Also On: PS4, PC
Publisher: Just For Games
Developer: PixelHeart / Picorinne Soft
The Neo Geo was well known for it’s over abundance of vs. fighting games, however the system did other genres very well too such as sports games and some really great shooters. Andro Dunos was one fantastic game, sadly overshadowed by the likes of Samurai Shodown and The King of Fighters. Now, thanks to Picorinne Soft with blessing from original developer Visco Games, we not get a proper sequel with Andro Dunos 2, and it is truly a blast from the past!
This is your typical “one ship against the evil army” horizontal shooter. Players control a ship with 3 different types of weapons that can be switched on the fly. As you progress, you pick up powerups that will enhance the currently selected weapon or some that can enhance a specific weapon. You also have a limited number of “Hyper Shots” that, when timed correctly, can destroy some enemy bullets and can really save you from a painful death. Some enemies will drop blue orbs that can be collected and used at the end of each level to upgrade your on board weapons or special secondary weapons. The main game consists of seven stages that are not short, but just long enough to not get boring. The end of each stage brings you a screen filling boss that will require you to memorize patterns to defeat.
When you first begin, the gameplay will be familiar to anyone who have played a horizontal shooters but the journey will not be easy. By the middle of the second stage, you can be overwhelmed if you don’t make smart decisions and the bosses will crush you if you are not paying close attention. You are given enough Credits for a chance to complete the game, and with enough practice, you can master it but it won’t be a cakewalk by any means.
Some modern sequels of classic titles that get released only seem to use a small bit of what was found in the original, and Andro Dunos 2 doesn’t use everything from the original, it does use enough to be instantly recognizable to fans of the first. The Ship, the Weapon System and even some enemy patterns are carried over from the original game, while most everything else is new or vastly improved. If the Neo Geo would of made a comeback, this game definitely could of been part of its software lineup.
Visually, everything has been overhauled from the original as expected. It looks like a modern remake while staying very close to the looks of the original. Sadly there are no scanline or CRT filter options to be found, and the 4:3 borders on the sides of the screen cannot be turned off. Small gripes for sure, but I do wish more visual options were included. Control is OK as is, but you only have limited options for remapping the buttons. This only becomes a problem when you are like me and use an Arcade stick for that authentic arcade feel. I ended up going back to the Pro Controller after a while since cycling my weapons became a chore with the stick. If you could completely remap your controls this would not be an issue.
Andro Dunos 2 is a perfect example of how to make a true sequel to a classic game. It looks and plays the original, all the while showing off something new. It gave me that classic Neo Geo / Arcade feeling from start to finish and never felt too boring. The minor issues with controls and the lack of custom options do hurt a little, but don’t let them stop you from checking this out. If you are a fan of the original, or a fan of horizontal shooters in general, then you will enjoy what you find!
Note: Just For Games provided us with a Andro Dunos 2 Switch code for review purposes.