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Sky Gunner

Developer: Pixel Arts | Publisher: Atlus
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 06/24/02 | Genre: Shooter

The town of Rive is hosting an expo where the Eternal Engine (an engine that can run forever without an external power supply) will be unveiled, but the criminal genius, Ventre, is out to claim it for his own. Ciel and Copain (best friends and well-known Gunners in Rive) have been asked by the chief of police, Hardi, to assist in guarding the expo. They are soon joined by a female Gunner, Femme, who arrives from a nearby town, Neju. Only these talented Gunners (pilots of specialized aircraft) can foil Ventre's plan in this aerial combat adventure.

Brought to you by Atlus, not only is this an adventure but it is also a treat. First and foremost (and what drew me to the game) are the fantastic characters in the game. Just one look at the cover of the game shows you what you are in for. Sure, the little guys are cute and they look harmless, but the key word is 즬t;b>look.hese guys are up to no good and they are trying to ruin the beloved expo! But not to worry, because Ciel, Copain, and Femme are on our side and they will surely save the day! But this is only one of the many treats in this game- for the rest we must climb on our trusty Sky Gunner plane and dive right into to this one!

Unlike most games the concept in Sky Gunner is simple- shoot! If you don't shoot you will be shot. Simple enough huh? But from such a simple idea comes a game that brings you back to what is most important in video games and that is fun. Sky Gunner does one thing very well. It takes what it does best and makes that even better. Atlus accomplishes this by letting you into the story (which is done in a very awesome and unique way, almost comic book-like) and by taking all the good parts of a video game and mixing them together. That's right, there are bosses that you must destroy, unlimited machine guns (one of my personal favorites֠I mean, come on, who wants to ever run out of ammo?), and a story that makes you want to keep playing.

In each level (or mission) you will be assigned a task. The tasks range from watching the back of a fellow Gunner to taking out the big bad evil bosses and everything in between. You will find the different objectives a breath of fresh air. So you don't have to worry about just doing the same thing over and over. One of the greatest things about this game is the sheer beauty.

As for looks, this is one awesome looking game. From the storyboards to the actual gameplay, this game will not let you down graphically. Just take a look at these screen shots!

With the feature to use the Japanese or English voice-overs, this game is all ready heads above the rest. Who won't wanna play a game and see what it would be like if you were Japanese? But even the English version is a treat because the voice actors are terrific. So this even adds to the value and playability (and not to mention fun) of this game.

There is one problem. The game slows down at times. I don't mean the action slows down; the whole game slows down a few times while playing the game. When this happens it seems like you are playing the game in slow motion. At first this really bothered me but after a couple times it seemed to help my game playing. This doesn't happen very much though, and although it is a problem, it doesn't take away from it being a great game.

This game brings back the old school feel but keeps what is so important in today's games- the graphics and sound. I like it because it brings me back to the reason I started playing video game- the challenge and the fun, and this game spews both! Even with the slow-motion problem mentioned above, it's still one great game and since it is rated 녧 for everyone by the ESRB, this would be a treat for the whole family!

By Chris "Hoss" Neupert - 07/24/02
ESRB Details: Mild Violence

Screenshots for Sky Gunner

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