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Zero Gunner 2 Reviewed by Chad Reinhardt on . Rating: 92%
Zero Gunner 2
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Essentially, if you've played one shooter, it seems as though you've played them all. This is a very difficult genre to innovate without alienating your devout (and I mean DEVOUT) fanbase. The greatest types of innovations are those that improve or expand the scope of the genre at large minimally without subtracting the core elements. Zero Gunner 2 succeeds brilliantly is this regard by incorporating more control over your ship without losing that addictive shooter feel.

In most instances, the current shooters on the market, or very recent market, as it were, have become so challenging that the average gamer simply doesn't want to invest the time required to perfect them. Very few developers seek to provide a "quick fix". The difficulty level in Zero Gunner is configurable from very forgiving to crazy difficult; satiating the hardcore shooter fanatics, and allowing some breathing room for the novice and casual gamers.

But the best part of this game, aside from the excellent graphics, the mood-setting music, and the classic yet contemporary feel, is the ability to change the direction your ship can fire. The button configuration is as you would expect, A fires, and Y uses your special. But pressing and holding either X or B prompts a cross-hair like cursor in the center of the screen, and using the D-pad while the cross-hair is visible rotates your ship around the cross-hair. If you have enemies coming in from the back left and right diagonals, simply rotate your ship around to fire at them instead of waiting for them to come into your line of fire. This also serves to spice up the conventional vertical or horizontal scrolling most shooters must abide by. Certain parts of the stages, mostly during boss battles, will occur from a diagonal position, and the direction is constantly twisting and turning, adding a very fun but not frustratingly difficult aspect to the gameplay.

Overall, the gameplay feels comfortable after only a few levels, and definitely serves to breathe new life into what some call a tired genre. This game is only available as an import, but if you have the capability to play foreign games, and the chunk of change to actually buy the mutha, this is a fabulous addition to any shooter fan's library. You will definitely see the genre from many new perspectives, so to hell with all who ignore the awesome power of the 2-D shooter!
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