| paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Beat_em_up; loc=JPN] |
|Get in the Gayvan! Put on tough Hiro or spunky Mittchi's pants and whallop aliens and ninjas (perhaps even alien ninjas?) over several city blocks.|
Unlike most beat-em-ups, Gayvan confines you to a single plane of movement, making dodging an enemy's attacks pretty much out of the question. As a result, even on Normal difficulty, this game is hard. On the plus side you can do sneaky things like rolling attacks or sweep kicks that often catch the opponents off their guard. If that ain't enough and numbers threaten to overwhelm you (enemies in this game attack very frequently, if you're unlucky just two guys can pretty much keep you from ever getting another attack after you're knocked down), pull out the ultimate weapon: twirl your joystick to put your fighter in to a spinning tornado of fists!
And keep twirling! There isn't much reason to stop until all the enemies are dead. You can't move too well while twirling, true, but you also automatically counter pretty much every normal enemy attack. Later, of course, they give you bosses immune to the tornado, or female ninjas (called "Kunoichi" which means "female ninja," just ask Sega's "Nightshade," (entry 389) which was called Kunoichi in Japan) who throw shuriken.
Now, the big money trick here comes when you press Select: you flex your arms, shout, crack and evil grin, and suddenly stand there in a buff power suit. Surprisingly, enemies pretty much kick the power suit's butt about as fast as they kick your un-power-suited butt. However, the suit has a few tricks up its armored sleeves: power bolts, power dashes, and something I haven't seemed to pull off yet. These moves require rather challenging up/down stick movements to pull off--I usually just settle for burning through my power meter with repeated power bolts. Kill the meter and you go back to normal, but fret not, your power recharges as you fight in normal mode.
Hook up a multitap and you can play in a mini vs fighting game mode, or play co-op through the normal adventure. It feels as though they meant the game to be played two-player, really, since with a buddy to watch your back you don't get nearly as overwhelmed by multiple badguys. Plus you can do cool stuff like have one player grab an enemy, Double Dragon (see entry 353) style, and give him a good plastering with the other character. Even so the game serves up quite a challenge, and enabling Continue in the options doesn't seem to let you continue... I'm not sure I'll ever get very far in this game, but maybe I'll break down and switch it to Easy difficulty.
Gayvan has handsome sprites and smooth character animation without really any trace of slowdown. The developers took advantage of the CD space with nice music and lots of semi-animated cutscenes and digitized speech--at the cost of somewhat lengthy load times. Overall a very good action game--in a way it seems odd that they didn't open up the battling by making the game isometric rather than stuck along a single plane, but at any rate this makes it somewhat unique among beat-em-ups.