There have been quite a few shmup resurrections recently, and Andro Dunos 2 is definitely part of that tradition. A sequel to a 1992 Neo Geo game, you’d think it was straight out of the 90s, rather than something released in 2022.
Developed by the two-man team of Sweet Peck, Andro Dunos 2 is a perfect sequel to a game released three decades ago.
If you are unfamiliar with the original Andro Dunos, it was the first game developed by Visco for the Neo Geo and was generally well received. While it wasn’t the graphical stunt that many were expecting, it made up for that with some very solid gameplay.
Inspired by Hellfire and Whiplash, Andro Dunos Have you controlled the somewhat cute Neo Type space fighter against an alien invasion. With four weapons to switch between at your command, you can also boost their power and unleash a mighty shot against your enemies.
It was a fairly standard horizontal shmup, but not too remarkable. This is where we come Andro Dunos 2.
Basically, it carries over the same basic structure as the original game, but expands beyond that to some extent.
You still have your four weapon types, but there’s more to upgrade now. In short, some enemies drop blue orbs. Collecting these 30 items on each level grants you three upgrade slots for each of your weapons.
It may seem like a simple setup, but the result of this implementation is quite complex. Rating the weapon to be upgraded plays a crucial role in your progress. Additionally, the motorized fire you can use is now much more tactical, with sections of each level requiring proper use of the motorized version of each weapon to survive.
The first few levels aren’t too difficult, but the difficulty of the game increases a bit after that, but does so epically and satisfyingly. The fast pace of the final levels is impressive and definitely worth the effort to get there.
Visually, the game looks like something straight out of the 90s, but is a definite step up from the original game. Although the game doesn’t have a scanlines option, the pixel art here is actually just fine without it.
When it comes to audio, this game has a pretty punchy soundtrack. Something that should come as no surprise, as the legendary Allister Brimble did. Not only does it capture the musical style of the original game, it amplifies it into something truly special.
Although I’ve mostly played the Switch version of this game, it’s available on just about every platform. Inasmuch as it’s one of the latest physical game releases for the Nintendo 3DS, it also plays brilliantly in case you were wondering. A Dreamcast version is even planned.
Globally, Andro Dunos 2 is truly a brilliant shmup that looks like something released in the 90s heyday of the genre. From gameplay, to graphics and music, Andro Dunos 2 is a pixel perfect shmup.
Andro Dunos 2
Platform: Nintendo Switch (revised), Nintendo 3DS (revised), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Dreamcast
Developer: Sweet Peck
Editor: pixel heart
Published: March 24, 2022
Disclosure: Pixel Heart sent me a copy of this game for the purposes of this review.
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