Be a Knight, Ride a Gryphon

August 1st, 2014 -

Everyone loves a good medieval story, especially one that involves legendary creatures. Cyber Rhino Studios is well aware of this, and their upcoming title Gryphon Knight Epic includes both, with something a bit more awesome than most – you’re not just battling the legendary creatures, you’re riding one.

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At a glance, you may think this is just your typical shmup, but this is far more than that. Despite being told the controls, I ignored them and got right into the game. Hitting the normal keys that would do something, I managed to turn around – what? But… this is a sidescrolling shmup, you don’t turn around. And you definitely don’t change the scrolling! Well, you do in this. Did you miss an enemy? Don’t want to run into that trap? Head backwards. However, don’t think it’s going to be safe – you head back, you’ll be getting more enemies spawning, and on top of the ones already heading towards you, there is a high potential for damage. Speaking of damage, you’ll be taking a lot. While this isn’t a bullet hell title like Ikaruga, there is plenty going on throughout the levels, and they don’t seem to let up as you continue on. The enemies in the demo had a lot of variation – don’t expect a couple enemies being passed off as twenty others based off palette swaps – and check it out, if they are similar, they have different attacks.

In addition to the regular enemies, the bosses are where the game really comes into its own. Each stage has two bosses: a large one that barely moves, and a duel type of boss. In the demo, you fight TreeStache, an old friend of Sir Oliver. Unfortunately he is being controlled by mushrooms, so you must destroy them while dodging his many attacks that fill the screen. After this sub-boss, you continue through the second half of the level until you come across another enemy similar to you. In the case of the level I played, it was an elf riding a gorilla mount. He can ride the gorilla as you do with your Gryphon, or he can double team you with his gorilla jumping in the trees while also shooting and dodging arrow bolts. It’s quite invigorating. While I didn’t get a chance to beat him (demo ended mid-battle), I know that finishing these battles nets you their weapon. Without taking someone’s weapon, you are able to use a constant shot, or a charge shot (you may be thinking Mega Man – it’s an inspiration of theirs).

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Cool Jason, this looks neat. When does it launch? I’m glad you asked, readership. And I apologize for putting those words into your mouth. The game is currently slated for April of 2015, but as with all games, it’s an estimate more than a certainty. But say you want to help make that launch possible, what could you do? Simple, check out their Kickstarter campaign which just launched! They’re just short of 20% funded at the time of writing, and believe me, if you like shmups, it’s worth backing. With four weeks to go, you should have plenty of time to get that paycheck that’s preventing your pledge right now. Shh shh, come here. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you like that. If you don’t have the money to pledge, that’s fine. You know how you can still help (aside from spreading the word)? Vote yes for them on Steam Greenlight. It only takes a moment of your time, and everyone involved will be happy. If you have any interest in shmups, their Kickstarter is full of details I failed to tell you about. I don’t want to steal ALL their thunder.

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