|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (January 2013)|
North American Dreamcast cover art
Kuusoukagaku, Mobirix, APX Soft, Google Play (Android)
Virgin Interactive (EU)
|Mode(s)||Single-player, two-player co-op|
|Display||Raster, 224 x 320 pixels (vertical), 5120 colors|
Gunbird 2 (ガンバード2) is a 2D scrolling shooter developed by Psikyo and published by Capcom as a sequel to the original Gunbird. It was originally released in Japanese arcades in 1998, and was later ported to the Dreamcast in 2000 and released worldwide. An Android version was released in Korean in 2014. The arcade game was also included in Gunbird Special Edition for the PlayStation 2.
There are seven stages in each game loop (two loops total). The first three stages are randomly chosen from possible four. At the second loop, enemies fire denser bullet patterns moving at faster speeds. Stage 2-1 takes place at the only stage not available in 1st loop, instead of the 1-1 counterpart. After completing the first loop with only one player, player can choose one of two choices for a wish with magic potion, with unique ending for each choice. If 1st loop is completed with two players, a combination-specific ending is played.
This was the first Psikyo shooter to feature medal-chaining: picking up 2000 point medals (when they flash) repeatedly results in a slight point increase and a coin chain, recorded separately from the score. This was later featured in Strikers 1945 III/Strikers 1999 and Strikers 1945 Plus.
The arcade game supports both English and Japanese languages, chosen via arcade board dip switch settings. The language setting is Japanese if dip switches are set to Japanese, English otherwise.
Seven warriors are challenged to head on a quest to find three powerful elements of Sun, Moon and Stars. Whoever brings the elements to the Potion God will be rewarded the legendary Almighty Potion and all its magical powers.
Through gameplay cutscenes (and endings) it appears that the zany, uproarious (and at times rather adult) humor has considerably increased since the original Gunbird. The game has numerous similarities to the Parodius series, including the final boss in the game, a cartoon elephant playing a trumpet.
- Alucard (アルカード): The 300-year-old son of Dracula from Romania; a vampire, and capable of great inhuman powers. Although he is "good" in comparison to his father, he still craves human blood. Voiced by Takehito Koyasu.
- Marion (マリオン): The little English witch from Gunbird returns. She would have aged to 17 by this point, but her wish from the end of Gunbird has reversed the aging process; she appears a 9-year-old girl for the duration of Gunbird 2. Voiced by Chiharu Tanaka in the arcade version and Ikue Ōtani in the console versions.
- Tavia (タビア): A bespectacled, 9-year-old German girl with a jetpack on her back residing in England. She is the niece of Ash (who cameos in some of her co-op endings) from Gunbird. Emotional and cries easily. When paired with Alucard, she falls in love with him. Voiced by Yuko Minaguchi
- Valpiro (バルピロ): A robot from Russia, an improved model of Valnus from Gunbird. He may have sinister plans for the potion if he obtains it, depending on which ending you receive. Voiced by Kazuya Tatekabe.
- Hei-Cob (ヘイコブ): An 18-year-old short, fat, turban-sporting man of Arabic descent. He rides a flying carpet. During his cut scenes he is sometimes proud, and other times ashamed, of his figure. Voiced by Yuji Mitsuya.
- Aine (アイン): A one-eyed Japanese samurai from Sengoku Ace series. Whereas it is not clear in the Sengoku Ace game that he is an open homosexual (like Tetsu in Gunbird), such subtlety is thrown out the window in Gunbird 2, especially during the ending scene with Aine and another cooperative player, in which he takes his partner to bed with him (in his co-op ending with Marion, he does this to a Pom-Pom turned human, while in the ending with Tavia, he does so to Ash). In the arcade version, Aine is playable with a code; in the Dreamcast version, he is always available; in the Android version, he can be unlocked upon meeting certain conditions. Voiced by Norio Wakamoto.
- Morrigan (モリガン): A Dark World succubus from the Darkstalkers series. In the Dreamcast version, pressing up or down on the random character select allows the player to choose between Aine and Morrigan. Voiced by Rei Sakuma
- The Queen Pirates (クイーンパイレーツ): The enemy in Gunbird 2, a busty pirate woman Shark (voiced by Noriko Ohara) and her sidekicks, a big muscular Viking Blade (voiced by Kazuya Tatekabe) and a skinny pirate Gimmick (voiced by Joji Yanami), repeatedly ambushing the champions in their attempts to steal the elements for themselves. They are met and fought at the end of each stage, piloting various giant mecha robots. Their design is based on the villanous Dorombo Gang of the Time Bokan/Yatterman series as well as sharing the same voice actors.
- The Elephant God: The end boss and an obvious parody of Sato-chan, the mascot of a Japanese company Sato Pharmaceuticals. This is appropriate, given that the protagonists in the game are all searching for a cure to their individual weakness, and Sato-chan is a pop culture icon in Japan.
Gunbird 2 received mostly positive reviews. The Dreamcast version received scores of 8.5/10 from both Gaming Target and Planet Dreamcast, while Game Revolution graded it a B-. It also scored an 80% from French Consoles + while the three reviewers from Dreamcast Magazine each gave it a 7/10. IGN's Anthony Chau gave it an 8.4/10, stating: "I hope that most of you that decide to get Gunbird 2 are those that know the excitement of weaving between enemy fire, appreciate 2D artistry, and respect classic gameplay that never gets old. If that's you, you'll definitely be satisfied." GameSpot's Steven Garrett, however, was much more critical of the game, rating it only a 5.8/10 and opining that "if a good 16-bit shooter is what you're looking for, you could do a lot better elsewhere."
Gunbird Special Edition
The PlayStation 2 version of the game was based on the arcade version.
Cancelled PlayStation Portable remake
A enhanced remake, titled Gunbird 2 Remix was announced by PM Studios for the PlayStation Portable in 2009. It was slated for an early 2010 release exclusively in digital format. However, no news have been heard since then, and it is considered vaporware.
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