The Gunstringer [Review]

  • Platform: Xbox 360/Kinect Required
  • Published by: Microsoft
  • Developed by: Twisted Pixel
  • Genre: Action/Shooter
  • ESRB Rating: T
  • Number of Players: 1-2
  • Release Date: US: September 13th, 2011

The last few weeks have been particularly fun for me as far as reviewing games goes. I can’t recall a three week period where I’ve had more fun and with such a diverse array of games. I’ve reviewed Madden 12, Rise Of Nightmares and now Gunstringer, next week I get to review Gears Of War 3. Sucks to be me right? Anyway. The Gunstringer is Twisted Pixel’s fifth game release and their first full fledged retail release. The great thing about this retail release is content and price. The Gunstringer is only $40 and it comes packaged with DLC in the form of “The Wavy Tube Man Chronicles” and Fruit Ninja Kinect, both for free. To those not familiar with Twisted Pixels work, they have done the stellar Xbox Live Arcade hits Splosion Man and the new Ms.Splosion Man, which came out earlier this past year. There was a lot of hype and talk srrounding The Gunstringer the past couple of E3 events and I think all of the positive buzz caused Microsoft to delay the game from its earlier XBL Arcade release and instead go with a full retail release packaged with loads of extras.

The Gunstringer is unlike any game out on the market today, at its core it is a shooter of course, but it’d be wrong to simply list it as such. Actually there are platforming aspects to the game, and action packed boss battles as well. It’s a relatively simple formula that works perfectly. The game places you in the role of The Gunstringer, who is a puppet that was wronged by his former crew. In actuality you are taking part in a play, there is narration and different scenes that you have to act out. The crowd actually plays a role in the game, they can boo, cheer and clap for you and the game does cut away to them every once and a while. The art style and voice work in this game flow wonderfully. The graphical style sort of reminds me of a grown up version of Little Big Planet. I would compare some of the dialog to that of a Shrek movie, the game does have some more adult themes and a lot of innuendos, so despite the cute and fluid graphical styles, this isn’t a game for little kids.

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The first level is a great tutorial level and it’s pretty easy to pick up the controls. Your left hand controls the Gunstringer and you can paint the targets and then shoot them with your right hand. It’s so simple and yet so very effective, too often games try too hard to be complex and complicated when all they need to do is work. It shouldn’t take you too long to learn the controls and get started on your revenge. The colors in this game are so vibrant and nice to look at, I’ve often said this generation of games really has lacked a full color pallet, so I’m glad The Gunstringer takes full advantage of all the different, vibrant and beautiful colors out there. Kinect really does well with the tracking of your hand movements as well, it’s probably right up there with Fruit Ninja as far as track-ability goes. You can actually play The Gunstringer while sitting down, which is a nice surprise and Kinect actually doesn’t lose anything as far as tracking goes if you decide to play while seated.

You can actually play two player co-op with Gunstringer as well. When Kinect recognizes a second player, a second gunsight comes up and you and a friend can get in on The Gunstringer’s path of violent revenge. The Gunstringer himself reminds me a bit of Clint Eastwood in the Good The Bad And The Ugly, he is gruff and doesn’t take anything from anyone, he is determined to take down those that planted him six feet under. From the first boss fight against “Wavy Tube Man” you’ll be sucked into this adorable, yet stylish game. One by one you scratch people off your hit list, one of the best things this game does is change from one part to another, so one level you might be running and gunning and the next it turns more into a 2.5 D platform game, both work amazingly well and flow perfectly.

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Everything about this game works and works just the way its supposed to, if I had to complain about anything it would be that the game ended too soon for me. It’s not a short game by any means, I just was left wanting more. There are tons of reasons to replay the game. You can earn cash to unlock different things, from commentaries and pictures to music. It definitely keeps you interested and entertained. In a day and age of sequels upon sequels, do yourself a favor and pick up The Gunstringer if you have a Kinect. You’ll have hours and hours of fun and the smile will literally never leave your face. This game is one of the most unique and entertaining titles around. Kinect seems to be on a real role lately, the games that have been coming out for it are drastically different then the launch games that were mostly dance, party and fitness games. With the evolution of games like Child Of Eden, Rise Of Nightmares and The Gunstringer, it’s easy to see Kinect is moving in the right direction. The Gunstringer is budget priced, but they didn’t skimp on anything, this game is jam packed and you will want to play it again and again.

FINAL SCORE: 9/10 

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One Response to “The Gunstringer [Review]”

  1. I’m glad they made it budget priced! If they can keep up this trend of decent Kinect games, the peripheral may have a future beyond party games after all.

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