What a guy (noug)
As of late, Ratalaika Games has gotten into a rather cool ritual. Along with producing some affordable and fun indie games, it’s also been working on re-releasing classic “shmups” (shoot em ups) for a new generation to enjoy. Gleylancer recently saw such a treatment with excellent results; and now we have Gynoug, also known as Wings of Wor when it debuted on Sega Genesis so long ago.
While not really a “remaster” so much as an “enhanced re-release,” Gynoug is a quality shooter well worth your attention. And even if you’re saying to yourself, “Well, it’s tough as nails, that’s not my speed,” it just might be thanks to the new additions in the game. And that alone makes it more than worth the budget asking price.
A Gy By Any Other Name
There’s not much story here to fall upon, nor much explanation as to what’s going on with your power-ups and what not. But here’s the gist – evil has befallen the land and it’s up to you, a winged warrior along the lines of Hawkman, to use your mastery of bullets to bring them down. From there, it’s all about the hardcore shooting style, which has made this such a favorite from the 16-bit era.
The gameplay remains as “hardcore” as it’s ever been, thanks to the high challenge level within Gynoug. Bosses can be a handful, and you’ll also have to contend with oncoming enemies, from both sides of the screen. Fortunately, the power-ups are helpful, from fireballs that shoot in different directions to a temporary shield that can protect you from the most devastating of hits (temporarily, mind you).
What’s great about Gynoug’s port is the stuff that Ratalaika has added that makes it worthwhile. Think the game is too hard? You can add infinite lives, make yourself invincible or boost your power-ups with little to no penalty. Some might call it cheating, but it really serves more as incentive. Plus, there’s an awesome rewind feature that works in real-time, so you can automatically make up for mistakes and see how to avoid them for next time. It’s great having these, though old-schoolers will no doubt set that aside just to see how they fare on their own.
Old With a Bit of New
For a Genesis port, Gynoug looks surprisingly good. It doesn’t hide its age in the least, nor should it, as the visuals still come across as great from the Genesis era. The speed is also spot-on, a nice surprise considering the enemies that load onto the screen; and the bonus shaders are outstanding, as you can set up the graphics to be as crisp or as “retro” as you prefer. You can make adjustments however you see fit, and go with what works best for you. It’s pretty rad, to say the least.
That and the music is awesome. Well, on Genesis terms, anyway. It sounds just as good as it used to, and while the lack of an orchestra feature is a bit of a bummer, you’ll still get more than your money’s worth here. Gynoug is loaded with goodness.
On a Wing and a Prayer
Ratalaika continues to do magic with its “shmup” pick-ups, as Gynoug is just as effective – and enjoyable – as Gleylancer. It fits right in with its manic shooting style, while at the same time keeping its visuals and sound in a perfect retro fitting. And the gameplay is a lot of fun, with enough new additions to let anyone join the party. Here’s to hoping the trend continues with even more “hardcore” shooters to come. It wouldn’t hurt to get a few Wolfteam titles in here, guys…