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[Beyond PlayStation] Gunman Clive HD Collection Review

[Beyond PlayStation] Gunman Clive HD Collection Review
  • On February 8, 2019

The Gunman Clive HD Collection has now arrived on the Nintendo Switch! Come learn why this is a must-have for fans of 2D action games in our Gunman Clive HD Collection review!


You can tell a game is fun when you realized you’ve played it start to finish (several times) on the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Wii U, and you’re more than up for reviewing it again on the Nintendo Switch. This is the case for the Gunman Clive HD Collection which bundles the excellent Gunman Clive and its sequel, the aptly titled Gunman Clive 2, which were initially released on the Nintendo 3DS, then ported to the Nintendo Wii U, and are now calling the Nintendo Switch their home. If I had to sum up the games, it would be if Mega Man was a bit more linear since you can’t select the order in which you take on stages, and weapon power-ups only last until you are hit.

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If you select the titular character, you will need to rescue Ms. Johnson, who has been kidnapped for no reason. Clive can run, run and shoot his way through each stage, defeating all enemies in his path to reach the boss so that he can defeat him and carry on with the gameplay loop. You can also select to play as Ms. Johnson who can jump and float down after a jump when you hold down the B button after a jump, and she’ll be rescuing Clive, and she can also fire three fast bullets vs. the three slower moving bullets that Clive can shoot. There is also a third playable character, Chieftain Bob who will also set out to rescue Clive, but he will do so with this outstanding physique and his trusty spear, making him a short-range melee character, which completely changes how you approach the game.

You will face against evil gunslingers, wolves, pelicans, a giant machine wielding boss, and the most dangerous enemies out there: ducks. No, seriously, ducks are a big danger in this game! They will probably get a hit in before you realize they’re the enemy, so that’s strike one. They are also sometimes placed very close to bottomless pits, and one hit from them will send you flying down to your doom – strike two. They’re ducks, and ducks are ***holes, so that’s strike three. Oh, and there are also rabbits out to get you.

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The game will throw at you several deadly hazards. Bottomless pits are obviously a one hit kill, as are the very sharp spikes that you can spot in some stages, but you’ll also need to deal with moving platforms, platforms that fall down as soon as you step on them (which are clearly marked with an arrow pointing down so that you know what is going to happen), spinning circular saws, exploding barrels, a fast-paced minecart level, disappearing and reappearing blocks, and more. The game is presented in sepia color, and the general rule is that anything that is not that color is bad for you – except for weapon power-ups that change your gun type and cake which helps you recover your health.

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The sequel does everything the first game did, and then some. Back are Clive, Ms. Johnson, and Chieftain Bob, but the game now has a more colorful presentation with oversaturated colors that make the game feel very much like a sequel should: bigger and better. Along with the regular 2D stages, Gunman Clive 2 mixes things up by introducing a few 3D stages where you are flying through autoscrolling stages where you will be avoiding obstacles as you shoot at flying enemies that will shoot back at you, giving the game a very Star Fox feel during said sequences. You will also ride on a horse down a path with obstacles, and I do have to say that I recall these looking great on the Nintendo 3DS thanks to its stereoscopic 3D effect.

All of the enemies you faced in the first game are back for another round in this new entry, with some new enemies joining in on the fun as well. This means you will end up running against swooping owls, enemies riding down sleds, riding on top of a moose instead of a horse, giant spiders, machine gun wielding regular enemies who rain down bullets on you, sumo wrestlers, and ninjas. It’s a very different experience from Gunman Clive, which is definitely what you’d want from a sequel, right?


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Both games feature three different difficulty settings so that players of all skill levels can get a chance to complete each adventure. In easy you have a lot of hit points as well as a checkpoints system, making it easier to finish each stage even if you fail halfway through. Normal, as the name suggests, is the normal gaming experience the game has to offer, and if you die, you will need to start from the start of the stage. Hard is the same as normal, except your hit points bar is smaller, so every hit from the enemies you face will pack a punch and will bring you closer to death.

You will play on stages that look as if minimalist and rough sketches of characters had come to life over stages that have a similar feel, which is certainly not something bad since everything looks great, as you can tell from the game’s trailer and the screens in this review. The art has a very interesting effect applied to it that makes it look as if it was in motion due to how the sketch lines and traces flicker here and there. It’s a very good style that looked great on Nintendo’s last portable console, and it translates nicely into the Nintendo Switch’s screen when playing in Portable or Tabletop mode, as well as when playing on the TV.

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Gunman Clive and its sequel were some very good-looking games on the Nintendo 3DS, and the HD collection bumps things up to full HD to give you a very crisp presentation that is still true to the original vision. It is out for a very low $3.99 which makes this a steal since you’re getting around 5-6 hours of gaming from your purchase depending on your action platforming skills if you set out to complete each game with all three available characters, and with the fourth secret character unlocked after completing each game once. And once you do, you can try to find the best way to cut some seconds from your overall time so that you can get a star on every stage to signal that you’ve completed it as fast as you possibly can… and you can combine this with completing a stage without receiving any damage!

This Gunman Clive HD Collection review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Hörberg Productions.


Review Overview

Excellent 2D action platformer indie collection