Let’s take a look at … – Guns, Gore & Cannoli (XBONE)

Earlier this year we covered the title Guns, Gore and Cannoli; an action-packed 2D run ‘n gun featuring a mobster working his way through the zombie apocalypse. You can read that article here. Well, that was on PC, and it’s now released on XBONE and we were lucky enough to get a review code to see if the console version matches that of its PC counterpart. Let’s take a look .. again!

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Starting with performance, the game runs great. It’s certainly not a last-minute dash to get to another platform. It’s clear time and effort has gone into making the game run soundly on whatever platform you choose. The game suits a gamepad incredibly well, with tight, self-intuitive controls. In Heather’s article she mentioned she has trouble with the controls, sometimes hitting wrong buttons; I had no such issues!

The quality of the art and other resources is on point also. There’s no scaling or compromise in quality; the game looks and feels just as crisp as the PC version. I did experience some loading times higher than I would have expected. Not huge, but enough for it to catch my attention, but it’s hardly a problem. The content is well worth the extra few seconds loading. Maybe it’s because I’m used to gaming on a PC!

Best of all, the game is priced fairly. The title is currently £6.99 on Steam, so I was expecting a price tag of ~£10 for console, but it’s only £7.99. A really nice pickup price for the XBONE. To be honest, mine has sat unused in the corner for the most of the time I’ve had it as I can’t justify paying 2x more for a game than I would do on Steam. It’s awesome that this isn’t the case with Guns, Gore & Cannoli and it’s given me a reason to keep my XBONE out for a while!

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I’d like to just share few thoughts on my own experience with game. A cinematic brings the game to a start, introducing Vinnie, a mobster on a mission to capture someone. Sleeping on a boat he learns that the world has been overrun by zombies. Naturally, been a mobster and all, he’s well kitted out and does not deviate from his macabre task. From here on you work your way through a multitude of environments, collecting new and exciting weapons as you progress, and meeting new enemies to test you.

One thing that I really liked was the difficulty. The game looks great, has a really funny story, and as such I was expecting something much more casual that what it is. The game puts up a fight, and if you don’t stay on your mobster toes it will punish you. Everything Heather said in her original article about the title I can 100% corroborate, and it is well worth the 9.5 we gave it originally. I’m not that far in, and already I’ve fought across a boat, a dockyard, a town, and met a wide range of interesting enemies!

A zombie football player that knocks you on your ass every opportunity he gets. A pinup zombie resembling Marilyn Monroe that likes to jump about, and another female zombie that can’t stop burping out some horrible green gas! I’ve also met a couple of NPC characters, all of which are funny and interesting dialogue with Vinnie. The game is lots of fun, plays great, looks great and sounds great, and it arrives on XBONE as strongly as it hit PC.

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Tl:dr – Guns, Gore & Cannoli is now available on a number of game consoles and it’s no shoddy port. It’s clear the Crazy Monkey put time and effort into ensuring quality across the board, and the XBONE version is just as good as its PC counterpart. At £7.99 (or your regional equivalent) there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have this title on your XBOX. Get it downloaded!

Rating – 9.5 (again!)

Purchase – XBONE £7.99 or your regional equivalent | PC/Steam £6.99/$9.99

Trailer –

Let’s take a look at … – Master Spy

Master Spy is a stealth platformer from TURBOGUN games. Comprised of just two developers, John Coxworth (Art) and Kris Truitt (Dev), TURBOGUN have been working on Master Spy for the past few years, in-between their full time jobs. With pixel-cinematic goodness, and tight and unforgiving platforming, it really impressed us. Let’s take a look.

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We have to start with the great pixel-art. Pixel-art is used frequently in indie games, but few get it as right as Master Spy does. The environments are large, and packed with hand-pixelated detail. The characters and obstacles look and feel great. There are also full cutscenes constructed through just pixel art. They are kind of comic book style, with a maybe a frame every few seconds, and they work great.

Working hand-in-hand with the aesthetic is the awesome backing track. The team brought in composer André Allen Anjos (RAC), and I’m very glad we did. His music brings a lot to the game, and ranges from pumped pieces whilst in combat, to slow acoustic numbers in the cutscenes. It’s as diverse as the game environments, and they wont great together.

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Master Spy plays just as good as it looks and sounds. Controls or devilishly simply; one button to jump (a quick double tap produces a slightly longer jump), and button to activate your invisibility jacket. The trivial controls in absolutely non-trivial situations makes you work for each level. My only reservation with the controls is that I’d like the main character to move a bit quicker. That’s mainly to make it easier! His slow speed can make jumps a bit more difficult, but I guess that’s the point!

The goal of the levels is to get the key-card, and reach the door . . . If only it was that simple. Whilst doing so you’re also avoiding rabid dogs, guards, lasers, and much more. Each level requires you to take a step back, watch the patterns of your adversaries, and strike when you feel you can make it. You’re probably wrong, you can’t make it, so prepare to die lots.

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Gameplay is very fast, as is the respawn time. Ala Meatboy, where when you die you’re running again before you know it. This fast respawn time makes dying not TOO much of a problem. I’ve had some rage-inducing moments where I get stuck on a certain part, but at least there’s no delay to trying again. If you get a certain length through a level, there is usually a checkpoint, so you don’t have to go right back to the start which is good. My controller would be in the neighbour’s yard if I would have had to go to the start of each level after each death!

The line between a successful run and a death is razor thin. Truly, unless you’re the chosen one, the only way to complete the levels is to study your enemies, their patterns in this level, and then going for it. No delaying, you’ll just die, pick a plan and run with it. It feels great when you’ve just ran past a dog, up onto a car, quickly applied your invisibility cloak before the camera could see you, then slowly sneak out the door.

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You play as Master Spy, a … master spy who’s been tasked with recovering a tape for Gale-Electro. The game appears to have 5 main missions, each taking place in a new environment, and over a number of different smaller rooms and tasks. I have 40 minutes play-time into the title, and think im roughly half way through mission two. I’m sure however as the game gets tougher my progress will significantly slow down. I’ve seen some gifs of the later levels and they make me shudder!

After each mission you’re given a spy grade for speed, sneakiness, and an overall Spy Grade. After my first run of mission 1 I have 52 deaths, and scored F in speed, F in sneakiness, and a grade of Novice overall. There’s plenty of room to improve, and I plan on doing just that.

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Tl;dr – Master Spy is a brilliant stealth-platformer. With simple controls, and devilish environments paced with dangers, it takes a sharp mind to find the correct path, and even sharper skill to execute. The pixel graphics are great, with the pixelated cutscenes taking that one step further. Throw into that the amazing soundtrack, and you have simply a great game that any platforming fan should play.

Rating – 9/10

Purchase – Steam £6.99/$9.99 (10% discount until 15th September £6.29/$8.99)

Trailer –