Well, I certainly feel like a jackass. The first GunGrave was simple stuff, but it had a kind of low-rent charm. Its jazzy soundtrack hit all the right notes (how could you not like those blasting horns at the end of a level?), and it was amusing to send undead hero Grave into a bullet frenzy and see him spew hot lead over every inch of the screen. Besides, the cutscenes were honestly good enough to keep me playing until the end, despite the lack of pizzazz in the gameplay.
So where does the jackass part come in? I actually paid money for the sequel before seeing what Mike had to say. He was lucky in that he got the review copy and kept his green where it belonged—in his wallet.
Thinking that a sequel could only improve on what the first GunGrave offered, I figured that swiping my debit card for a small-scale budget release would be a two-fer; I'd not only be supporting an underdog publisher, but I'd also be supporting a studio that put out a not-bad original game and hopefully keep them going until they could move on to bigger and better things.
I want my money back.
The graphics are worse than the first game's (not that they were ever really that great to begin with), and the cutscenes have been pared down considerably. Instead of wall-to-wall animated action sequences, more often than not the game shoves talking-head / text-box tediousness onscreen and expects me to not fall asleep.
The level designs also look and feel worse than the original. Long drab hallways filled with pop-out, pop-up hordes of identical twin enemies are not what I'd call "entertaining," and every area felt longer than it needed to be—much like the game as a whole. I was looking at the to-play pile on top of my TV for something else before I'd even finished the third level.
There's just nothing else to say. GunGrave: Overdose does nothing that the first game didn't already do slightly better. It's also longer, looks worse, and feels less involving. It's a shallow effort with nothing to recommend it, and Mike's entirely right in saying that it's not worth the cash, even at the rock-bottom price it's likely at by now. If you absolutely need to play something low-cal with lots of bang, at least go for the first GunGrave or something else along the same lines. In the case of Overdose, you certainly get what you pay for—not a lot.