The Gunstringer Reviews

  • Chad and JessieChad and Jessie1,561,176
    07 Oct 2011 07 Oct 2011
    30 3 2
    Every once in a while the right game script is paired with the right team of developers, the right music, the right voice actors, and a little piece of gaming magic is created. The Gunstringer is one of these titles. Twisted Pixel Games, in both their first Kinect and first retail title, lives up to their reputation for well made, well developed, humorous, and just pure fun to play games with this original title. I must admit that, after reading the who’s and the what’s of this game, I had high hopes and I am very happy to not be disappointed.

    As a Kinect connoisseur I have found that I can pretty much tell within the first 15 minutes of gameplay how much time and effort the developers put into creating an enjoyable gaming experience by how the sensor responds to my movement. Now while it isn’t ‘perfect’, The Gunstringer shares the top spot on my list for how the game reads and responds to me.

    This game also marks a ‘first’ in the Kinect market. Instead of just throwing this game together, Twisted Pixel took the time, thought about their gamer, and created a game that you can not only play standing but also while sitting. Now while I have to give them props for how well the sensor responded while standing, I found it to be a little less then reliable while sitting, especially when sitting in a chair that has ‘arms’.

    Now let’s talk about the story and gameplay…

    The premise of the story is you control a marionette skeleton cowboy who is a one-man judge, jury, and executioner out for revenge. This cowboy, or Gunstringer, is back from the grave and on the vengeance trail against his old posse.

    They were the usual gang of Samurai cowboys…Voodoo Priestesses…Cutthroat wildcatters…Purveyors of inequities better left unmentioned…like dressing a horse in women’s pantaloons… and Wavy Tube Man.

    - Excerpt from “The Gunstringer Rides Again”
    You run, jump, ride, gallop, slice and shoot your way through the old west as you embark on this journey… until justice is served.

    The game consists of a Prologue, 4 plays (each consisting of 5 acts), and an Epilogue. I would classify the game as a mixer of genres (90% Rail Shooter , 10% Platformer) but the way Twisted Pixel married the two genres together is close to seamless, and really keeps the game from feeling stagnant and repetitive.

    Twisted Pixel added their usual modifiers of Hardcore and a local 2 player mode, but they also included a lefty mode (for all you wrong handed gamers out there) as well as a very unique commentary mode. When the commentary is enabled, instead of hearing the exquisite voice actors, we are indulged with voices from the celebrity gaming world, such as the team of Jeff and Geoff of Rooster Teeth, as they play through the level “with” you.

    Now I can’t leave you without mention the extras this game gives you…AND THEY GIVE THEM TO YOU FREE!!! When you purchase this retail game, the full downloadable game Fruit Ninja Kinect, another fantastic, fun and well made Kinect game, is included as a redeemable code. And then there is … The Wavy Tube Man Chronicles. This DLC is a live-action shooter, set in both classic western and futuristic locations, featuring you as a quick-drawing cowboy hero who needs to save the world from Wavy Tube Man Jr. Inspired by the game ‘Mad Dog McCree’, this DLC features Troma Entertainment’s ‘Big Cheese’ Lloyd Daufman and Dazed and Confused star Wiley Wiggins as characters you encounter on this mission. Did I mention that IT’S FREE???

    Overall, this is a fun, enjoyable, well made, and easy to use game that is sure to please Kinect owners as well as Twisted Pixel fans. If you own a Kinect, go out and buy this game today. If you don’t own a Kinect, go get one so you can play this game… NOW!!!
    Showing both comments.
    litepinkI'm in love with this game and with Twisted Pixel and this review.
    Posted by litepink On 07 Oct 11 at 04:25
    ColonialPieThis is a great review for the game, I had high hopes for this game from the beginning when I knew Twisted Pixel was making it.
    Posted by ColonialPie On 29 Oct 12 at 04:36
  • UliUdoUliUdo698,226
    20 Sep 2011
    15 2 4
    A few people have asked me about The Gunstringer so I'm going to consolidate my feelings here to avoid talking to everyone individually. Efficiency>Courtesy wink

    The short answer:
    Mostly quick and easy
    Works pretty well
    Tennis Elbow!
    Comes with Fruit Ninja+ An odd but funny free DLC
    Definite buy if you have Kinect

    A few more details:

    Fun, funny, and mostly quick and easy:
    The game is fun, I enjoyed my playthrough on normal but it was quite short, I completed the game in a few hours while at work. I haven't really laughed out loud at any of Twisted Pixels games, but have enjoyed the art and humor in all of them. That being said this is probably the funniest out of all of them and the most artistically intricate. There is a lot to look at in the hand crafted details which will make multiple playthroughs a little more interesting.
    I only got one gold medal (in the epilogue) but think I could have gotten 1-2 more on my first playthrough if I hadn't had any interruptions YMMV. This means that getting gold medals on every single act in every single play is going to require at least another full replay dedicated to getting the gold medals and I can already tell it's going to be a bit annoying since much of the story is told through unskippable cutscenes.
    Further, I've only had a chance to touch a couple levels on hardcore and it is much much harder. Enemies that previously would appear, wait long enough for you to shoot them before they even have a chance to shoot, and then if you are too slow shoot one projectile will immediately shoot 3 projectiles as soon as they pop on screen. You take double damage when you are hit, and since one of the achievements requires playing the whole game in one sitting without dying on hardcore I foresee a good amount of frustration here as well.

    Works pretty well:
    I did my playthrough standing up with plenty of space in a well let area. I've tried it sitting down in a few different chairs and gotten mixed results. My black office chair with armrests and a back higher or around head height sometimes obscures the tracking if I put my hands too low ie on the arm rests or in my lap. A folding chair with no back visible to the sensor, and no armrests worked much better, but I still felt I got the best results standing up especially during tense moments where your reactions must be spot on. So to experience optimum results you may have to adjust your sensor or change your seating or lighting to a slightly different configuration then used for other Kinect games.

    Tennis elbow!:
    If you really get into the game you will be whipping your hands upwards as fast as you can over and over again for a number of hours. Playing standing my arms were in a preying mantis position and my right elbow (I shoot with my right hand) was definitely sore by the end of the game. Your non-dominant (navigation) hand/elbow will not experience any fatigue. Sitting down, lessening your motions, playing in more than one session, or if you are suitably ambidextrous, switching hands occasionally will reduce joint stress. Just know you may have to wait a day or two between going for completion on this game (as with most Kinect games).

    Fruit ninja is fun, free, a good party game, and a pretty easy arcade completion. However even if you do get it free you are going to have to spend some points on DLC for full completion... Wavy Tubeman Chronicles (the free DLC for the Gunstringer) may not be for everyone, but I enjoyed it for whatever odd reason. It doesn't come with any achievements but is definitely worth playing just for the hokey experience.

    Definite buy for Kinect owners:
    Many games for Kinect are reviewed as a Kinect game first and as a real game second thus a comparatively great Kinect game may not have warranted a second look if it were a normal controller game. I honestly think that this game stands on it's own merits very well and the fact that it uses Kinect actually fits well with the style and gameplay.