Monday 16 May 2022

Andro Dunos 2 Review (Switch)

You wait an age for an obscure Neo Geo franchise to be revived and then two come along at once. We recently looked at Ganryu 2 and here publisher Just For Games come, working their nostalgic remit again. Even better, this time the game has turned out excellently.

We aren’t particularly familiar with the original but from what we have seen of it Andro Dunos 2 seems to really be its own beast with the name merely added to produce brand awareness and marketing ability. This isn’t a bad thing as it has allowed the team to make a stand-out side scrolling shoot’em up that’s both welcoming to hardcore fans and casual players alike.

In terms of style, Andro Dunos 2 takes small influences from the back catalogue of famous side scrolling shoot’em ups but ultimately comes out as it’s own thing. It has a distinctive identity and exists away from the homage like titles such as Super Hydorah while retaining the Neo Geo look.

The key dynamic of the game is levelling the multi-weapon system. Players can cycle through four different types of weapons which fire at different angles, speeds and sizes and each can be increased in power. Missiles, shields and other additional accessories can also be picked up as you go. The key though is that for a temporary drop in power each weapon can be used to activate a mega blast. If you have all four weapons powered up enough it then becomes a legitimate tactic to keep cycling through and activating the mega blast before moving to the next weapon while the others are recharging. During the levels blue spheres can also be accumulated which can be used to level up the main and support weapons at the end of each stage.

The stages themselves are also excellent with them gently leaning on the past while depicting something that seems unique to the game itself. The game also lets you settle in and get comfortable before gradually ramping up the difficulty and technical skill required to progress. There is also a continue system which let’s you start from any level which you have previously beaten which is a sensible concession for casual fans looking to make their way through.

The look of Andro Dunos 2 also perfectly captures the arcade feel of the 90’s with it being colourful and bold in both it’s craft design and the levels themselves. The bosses are highlights with them being suitably screen filling and impressive and requiring thought and patience to take down. In terms of nailing that nostalgic vibe with a ‘new’ IP this really is up there with the best of them.

Overall, Andro Dunos 2 is remarkable. It is basically a completely new game from the 90’s carrying the vibe and look of the era for all its worth without falling back on simple nostalgic triggers or being a ‘greatest hits’ collection of other retro shoot’em ups. If this is the future for titles going for the retro aesthetic, then we are all for it and we would recommend it to anyone looking for something new from the 90’s.

Overall 9/10

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