Have you ever dreamed about being a knight? How about riding a massive gryphon? Well in Gryphon Knight Epic from Cyber Rhino Studios, you can do both of these things!
You play as Sir Oliver, a slightly less physical knight who’s gone through some tough times. Oliver and the rest of his clan went on a daring mission to save a princess, and while the others came away with a weapon as a reward, Oliver received an amulet. However, after a while, these weapons possess the holders into becoming evil, and the amulet fends off these evil forces – you must go round every stage, fending off the evil in each of your friends.
In a 2-D side scroller fashion, you ride on your humble gryphon and shoot the evil forces and their minions using your trusty crossbow. Its styled as a very pixelated game, which gives it a retro feel. The colours in the game are very bold, and the levels look great. The controls are simple, just like you’d expect from a side-scroller. The music is also great, and fits each stage and scene perfectly – the title menu theme sounds very medieval, which is great.
What gets this game down is the repetitiveness and anger-inducing-ness of the levels. Enemies can come from either side of the screen, and then after about 5 minutes, you run into your old friend from the princess rescue and defeat them or their minions. There isn’t really much to the game, its easy to play, but can be really annoying. I have died endlessly due to the unclear pain boundary. Enemies can fly into your ride, but if they fly into you, you take damage. You can’t always tell where your leg is due to the wing obstructing your view, but if the enemies hit your leg, you take damage. While you’re watching out for more spawning enemies, you lose the idea of where you are on the screen, and end up taking damage.
One level, I beat the boss, but died almost at the same time. I got the achievement, the cutscene started, and I got thrown, not just to the checkpoint before the battle, but to the START OF THE LEVEL. It was at this point, I put the controller down and cried a little. It’s a shame, a game that has so much potential to be so frustratingly awkward.
The achievements seem easy to get, a couple of combo builders, a couple of ‘take no damage’ on different levels and the rest easily obtainable with playing through the story.
Gryphon Knight Epic is available on Xbox and PC for £7.99.