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Andro Dunos II Review

Official Score

Overall - 65%

65%

Andro Dunos II carries on the old-school Neo-Geo classic; almost to a fault. Its varied weaponry keeps things fresh, but there are far too many cheap shots for our liking.

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A relatively deep cut in the Neo-Geo’s storied library, the shoot-em-up Andro Dunos has gotten itself a sequel with the release of Picorinne Soft, Just For Games, and PixelHeart’s Andro Dunos II. Should players take control of the Yellow Cherry once more, or do other titles leave it in the dust?

Andro Dunos II Review

At first glance, this horizontal shmup is like the rest of them. Alien threats, ships, undersea monsters, asteroids, and other threats stand between you and saving the universe. The little ship you’ve got is a glass cannon – while it can fire like crazy and cause massive damage, it is a glass cannon that goes down in one hit.

However, it is that firepower sets Andro Dunos II apart. For one, players have multiple weapons they can rotate between with a press of the triggers. Need to fire at somebody behind you? There’s a weapon for that. Rather use a laser or homing missile? There’s weapons for that too. Different situations require different strategies, which keeps this 45 minute shooter from feeling like a grind.

Andro Dunos II also takes a page from Konami’s Gradius series, in that weaponry can be upgraded. It’s not enough to simply fire away; one can also make sure they deliver more DPS with the right pick ups. Biting it causes a downgrade, so one needs to be shrewd in what goes out when. This risk-reward system is a welcome one.

There’s also another trick up this ship’s sleeve: the hyper shot. It’s not just a nice to have; this frenzied blaster is an absolute must at all times. While it needs to be recharged after use, using it as often as possible is an absolute must. If one has all of their weapons at level one, this get-out-of-jail card turns into a lifeline. Each weapon choice also has its own hyper weapon, so it pays to vary it up.

Unfortunately, while Andro Dunos II keeps its firepower fresh, it also makes some cardinal mistakes. For one, the sprite work is busy to a fault; there were many times where enemies were in the background and couldn’t be interacted with, only to pop up in plain sight and take us down. This might look cool in motion, but in execution it just feels cheap.

This also extends to a number of the level designs and boss fights. One stage forces players to navigate narrow corridors, with only a brief screen appearing beforehand. At the sheer pace the game moves at, this feels more like something to appeal to the hardcore crowd. Players can choose how many credits they have, the difficulty level, and can start from each completed stage, but it just doesn’t feel like enough.

Andro Dunos II carries on the old-school Neo-Geo classic; almost to a fault. Its varied weaponry keeps things fresh, but there are far too many cheap shots for our liking.

This review of Andro Dunos II was done on the PC. The game was purchased digitally.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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