Andro Dunos was a cult hit for the Neo Geo AES, due to it never seeing release on another console it was somewhat lost to the sands of time.
That is until developers PICORINNE SOFT and publishers Pixel Heart licensed the I.P from its holders at VISCO to create Andro Dunos 2, part nostalgia trip and part final goodbye to the Nintendo 3DS.
Andros Dunos 2 from the get go feels very much like Clockwork Aquario in that it could have very well been a title that was supposed to be released in the 90s.
From the drip of 90s sprites instead of the overly clean HD graphics down to its sharp difficulty in the latter stages, make no mistake while this game is a 2022 jam it’s heart and soul belongs in the 90s arcades.
Andro Dunos 2 is a traditional horizontal “Shmup”, you take control of a ship, fly through 10 stages and shoot down everything that moves while avoiding being shot down yourself.
Unlike other Shmups, instead of having a choice of ship you only have the one but access to many different shots, this is done with a touch of a button and each shot can be upgraded by collecting the S icon or through the purchase system I’ll touch on soon.
Each shot has unique properties and you’ll find out very quickly that some are just better suited for different scenarios such as boss fights with your smaller but more damaging shots or hordes of popcorn foes taken down with ease with your spread shot.
Following on from that and I told you I’d touch on it is the upgrade system, you collect little orbs throughout the levels, dropped by enemies and bigger orbs by heftier foes, depending on how many of these you collect at the end of the level you can choose what shot, missile, shield or add 5000pts to your hi-score, survive or score chasing the choice is yours.
In terms of options you have 3 difficulties to choose from and the ability to set how many credits you want, aside from that you have a stage select which allows you to choose what level to start from and a local leaderboard.
The lack of options really hurts the title, especially the lack of online leaderboards so if you are after something more than the traditional arcade experience you aren’t going to get that here.
On the plus side the actual experience is not only 100% distilled arcade action but has some absolutely fantastic set pieces and boss fights, easily in the upper echelon of the genre in my opinion.
Graphically it just nails the Neo Geo look as mentioned and the music is toe tapping, adrenaline inducing stuff, controls are smooth and plenty of feedback when destroying enemies with audio cues, aside from the sprite of the main ship getting stuck in the up sprite at times utterly flawless presentation.
Andro Dunos 2 is a no frills, all killer no filler title that smacks of the era it’s prequel was born. Lack of extra modes and online leaderboards do dampen its impact sadly making this a must play for fans of the genre but harder to recommend to anyone on the outside of its grasp.
Great title for hardcore shmupers
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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.