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Gynoug review for PS5/4, Xbox Series X/One, Switch


Platform: PS5
Also on: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: extreme / Shinyuden
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Gynoug has an interesting backstory: it was first released on the Sega Genesis 30 years ago – as Gynoug in Japan, as Wings of Wor in North America – and now it’s been re-released so modern audiences can get to know it.

The question is, of course, why they’d want to. Gynoug is a pretty standard side-scrolling shooter. It’s a genre that was well-represented thirty years ago, and even if those games aren’t as popular nowadays, there’s still tonnes of them available to play today. Gameplay-wise, there’s pretty much nothing here that hasn’t been done almost literally countless times before (and after, I guess).

That said, gameplay isn’t everything, and Gynoug is certainly one of the most visually striking horizontal shmups I’ve ever seen. Rather than the usual spaceships, here your enemies are much more flesh and blood – with an emphasis on the blood. There’s plenty of rotting flesh and bleeding organs; one boss is a decomposing torso, while others have bright pink insides that shoot outwards as they attack you. There’s even a level that seems to take place inside a body, which is every bit as gross as you’d expect. It’s a pretty gory game, all things considered, even if it’s “only” rendered in 16-bit graphics.

But again, if you’re not a fan of shmups – whether upwards-scrolling or side-scrolling – Gynoug isn’t likely to win you over. It’s a fairly easy Platinum, but other than that, there’s not really much to recommend it.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Gynoug PS4/PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: C+