Latest Reviews

Andro Dunos 2 Overview (Swap eShop / Swap)

Andro Dunos 2 Review - Screenshot 1 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)

The current development of resurrecting long-ceased shoot-em-up IPs from the useless, often when the unique developer has shuffled off its digital coil, is a welcome one. M2 revived Aleste, Platinum Video games reanimated the Crestas, and now small indie outfit Picorinne Comfortable — comprised of brothers Ryo and Satto — has ventured a sequel to Visco’s Andro Dunos, a largely forgotten, Hellfire-inspired Neo Geo shoot-em-up from 1992.

Regardless of stellar work, Picorinne Comfortable’s Steam, Dreamcast, and up to date ex-A Arcadia releases stay comparatively underground. Whereas Andro Dunos II carries over its forebear’s ship and Hellfire-style weapon system, all the pieces else is so vastly improved and expanded upon, that it bears solely scant resemblance to the unique recreation. It’s so completely different, actually, that Visco’s IP looks as if little greater than a Computer virus to achieve them wider recognition. This, because it seems, is an all-round win.

Anybody who grew up with arcade video games will know throughout the first 30 seconds that one thing right here could be very proper. Your retro gaming schools sing like a sixth-sense, recollecting ten-pence coin drops and management panel cigarette burns as stage one’s fantastic indoor house metropolis, barricaded by metal partitions and zipping skyscrapers, opens up earlier than you. Inside minutes you ascend exterior of its confines to a scorched-earth desert that echoes the starker ingredient’s of Zoom’s Phalanx and Taito’s Metallic Black.

Andro Dunos 2 Review - Screenshot 2 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)

From there, the creativity goes supernova, utilizing nearly each shoot-em-up conference one can consider, from assaults on cell tanks to an exciting mothership boss rush that throws up seemingly bottomless invention. There are moments the place maps flash up, exhibiting you a route earlier than you race via tunnels, not dissimilar to the Mega Drive’s Aero Blasters; elsewhere, twinkling interplanetary cityscapes carpet the background earlier than you plunge inside laser riddled techno-compounds. An ever-changing sci-fi spectacle, it utterly holds its type over an inexpensive issue curve from one blistering second to the subsequent, pacing itself because it drives towards more and more epic new heights. If Gradius V was a 2D arcade recreation, it could most likely be one thing like this.

Initially very straightforward — and all of the extra encouraging for it — it’s onerous to overstate how exactly the brothers have captured the gaming traits of yesteryear. Whereas visually a nigh-on good facsimile of ’90s arcade software program, the aesthetic is compounded by an exemplary soundtrack from Britain’s Allister Brimble, who has been composing for the reason that Amiga and Spectrum days. His punchy, spacey themes drive the adrenaline with basic chords and evocative synth in a superior fusion of Jap design ethics and Western musical composition.

Your little orange Jetsons-like craft, recalling ’50s automobiles of the longer term, comes with 4 inventory weapons that may be cycled freely. ‘S’ icons energy up whichever weapon is presently in use, incrementally growing in power as much as seven occasions. Within the occasion of a dying, conversely, weapon energy is decreased by a worth of 1. There are additionally missile and protect icons that bolster the ability of your secondary weapons and defensive choices.

Andro Dunos 2 Review - Screenshot 3 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)

Throughout play, blue orbs dropped by destroyed enemies may be swept up earlier than floating off-screen. Accumulating all 30 orbs in a stage permits a complete of three upgrades to be utilized through the between-stage interval. Whereas the mechanics appear easy on the floor, one quickly realises that there’s a rigorously structured economic system at play that boasts a wealth of experimental freedom. That is tied expertly and exactingly to the crafting of the levels, their enemies and threats.

Selecting which weapons go well with you finest and focussing on powering them up is a typical first intuition, though finally it’s a race to get your total arsenal maxed out as shortly as doable. This may be executed in a wide range of methods, from focussing on a single forerunner to spreading your upgrades evenly throughout the board. Integral to all of this, is every weapon’s skill to go hyper in 4 distinctive expulsions, blasting out a couple of seconds of industrial quality firepower earlier than dropping into a quick recharge interval the place your shot is briefly diminished in energy — a small penalty for in any other case limitless utilization. To fight this, you possibly can swap to any of the opposite three weapons as a substitute, inserting emphasis on biking your arms with the shoulder buttons.

Andro Dunos 2 Review - Screenshot 4 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Docked)

Not solely is every weapon distinctive — some firing behind, some touting energy over vary — however so are their hyper attributes. Studying to make use of the precise weapon on the proper time turns into integral from round stage 5 onward, with many hyper assaults serving to to clear threats from above and under, wiping out busy boss assaults, and even nullifying incoming bullets. Timing, after all, is essential.

As you be taught the early levels and their bosses, it’s vastly enjoyable to map out your methods, snatch all these blue orbs, and let rip at large enemies and popcorn fleets along with your hyper assaults. The controls are taut and tactile, and the horizontal format permits loads of room to breathe and manoeuvre. It feels nice to juggle all the pieces in tandem, unleashing hell on alien hordes to Brimble’s unbelievable toe-tapping themes.

Bosses are notably creative too, impressively dwarfing, with a number of destructible components and an unlimited library of thrilling assaults to navigate. Whether or not dealing with off in opposition to monstrous aquatic nemeses or bomb spraying destroyers, there’s hardly ever a uninteresting second.

There are many continues accessible, however for those who’re taking part in it ‘correctly’ it is best to actually solely be utilizing one. That mentioned, continues clearly allow you to succeed in subsequent levels after which have them added to the apply mode’s roster: an all vital characteristic in combating the growing issue curve.

Andro Dunos 2 Review - Screenshot 5 of 5
Captured on Nintendo Swap (Handheld/Undocked)

Whereas Andros Dunos II resembles lengthy misplaced arcade-era magnificence, there are nonetheless a couple of imperfections. It’s solely one-player — so no teaming up — and the dearth of scanline filters is disappointing, particularly in a recreation that appears and feels this arcade correct. Elsewhere, with the ability to change and even flip off the random inventory wallpapers would have been good, and also you aren’t in a position to stretch the show both, however that’s most likely for one of the best.

The worst of it’s the incapability to remap the shoulder buttons, hampering one’s skill to make use of completely different controllers. For instance, with ‘L’ and ‘R’ completely locked for weapon biking, chances are you’ll nicely end up performing finger-gymnastics on an arcade stick, relying on its format. This might be much less of a difficulty if weapon biking wasn’t so integral and didn’t require such common use, however because it stands it’s a small however relatively limiting oversight.

Minor gripes apart, if somebody instructed you Andro Dunos II was a protracted misplaced relic of a bygone period relatively than a 2022 launch — and a salient instance of the style with it — you’ll truthfully be none the wiser. To that finish, it can possible be much better regarded 30 years from now than Visco’s unique title.


Andro Dunos II is a powerful success. {That a} small indie developer can bat alongside the likes of M2 and Platinum and, truthfully, with better total success, is at all times uplifting. Additional inspiring, is how — superficial IP however — it manages to be so completely exacting to arcade requirements of the ’90s, and on the identical time really feel breathtakingly unique. Its craftsmanship, from weapon negotiations and experimentation, to the way in which every stage is cleverly constructed to help a wide range of approaches and play kinds, is prime notch. Andro Dunos II appears to be like good, sounds nice, and performs splendidly.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button