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Reviews (0-9 / A-M)

Gyrodine

MANUFACTURER: TAITO
1
984 (1-2 Players)


 

 

Overview and game play

Gyrodine is a vertically scrolling shooter for 1-2 players featuring a helicopter that must attack and destroy enemies based on land and in the air and is viewed from an aerial viewpoint. Pressing button 1 fires a shot from two guns positioned at the front of the helicopter. Button 2 is used to dip the helicopter at an angle towards the ground and fire the same guns. As the on-screen enemies increase in their numbers, the player can fire homing missiles at enemies by holding down button 1 and pressing button 2. Pressing button 1 while moving left or right causes the helicopter to fire bullets diagonally that can be particularly useful when several enemies gang up on the player in an attack.

The game designers have carefully balanced the power of the weapons to maintain the challenge posed by oncoming enemies. When button 2 is pressed to make the helicopter dip towards the ground, bullets are still fired, but at a shorter range than if button 1 was pressed alone. Pressing a combination of buttons 1 and 2 to fire a homing missile causes a decrease in the rate of bullets that can be fired, to limit the amount of destruction the player can cause. 

 

 

Overall, Gyrodine provides a moderately challenging experience that would appeal to fans of the shooter genre as well as people who don’t like difficult shooters

 

Graphics

The enemies and environments are varied enough to provide some replay value in Gyrodine. Players can fly over beaches, roads, forests and large areas of water during their mission. The enemies are sufficiently diverse to break the monotony that some shooters have in their graphics and range from airships and helicopters to tanks and ground based cannons that fire shots at the players’ position. Further details appear in Gyrodine to add to its playability. In some areas of the game, small innocent civilians stand around houses or sit on a beach with their parasols. A possible indicator of a player’s character is whether they spare the innocent civilians or kill them all in a merciless rampage!

 

 

Another interesting feature of the game design that adds to the game play is that some enemies, such as some ground-based targets, are hidden beneath foliage in forests. Momentary reflections of sunlight on their metallic exteriors are the only signs that betray their location to the player, so concentration is required to survive. A pleasant shadow is cast by the players’ helicopter that changes its shape depending upon the direction the player is flying and whether the player is attack air or ground based targets. Shadows are not cast by missiles that the player fires but that is perhaps a welcome exclusion in the case of Gyrodine as it may have unnecessarily complicated the game by adding objects that could distract the player and adversely effect the game play.

 

Sound

Aside from the “put-put” sound of the machine guns on the players helicopter, there is very little to speak of in the sound department. Enemies explode with a chip based crash sound that is functional but not particularly convincing.

 

 




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