Unless you're already a huge Gyruss fan, this isn't a must-own Xbox Live Arcade download.
- Good audio
- Controls well.
- Gyruss isn't the sort of game that keeps you coming back for more.
Konami's Gyruss is now available on Xbox Live Arcade, and it has the same bells and whistles that you've come to expect from Digital Eclipse's emulation work. It's a reasonably faithful version of the arcade game, with a weird side-by-side online mode where you play at the same time as another player but never actually interact, and it has updated graphics and sound that you can disable if you prefer the original arcade experience. Gyruss isn't exactly the most famous shooter in the world, but if you remember it--and remember liking it--you'll get enough out of it to justify the $5 purchase price.
Gyruss is basically a cross between Galaga and Tempest. Like Galaga, you move a ship around and shoot at enemies, who shoot back and occasionally dive at you. There's also a power-up that will double your firepower and a bonus stage where enemies fly in tricky formations and you have to shoot them all down. Like Tempest, the game is played on a tube of sorts. Your ship rotates around the outside, and the enemies attack from the screen's center. Despite the similarities to other games, though, Gyruss doesn't come off feeling like a carbon copy of other arcade games.
The updated graphics and sound are nice, delivering a decent remixed version of Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," but the game seems a little bit easier with the original graphics turned on, as the more modest looks make everything a little bit easier to see. The game also has 200 points' worth of achievements, broken up into the standard array of milestones, both single-player and online.
Overall, Gyruss is a disposable game. It's a decent shooter that offers what you'd expect from an arcade game of that era, but beyond the music, it doesn't really stand out. Unless you're already a fan of the game, you might not like what you see.
- Downloadable Game