As many of our listeners/readers will know, videogames have been part of my life for around 40 years. As I’m sure you can imagine I’ve played my fair share in that time, but I always look forward to trying something “retro” which I haven’t played before. This brings me onto Gynoug (AKA Wings of Wor) which has recently been released.
Originally released in 1991 for Sega Megadrive, I distinctly remember the box art which features a musclebound winged warrior pointing to the sky while monsters lurk at his feet. I’m sure I would have picked it up and closely examined the box at some point in my younger years, because that’s what you did back then. You would stand in your favourite videogame shop and look at the multitude of boxes, staring at the impressive artwork, reading the blurb on the back of the case whilst drooling over the screenshots. This was all part of the excitement of buying a new game which is sadly lost today. Now all you do is click buy, download and it’s done. See, I told you I was old and jaded!
Anyway, back to Gynoug which is a side scrolling shooter. I personally enjoy this genre and I’m sure lots of you have played these types of games before. I wrote a retro review of a couple of my favourites U.N. Squadron and Apidya a few years ago.
Although side scrolling shooters generally do the same thing (move something around, shoot stuff, collect power ups, and fight bosses), for me what makes these games different from each other are the settings, gameplay, and style. It’s all about finding which one you like the best. Gynoug focuses on mythology as its backdrop and setting. You do control a winged warrior after all! As such, the enemies you face include several types of monsters you would expect from movies like Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts.
The items you can collect include feathers which make you faster, as well as power ups for your weapons and magic. There are several special weapons which can also be collected which have a limited number of uses.
The gameplay itself is fine and your character controls well enough. There are six levels in total which provide plenty of challenge, but I did feel they lacked variety as the game went on. The music is ok and suits the style of game, but there is nothing particularly memorable which stuck in my mind.
One thing I did notice about this port is there is some slowdown where the levels were busy. This didn’t affect my enjoyment of the game, but I thought it was odd that a game like this being played on a PlayStation 5 would suffer from graphical slowdown. I decided to look on the positives and figure they wanted to stay authentic to the original which would have suffered from the same issues.
There are several different options available, some which change the gameplay and others which change the visual aspect of the game. These include:
- Changing Video display from 4:3 to perfect
- Scaling options from soft, crispy to razor
- Alter the background wallpapers
- Fixing the shaders so it looks like you are playing on a CRT TV
There is a cheat menu where you can select the following:
- Retain your weapons
- Have unlimited credits
- Infinite lives
- Infinite magic
Also available is a handy rewind function which can be used at will. This allows you to rewind the action by a few seconds if you find a particularly tricky section where you keep dying.
Overall, Gynoug is a reasonably fun side scrolling shooter. It’s not a classic in my opinion and I’m unlikely to replay it anytime soon. Everything about it is perfectly fine, just not outstanding. If you have strong memories of Gynoug, or just want to round out your side scrolling shooter library then £4.99 isn’t exactly going to break the bank. On a side note, if you are into collecting trophies or achievements, you can get the platinum/1000 points relatively easily within 30 minutes or so.
Gynoug is available now on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
Review by Chris.