GamingReview: Gryphon Knight Epic (US Only)

Review: Gryphon Knight Epic (US Only)

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When a developer uses the word ‘Epic’ in their games name, it immediately says two things to me. First that the dev team really believe that the game will deliver an epic experience or on the other hand, its an attempt to build up expectations and make the game sound inviting. In the case of US only release Gryphon Knight Epic, it is misleading in both counts.

The story is a classic tale of a bunch of heroes summoned together to rid the land of an evil Great Dragon who has savaged villages and kidnapped the beautiful princess. Led by our main hero and wearer of a rather fine moustache, Sir Oliver, the band of heroes defeat the Dragon and discover a treasure trove of beautiful weapons which the heroes gleefully take as a prize except for Sir Oliver who after rescuing the Princess and falling madly in love, took the only item left, a innocent looking amulet. Years later with the heroes all returning home and the kingdom enjoying peace, a disturbance gives Sir Oliver the opportunity to wear his armour once more and ride his mythical creature Aquila into battle once more.

On occasion there is a certain charm when a game uses the nostalgic 8Bit art style of games of old, such as the wonderful Shovel Knight. That charm and nod to the past can help give a game a nice old school feel for us Gamers of a certain generation. For Gryphon Knight Epic however, that charm quickly fades due to a simplistic presentation that just becomes an empty and flat experience ALL too quickly.

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Gryphon Knight Epic is a side scrolling 2D shooter game that despite its attempt to be a witty fun take on a cliché story, almost loses itself in the nod to the past. The twist of having the story pick up events following the ‘Happy ever after’ to find Sir Oliver out of shape and out of practice due to the peace he helped make a reality in the land is a clever one. Having Sir Oliver come face to face with the consequences of the heroes taking the weapons as trophies when he learns they have all been cursed and have turned the heroes into evil versions is a nice story vehicle.

The gameplay comes from the journey to find the heroes to save them using the amulet he wears, with each level representing that hero’s homeland. The action will have the player using the left and right triggered to follow where the action directs the flow of the level with fighting that reminds me of R-Type genre of shooters. As you progress through each area the enemies become tougher and grow in number as the screen fills with their attacks forcing you to dodge more and more frantically. The fighting can be relentless but never really moves beyond button mashing the attack button and moving around the screen trying to avoid a mass of projectiles. The button mashing became annoying very quickly. After a while you will come across a boss fight before you encounter the now evil hero. After you defeat them and return their goodness by using the amulet, they will give you their weapon which will give Sir Oliver a new special attack and by collecting more weapons can be hot switched during the fighting.

After finding the first set of heroes I found myself getting bored very quickly as the gameplay become rather repetitive as you simply survive each area to reach an unimaginative boss encounter before taking on a hero and repeat. Though the story tries to add humour in the text conversations between Sir Oliver and other characters, the gameplay remains the same throughout. Boss fights can be very cheap affairs often with a single attack being able to deliver huge damage if you fail to time the dodge right. You are free to choose which hero you want to save and it has an upgrade systems to improve weapons and skills but the mundane nature of play never really changes.

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Why Gryphon Knight is currently a US only release for Xbox One is confusing but this is a rather forgettable game that tries to cash in on the current trend of going old school with old generation visuals and audio on a new generation platform. It is a pleasant shooter but fails to live up to the ‘Epic’ in its name. With so many ID@Xbox titles releasing every week, this will get lost in all that noise and sadly the adventures of Sir Oliver will never be the legend you pass on to your grandchildren.

SUMMARY

+ Pleasant Story
+ Fine Moustache
- Forgettable
- Repetitive
- Not Epic enough
(Reviewed on Xbox One, also available on PS4 and Steam, US only release on Xbox One)
Sean McCarthy
Sean McCarthy
Freelance writer but also a Gamer, Gooner, Jedi, Whovian, Spartan, Son of Batman, Assassin and Legend. Can be found playing on PS4 and Xbox One Twitter @CockneyCharmer

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+ Pleasant Story <br /> + Fine Moustache <br /> - Forgettable <br /> - Repetitive <br /> - Not Epic enough <br /> (Reviewed on Xbox One, also available on PS4 and Steam, US only release on Xbox One)Review: Gryphon Knight Epic (US Only)