Heavily tapping into the classic vertical shooter genre, GyroBlade is decent but a bit too simple
Having very fond memories of hitting the local arcade and playing some of my favorite vertical shooters (usually spending the most time on the classic 1943), there’s no question that GyroBlade hits some great notes in that general direction. You’ll have to test your dodging skills as you work through waves of enemies in the air and on the ground, working to pick up an occasional power-up and bonus stars as they show up. The thing that holds it back is that even in comparison to many, if not most, vertical shooters (both classic and contemporary) is that it really only delivers a portion of what made those games great. Your power-ups are meager at best, and even fickle since once you blow up you simply lose everything and start over, usually leaving you in a tough spot. What makes that a bit more painful is that you lack any screen-clearing option or even a simple bomb to do a bit more devastating damage, which can make for frustrating or simply dull boss battles as you’re left to simply chip away at them while avoiding attacks that you’ve memorized. Then, when some enemies get missiles that fire without much warning and one-shot you it layers on another frustration where it feels like the balance of challenge to fun is a bit out of whack. Great shooters and even bullet hell titles would certainly put you through the wringer, but would still feel fair. With GyroBlade the deck seems a bit cheaply stacked with your ship feeling a bit too neutered, making it a bit less appealing.
Justin Nation, Score: