For the hardcore game collectors out there, certain systems have a certain irresistible charm to them. Usually these consoles are obscure, being unsuccessful during their lifetimes. The Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System (AES) is definitely one of these systems and NG:DEV.TEAM is a German company that specializes in continuing to support the system with new titles. The group is now re-releasing Gunlord, a ‘Eurostyle platformer’ originally debuted in 2011.
The first thing to get out of the way, especially to all of those curious to own a new AES title, is that this is by no means cheap. Pre-ordering the second run of Gunlord will cost you €449 which is just a little over $500 USD. You can save €20 (approx 22.50 USD) if you reserve it before May 31. The actual orders will go out in August of this year.
The ironic thing is that NG:DEV is doing this because ‘[t]he situation on the 2nd hand market [for the game] got out of hand.’ For instance with a quick Ebay.com search you can find listings for the game going over $2000 USD.
Being true to the Neo Geo’s Japanese roots, the title is available in both English and Japanese. Both versions come with what a usual new releases do: a case, manual, cart sticker. In the case of the second printing, all of these designs have been updated with new artwork since the first batch. The full list of what you get with an order is as follows:
- Gunlord AES regular edition NEOGEO AES Cart
- software: final version v1.3
- 658 MEGS
- High quality STEREO music / full soundtrack on cartridge
- Game box
- Cart sticker ENGLISH (NEW design)
- Offset printed insert ENGLISH (NEW design)
- Offset printed full color game manual: 12pages (NEW cover)
- Manual baggy
- Holographic numbering sticker
As for Gunlord itself, it has been made to feel like run-and-gun platformers from the 90s. You’re an alien soldier killing buckets of other aliens of varying shapes and designs in order to get to the end of the stage. The gameplay looks quite smooth with Contra style weapons mixed in with more advanced techniques thrown in there like rolling and even some Gradius style stages.
Game also features:
- 9 Huge Stages
- 16-bit Hand-drawn Graphics
- Non-linear action with 8-way scrolling
- Big Bad Boss Enemies
- Constant 60 fps
- Internet Ranking via Code
I’ve always been fascinated by developers who continue to create new titles for long dead systems. NG:DEV also makes games for the Neo Geo MVS and the Dreamcast. Actually most of their games (which fall into the Contra/Metal Slug style) release for all three of those systems. You can check out their catalog here. Unfortunately a lot of their offerings are quite expensive so I feel this is a part of gaming history that I won’t be able to take part in. I can imagine what it would be like while watching the trailer below however: