|For a third-person shooter, the strafe, lock-on, and other controls are pretty intuitive and don't get in the way of the "shoot the monsters and collect their gems for points" gameplay. With relatively nice graphics, big open levels, a rockin' soundtrack and giant boss fights, Gungage is easy to like.|
It starts getting tough by the third stage or so, however, and sometimes it feels like the designers are taking advantage of the limitations of the controls, which make turning around to look behind you take several seconds. For instance, it isn't really fun when a big monster jumps out of the water out of your view on the right side and blasts you with a fireball. This really doesn't happen that much and the lock-on takes care of most nasty surprises, but when it does happen, it's annoying. Later it also starts throwing enemies at you from different directions at once, and dealing with this type of thing isn't something the auto-lock on and forward-looking camera make very easy.
The falling damage seems extreme, too--over two of the first three stages I was constantly near death because I'd jumped off the roof of a two-story building, and the game wasn't giving me any health recovery items. Well, none that counted, since a 2% restoration doesn't really do that much for you.
It feels like it's probably something of a short game since you can run through the big wide-open stages in five minutes each. Heck, there was even a level that seemingly popped out of nowhere--from a woodsy boss fight I was suddenly in the middle of a vast desert with a tank platoon firing at me (it started me out facing away from them :p). Uh. Not much real story here, needless to say. You can unlock other playable characters, however, so maybe that's something to keep you busy.
I wouldn't recommend this game wholeheartedly as the ambushes, falling damage, and curious lack of health items add up to something of an annoyance, but it's a good action game in its own laser-blasting way, with the manly voice ("HEALTH BONUS") giving it an arcade-like feeling. And the soundtrack really is good.