Gynoug (PS4, Switch, Xbox One)

I’ve been reviewing a lot of Japan-only classic 16-bit shooters lately that have been re-released on newer consoles.  But here’s one that was actually released in the US on the SEGA Genesis, under a new name.  In Japan it was called Gynoug, but they changed it to Wings of Wor in the US.  Despite how you may feel about the change, I can understand why they did that since ‘Gynoug” looks like the phonetical pronunciation of holding back a sneeze.  Anyway, in this one you play as a winged warrior as you mow down enemies in 2-D side scrolling fashion.  It’s available to download on most current consoles but reviewed on PS4 here.

You move your winged dude in all directions and hold down the button to fire.  Collect orbs to power up your shots, and wings to speed you up.  There are also scrolls with letters on them that you can grab that’ll give you a secondary weapon but with limited ammo, so use those wisely.  You’ll travel through about half a dozen stages battling a mid boss and a final enemy in each area.  The highlight of this game are the bosses, as they are very detailed and unique looking.  Most of the game kind of has a Greek mythology feel to it, but the bosses are more biomechanical.  The first main boss looks like a steam locomotive machine with a human face on it, for example.  The same people who made this game would later go on to make the Cho Anki series, so if you know what those are, you’ll know kind of what to expect here.

I had a few problems with this game, though.  Activating your special weapons was a bit fiddly as you have to select them with one button before you can fire them with another.  And the stages go on for far too long.  It gets pretty hard, too, almost borderlining on ‘bullet hell’ before that was even a thing.  The rewind feature helps out a lot, though.  Otherwise, it’s not a bad Genesis shooter, just kind of generic.  I really wish they’d re-release Gaiares.  That’s my favorite Genesis shooter!

Kid Factor:

Gynoug is rated T for Teen with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  You shoot down enemies that explode when defeated, but that’s about it.  One thing to note is that the biomechanical bosses sometimes have pixel blood coming out of orifices, so keep that in mind.  And that aforementioned train boss with a human head looks like Thomas the Tank Engine went through Hell.  Plus younger gamers may find the game too difficult anyway, even on the ‘easy’ setting.

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