If you're a shoot 'em up fan and want to play the long-awaited sequel to an obscure Neo Geo game then here's Andro Dunos 2.
An unexpected sequel
Yes, Andro Dunos 2 is an oddity as it's a brand new sequel to a game that released 30 years ago. The original Andro Dunos remains a mostly unremarkable shoot 'em up that had some stiff competition back in the day with many other shmups of the time trying to innovate with a large portion of those being far superior to what this humble Neo Geo title offered. With that being said, Andro Dunos 2 is something special as it captures the spirit of the era while offering a much better experience than the original game did. v1d30chumz 3-235-176-80
I admittedly wasn't expecting much from this sequel considering its less than stellar roots but I'm happy to say that I am quite pleased with its tight gameplay and superb presentation. For starters, you control a ship by holding a button to fire an array of projectiles and missiles while another button is used to enter hyper shot mode which amplifies your weapons then makes your standard shot temporarily weaker after it's deployed. This mechanic is pretty cool as it forces you to gauge whenever you need a burst of firepower.
On top of the nifty hyper shot, you also have 4 weapon loadouts that you can cycle through whenever you wish with each one offering unique arrangements that allow you to more effectively take care of enemies behind, above, and below. Therefore, swapping to the best loadout for each situation is satisfying stuff, especially when you unleash a specific loadout's hyper shot that skillfully takes out a whole swarm of enemy combatants. This system kind of reminded me of Thunder Force although it's handled a bit better there.
As I touched upon, Andro Dunos 2 has an authentic presentation that makes it feel like a classic shoot 'em up. Specifically, I'd say that it feels like it belongs in the mid to late '90s although there are some effects that are more modern. For example, seeing enemies fly in the background only to enter the fray is a phenomenal touch. Meanwhile, the stages themselves are cleverly designed with distinct visual themes and stand-out boss fights that really put your skills to the test as you watch them unleash all sorts of tricky attacks to trip you up. The sound effects are quite good and the same can be said about the arcade-style soundtrack even if it's not all that memorable.
Andro Dunos 2 may be a very good shmup and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it but it does have aspects that could use fleshing out. For starters, even though the bosses can be tough and pose unique challenges, the stages that lead to them are mostly unchallenging and I found myself occasionally getting bored as I easily swatted down waves of enemy ships. Don't get me wrong; the levels are varied and interesting but they are definitely easy. Anyway, I would have liked to see more content such as extra modes, multiplayer support, and online rankings but all you get are a boss rush mode and a couple of extra stages to unlock. Finally, Andro Dunos 2's gameplay could use more complexities, especially with scoring since it's mostly straightforward stuff that doesn't require much strategy.
I absolutely recommend Andro Dunos 2 for any shoot 'em up fan. It may not be the most intricate or challenging example of the genre but its tight gameplay will push you to master the many enjoyable boss fights while taking in some impressive sights along the way.
- + Tight shmup gameplay with fun weapon loadouts that you can swap to on the fly
- + Excellent authentic retro presentation
- + Variety of memorable stages and bosses
- - Could use more modes and some sort of multiplayer support
- - Stages tend to be too unchallenging
- - Gameplay could use more complexities