Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #158: Gyruss

Title : Gyruss

Publisher : Konami

Developer : Konami

Genre : Shoot 'em Up

Players :  1 / 2 Players

Release Date : 1989

Estimated Value (as of today's date): $4-$6

Question - do you like Galaga? If so, continue reading. If not, continue reading anyway because I DON'T DO THIS FOR MY HEALTH PEOPLE.

We're back at it with a classic NES shoot 'em up with this special request from my man, Oscar. First of all, what happened to Ultra? Are they still around? Anyone? Bueller? There was something about seeing that ULTRA logo on the screen that typically meant you were in for something special. And when you're talking about shooters, you really need something different to peek my interest.

Gyruss was out everywhere, and I am talking everywhere. It was in the arcades, it was on the commodore, it was on the nintendo, it was on the gameboy. Hell, it was even on the playstation and on mobile phones! Certainly this game must have done something right if there was this much calling for sequels and ports after the original release.

So, how about putting in a little 360 degree twist to liven things up. Now THAT is what I'm talking about! Forget about the old standard scrolling shooter where you can only move left to right. Now you can move around in one giant circle around the screen! Not only that, but the game takes on a whole new perspective, and I'm talking about literal perspective. Enemies slowly come into view as you spiral through space. It's what we like to call a tube-shooter.

It's the closest thing you'll get to a legitimate 3D, 360 degree space shooter for the NES, and by God it's actually good!

I'm willing to take any opportunity I can get to simulate my travels through flight on an 8-bit system, so let's punch it, Chewie. Or Engage. Whatever your space series fan-boy heart lies.

The concept mirrors pretty much every other shooter out there. Rack up the points by killing as many enemies as you can on each level, all while avoiding their endless onslaught and every so often defeating major pain in the ass bosses that seem to spew fire like there's no tomorrow. The more points you acquire, the more likely you are to get a 1-up and survive longer than a few levels, and trust me you're gonna need all the help you can get. Like other shooters, the game gets progressively more difficult with more enemies that come at you faster and faster.

Oh, and don't be afraid to use the Konami code. You'll probably need it.

You'll basically be flying from planet to planet in our solar system, protecting them from an attack by alien forces. You know, I bet these video game companies or going to be sorely disappointed if aliens do come knocking on our door, and they're actually quite friendly...only to discover that we've been bad mouthing them for years.


There's a seemingly endless amount of enemy designs throughout this game. From alien fighter ships, to giant asteroids, to strange mechanical objects / semi-small space stations, and the like that keeps you guessing as to what you're going to encounter next. At least it's not like the same enemy over and over in different colors....okay, that happens sometimes, but not as often as other shoot 'em ups.

The boss fights are obviously the most entertaining and challenging bit of the game. Oddly enough, their patterns are pretty damn difficult to figure out, and you'll find yourself spraying and praying all while spinning around in a circle to avoid their attacks. Be prepared to get dizzy.

Compared to the other shoot 'em ups out there on the NES, Gyruss is a lot prettier to look at. The forced perspective, and the constant feeling of jumping through warp space gives the game a more authentic feel. Not only that, but the enemy and ship designs are actually quite good. I for one am personally in love with the way my ship looks in this game. Feels like a legit star fighter.

As for soundtracks, you can do no wrong with this game. It's upbeat techno jams are sure ot keep you blasting your way through enemy forces all while bobbing your head to the rhythm. 

If you're looking for a change of pace, and you're sick of the standard scrolling screen, be sure to plug in your NES and jam in a copy of Gyruss. Just keep a bucket nearby, as the constant spinning may be hazardous to your health. I only puked once, but who knows with you!

Final Score (out of 5) :


Until Next time - Keep on Gaming!



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