08/12/2021

๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘ผ Gynoug | Nintendo Switch | Review | 8/10 | "Mash. And mash I did!" ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘ผ @RatalaikaGames #GameDev #IndieGame #IndieGames #Retrogaming #SHMUP

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DEMONS ARE ATTACKING THE HEAVENS! You, the Angel of Wor is the only thing that stands in the way of THE DESTROYER and the Demons of Iccus, in this shmup classic.

I love the Sega Genesis or the Mega Drive to my good non-NA friends. I also like shmups a great deal, despite not being the best at them. I was reminded of just how not good I was when I was struggling with the 1st level of Gynoug for over an hour – only to be brutalized once I made it to the 2nd stage, immediately. I wasn’t getting frustrated with the game, but more myself and my lack of understanding of the game. 

I was collecting orbs and power-ups, some would do things passively like make my rate of fire more spread out, shoot behind me etc. But I had no idea what was going on for the most part - I was just using my basic attack, and sheer instinct to get me through. I knew this wouldn’t last, so I knew exactly what I had to do. Mash. And mash I did. I eventually figured out how to properly use my power-ups, spells, and speed boosts. 

Not that my newfound knowledge made the game any easier, but I at least understood more, all while dying generously. The game is tough, y’know 90’s-arcade Genesis port era tough. 95% of the toughness is fair though, usually coming down to your git-gudness, and hellfire reflexes. The colours of some bullets and enemies would blend into the background at times, but for the most part, this wasn’t an issue. However, being sent back to the start of the game - when all of your lives have been consumed, was pretty harsh.

I think I barely made it to the 3rd level, and then subsequently died before I explored other options. In the start menu, I found the Cheats menu. Did I use these cheats? Absolutely I did. But we don’t call them cheats here, we call them “accessibility options”. My fragile ego aside, these options make the game way more playable in this modern age. I get in 1991 arcade cabinets needed our quarters, and 90’s console games had to last you until your next birthday - but time is games, and my backlog is ever-growing.

There were many cheats to choose from, but I still wanted a challenge, and to maximize fun. I opted for infinite continues, instead of something like “invulnerability”, or to never lose my power-ups. For me, I basically had save states at the beginning of each level, instead of starting at the beginning of the entire game. A much-welcomed quality of life improvement, in the “accessibility options”. The game was still brutal. I made it to the boss of the 3rd stage a few times but kept dying. I figured I was still missing something. 

MASH! Mash more! *mash mash mash* And then it happened. There’s a REWIND BUTTON (ZL). Much like the feature from the online classics found in the NES and SNES games, if you have a Nintendo Online subscription. I assume the Genesis and N64 collections have the rewind features as well, I haven’t got around to trying them just yet.

But that was what saved me from digitally shelving this game for good, and to actually finishing the game. I don’t know if I could have made it through the boss rush section of the game, facing against all the previously defeated bosses from earlier levels. All of the bosses were well designed, and very hard - but had a unique pattern that was “learnable”.

I truly enjoyed Gynoug, just its difficulty can be daunting. I’m sure shmup veterans will have less of a problem than casuals to the genre, but again the cheats are there for those who need them. I’ve gone back to the game after finishing, to see how far I could get without abusing the rewind feature, and I’m getting better. Only time will tell if I complete it as GOD intended, with limited lives, continues, and “not manipulating the space-time continuum”.

After all, this is a
Genesis port of the 1991 Wings of Wor(in NA) and known as Gynoug to the rest of the world.

It feels as authentic as it can. I don’t recall any hiccups, maybe a slight audio glitch, but that may be present in the original as well – I didn’t play the OG version back when, and seeing as it costs well over $100 on eBay now, I doubt I ever will.

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