ejects a 'walker' craft that holds itself up and climbs up between two buildings as you attack it (and it attacks you too, by the way). What a great boss idea! One of the other bosses is a Stealth that seems to 'give birth', ejecting two other smaller Stealths that trap you, in the middle, on the screen, shooting from every angle yet again, spraying shots in straight lines about; just thinking of fighting my way out of that situation makes me sweat. One of the other bosses is a mech that not only proceeds to spray the screen with bullets upon entering, but also circles the screen in a firing frenzy, forcing you to tag him by constantly rotating your ship at an angle efficient enough to get in a shot. As far as the other bosses, and the end-boss, I really wish I could speak for some of the other bosses, but to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I haven't beaten the game yet. Yes, I am one of 'those guys' who tries to beat the game in one credit (this line is in dedication of the scumbags at EGM).

Is this game better than Giga Wing 2? Well, not in my opinion, because I am a big fan of the GW series, characters, and gameplay style, but Zero Gunner 2 is a great game. I loved Cannon Spike, and I was surprised at how much I loved ZG2 even after playing it for only ten minutes! Again, and again I'll say this: Zero Gunner 2 is unique in more ways than one - look at all the aspects of the game and tell me how common they are (you'll definitely have trouble). Psikyo did a great job on this game, and it shows through every point in the game's expansive and polished stages; go out and buy the game to show them you appreciate it (yes, actually pay for the game, no CD-R shit). Zero Gunner 2 should apply especially to the fan of 'different' shooters, to fans of 3-D shooters, to fans of shooters in general, or also to fans of great games (that developers actually put their heart into making). Zero Gunner 2 is great, obtain a copy at all costs.