Review: Gunman Clive HD Collection (Wii U)

Different platform, same great games.

By Marc Deschamps. Posted 09/10/2015 09:00 1 Comment     ShareThis
The Final Grade
Editor's Choice
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Awesome gameplay; Beautiful art style; Unbeatable price
Poison Mushroom for...
Not much new if you've played these games; short length

The Gunman Clive games hold a special place in my heart. The original title was one of the earliest I reviewed for Nintendojo, and one of the first games that showed me what indie developers could really do. Since then, I’ve become a champion for the titles on the site. There’s just something really charming about the world that developer Hörberg Productions has created with both of the Gunman Clive games. Now Gunman Clive HD Collection brings both of Clive’s adventures to Wii U, and I’m happy to say the games have made a strong transition to Nintendo’s console.

For the uninitiated, the first Gunman Clive game follows titular hero Clive as he embarks on a quest to save Ms. Johnson from a peculiar set of kidnappers. Initially, Clive’s opponents resemble the type of villains one would expect from a classic Clint Eastwood Western. As the game progresses, however, the villains become more absurd, adding aliens, robots and… ducks, oddly enough. The sequel picks up right where the original title leaves off, as Clive, Ms. Johnson, and newcomer Chieftain Bob pursue the kidnappers on a quest across the world. This setup provides more diverse locales, with even crazier opponents and more level variety.

Both of the games in Gunman Clive HD Collection offer a heavy amount of influence from some of gaming’s most famous titles. Mine cart stages will evoke memories of DuckTales or Donkey Kong Country, Ms. Johnson controls like a certain Nintendo princess, and one boss even seems reminiscent of Capcom’s Bionic Commando. Both games feel like a love letter to the days of the original NES. The biggest influence on the Gunman Clive titles seems to come from Mega Man, however, with its run-and-gun gameplay and (sometimes) cruel difficulty. Even the most experienced platform fans will find themselves dying frequently. Fortunately, neither game ever feels cheap or frustrating. The levels are brief, and that helps to give fans incentive to keep pushing through the more difficult segments. It all leads to a strong sense of satisfaction that comes with clearing each level.

Both Gunman Clive titles feature a visual style that can only be described as unique. Still images simply don’t do them justice. While the first game still looks great, Gunman Clive 2 took the visual style one step further, with an enhanced color palette that really pops. The transition feels akin to the switch from the original Game Boy to the Game Boy Color. It isn’t a huge leap, but it’s a nice little evolution. This does lend itself to one of the few negative things I can say about Gunman Clive HD Collection, though, and that’s that the compilation’s HD came at the expense of 3D. Both Gunman Clive titles used the handheld device’s 3D wonderfully, trumping some of Nintendo’s own first party offerings (I’m looking at you, Pokémon X and Y). The game’s unique visual style looks great on the big screen, but I found myself missing the 3D enhancement.

Gunman Clive HD Collection doesn’t offer up a whole lot of options that the original games didn’t feature. Chieftain Bob can now be used in the original Gunman Clive (he debuted in the sequel), but developer Hörberg Productions has only made a couple of minor adjustments to the original game to accommodate Bob’s use. As a result, the character is even harder to use in the original title than he was in the sequel. Both games are also on the shorter side. There are about 45 levels between the two, and an experienced gamer should be able to complete them all in just a couple of hours, despite the game’s difficulty level. The compilation’s $3.99 price point does make it very hard to complain too much about that, especially when you consider that the game’s four, unique playable characters will likely inspire gamers to revisit each level.

The Wii U has been home to quite a strong collection of sidescrollers: New Super Mario Bros. U, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and DuckTales: Remastered to name but a few. Gunman Clive HD Collection proudly joins that lineup, offering a fantastic experience at a fraction of the cost of those titles. Fans that have already played the original titles on Nintendo 3DS won’t likely find much new to experience, but for those without a handheld, or just those that prefer their action on a bigger screen, you simply can’t go wrong.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

One Response to “Review: Gunman Clive HD Collection (Wii U)”

  • 0 points

    Great games. I wonder why those who bought the titles on 3DS didn’t get these for free though. Don’t feel like buying them again due to there being nothing new.

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