Gungrave: Overdose (ガングレイヴO.D., Gangureivu Ōbādōsu) is a PlayStation 2 third-person shooter video game developed by animation studio Ikusabune and published by Red Entertainment in Japan and by Mastiff in North America. The game was released on March 4, 2004 in Japan, September 15, 2004 in North America and October 7, 2005 in the PAL regions. Gungrave: Overdose picks up where its predecessor left off, and follows its main character through a variety of stages on a path of revenge. It is the only known title fully developed by animation studio Ikusabune, as the previous title was developed by Red Entertainment. (Ikusabune provided animation and cinematics in the first game.)
North American cover art
|Developer(s)||Ikusabune Co., Ltd.|
|Artist(s)||Yasuhiro Nightow (character design)|
Two years after the original, Gungrave, and just approaching of that game's anime spinoff, Gungrave: Overdose was released. Preserving Yasuhiro Nightow's flair and artistic style, this outing adds new playable characters to the series and a new story, in which Grave resumes his tale as an unlikely anti-hero tracking down the sadistic son of a Mafia boss who has struck a deal with a symbiotic seed bent on taking over the Earth.
Beyond the GraveEdit
The main protagonist of the story, Grave is reawakened by an older Mika Asagi. Sporting a new outfit, a new Coffin, and even more firepower than before, Grave silently goes forth to destroy the Seed narcotics empire controlled by the Corisione family. Before his disappearance, he breaks his "silent protagonist" character by making only one sentence, "You must live, Mika".
In gameplay terms, Beyond The Grave is the most rounded of the three protagonists, possessing damaging ranged and melee attacks. He is also able to dive forward, backwards, or to either side while rapidly firing both pistols, as well as charge his pistol shots or melee hits to deliver powerful single attacks.
A foul-mouthed, irritable man with a superhuman sense of smell, Jyuji and his partner Rocketbilly Redcadillac joins Grave early on to fight Seed. Seemingly cursed with a spectral flame that burns on his back, Jyuji employs a pair of semi-automatic gunblades and a control over fire in combat. He's blind, but the mask he wears on his face also serves another purpose - to hide the skin that's gnarled by Seed beneath. However, despite his edged exterior, he seems to know more than he wishes to reveal. He was returned into a deadman and experimented on by Garino before injecting him with Seed and leaving him to die, with only a meditation technique saving him from dying again. This effectively makes him part Seed part Deadman with a precarious balance; allowing him to survive without blood transfusions but if the balance is disrupted, something grave may happen.
Jyuji is a close-range specialist, with the weakest firearms of the three. At close range, however, his blades are able to quickly dispatch multiple foes with great ease. He is able to dive in the same manner as Grave, but can only charge his melee attacks.
(In the English dubs of the games, Jyuji's name is spelt Juji.)
Juji's partner, "Billy" is a ghost haunting an electric guitar. Unlike Juji, Billy is a laid back ladies man, though bizarre enough, he considers his own grandmother to be the ideal woman. His past remains mysterious, but his dialogue throughout the game implied something rather gruesome and regrettable in his passing as a ghost.
Billy excels at long range combat, employing the same guitar he haunts as a weapon by using the dynamo attached onto it to deliver lightning strikes as he plays, quickly clearing rooms of henchmen with arcs of electricity. His melee skills are sub-par compared to his comrades, but he can charge his electric guitar to deliver powerful shocks that reach far and wide.
He bears a passing resemblance to Vash the Stampede, of Nightow's earlier work Trigun.
Being three years since the last game, Mika Asagi has matured and dedicated herself to fighting problems created by the Necrolyzation process, leading her into the conflict with Seed and the Corisione Family. Far from the helpless girl in the last game, she capably demonstrated her fighting prowess early on when she defended the location Grave was stored from Corisione hit men while Grave's awakening process was still counting down. Later in the story it is revealed that she has been giving Grave his required full-blood transfusions using her own blood, taking a heavy physical toll on her which she bears without complaint. Along with Spike, she coordinates and communicates with the others from the Trailer that transports the protagonists about the city. She is later injected with seed by Spike in order to save her life after she is fatally wounded by Fangoram, but her strong will prevents her body from mutating, and is given an antidote to it by Garino.
An orphan that Mika picked up during the three years before the game, Spike also helps in tracking down the source of the Seed distribution. A genius, Spike constructs a strange creature that reacts to Seed, helping the group follow the trail. Unfortunately, his forgotten past intertwines with that of the Corisione Family. He is later revealed to be a clone of Garino, and had long been plotting the death of the original out of a sense of inferiority at being a copy of him. Garino later kills him after revealing that Spike's senses and body are connected with Garino's
The ruthless Don, or head, of the Corisione Family, Denito Corisione appears to be the cause behind the Seed distribution. However, his arrogance leads to his downfall when he fails to estimate his son's betrayal.
Garino Creale CorisioneEdit
Don Corisione's obedient adopted son and second in command. Cool and manipulative, he holds greater plans for Seed beyond mere drugs. Jyuji bears a grudge against him for experimenting on him when he'd just became a dead man. His true goal is to travel throughout space on an alien spaceship in order to end his own boredom, the Seed has promised him this in exchange for his help in dominating the planet.
A towering prototype Deadman that has survived till now, Fangoram serves as the Corisiones strongest fighter. Though his speech is awkward, it does not fail to express his hatred for Beyond The Grave for "killing his friends" (The other prototypes). Backing this up, Fangoram is the only one that can wield the powerful Cerberus Centerhead, the final gun resembling an anti-tank rifle that completes Dr. T's Cerberus series, and vastly more powerful than even Grave's own Lefthead and Righthead. Though under the Corisione's employ, Fangoram seems more loyal to Garino himself than the empire.
A mercenary under the employ of the Corisiones, Zell's army is one dedicated to the specialty of killing Deadmen like Grave.
Bear Walken's daughter and Harry's wife, Sherry joins the Corisione drug empire in hopes of avenging the deaths of her loved ones by killing Grave.
Though killed in the previous game, Bunji's skills seems to be valuable enough to be resurrected as well by Necrolyzation for the Corisiones. Though none too happy about being forced to continue to exist as a Deadman, Bunji still decides to work for the Corisiones, hoping for one more shot at Grave to prove who's the better of the two. He is also the brother of Jyuji Kabane and also a playable character.
The game was received more favorably by critics than the first game, but still received mixed reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. Many critics praised the game's longer length, IGN citing that the game can easily last for more than 6 hours, which they say is in stark comparison to the first game's 2 hour length. The game received similar praise for the art and visual style as the first game did, and critics also praised the game's value, GameSpot's Greg Kasavin stating "its good-sized series of action-packed missions, multiple difficulty settings, three different playable characters, and dirt-cheap $15 retail price make it an excellent value." However, the game's graphics were criticized for being simpler in order to prevent the slowdown present in the first game, and the game's lock-on system was criticized for being too unwieldy and confusing. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of one six, two sevens, and one six for a total of 26 out of 40.
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