‘Gunman Clive HD Collection’ Wii U review
By Alex Stanton, Staff Writer
When critiquing a video game, to me it’s important to take every single factor into consideration, no matter how insignificant it might be to the average customer. The bullet-riddled brainchild of Swedish video game developer Bertil Hörberg, the Gunman Clive HD Collection is a two-in-one port of the 2012 3DS action platformer Gunman Clive as well as its 2015 sequel, and for just $2 you can own two of the finest Nintendo eShop games to date, the length of the games notwithstanding.
Gunman Clive unravels a yarn that’s as simple and fun as the run, gun, and jump gameplay. During the year 18XX in an apparently futuristic version of your typical Wild West setting, enemies from parts unknown kidnap the daughter of your town’s mayor. It’s up to Clive, a gunman of the Old West, to traverse through over 15 levels and save the girl. Gunman Clive 2, as it would have it, has the exact same story. The incredibly simple and cliché plot does the game nothing but favours, with the developers wisely choosing other areas to put their resources.
It’s clear right from the beginning of the first level that the aforementioned resources went straight to balancing the platforming action. The cardinal rule of making a platforming game would be to make it so that the only way to die is through human error, no cheap deaths or slippery controls. Gunman Clive follows that rule to the letter, with jumping and shooting coming easily to players, particularly those who have played the retro games that inspired it, such as Mega Man.
In a move that might be seen as an attempt to innovate, the second game in the collection includes levels with alternate gameplay styles, such as eschewing side scrolling for a third-person camera of our hero riding a horse in the style of Temple Run. These levels are acceptable, though I for one would’ve loved to see one or two pure platforming levels in their place.
The graphics, sound, and presentation convey the Wild West atmosphere perfectly. Every single level looks like it’s hand-drawn with pencil against a light beige background. The variety of Old West/Flamenco inspired music is a perfect companion to the rest of the game. For a truly old school adventure, Hörberg also released a one-level version of the game for the Game Boy system.
Both games are excellent enough for me to personally overlook perhaps the single flaw with the Clive Collection, but I’ll mention it anyway: for anyone who has played a video game before, both games are beatable in a single sitting. According to my save file, the first game took me 48 minutes to complete on Normal Mode. One can easily squeeze another handful of hours out of it by replaying both games on Hard Mode with the other two non-Clive playable characters.
I’ve never encountered a game that was so short, so sweet, and such a joy to play for such a low price. It’s a no-brainer: for $2, you should check out the Gunman Clive HD Collection.