03rd Aug2018

‘Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2′ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Emma Rees

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It’s been three years since Guns, Gore & Cannoli first released on multiple platforms, finally releasing on Switch towards the end of 2017. Guns, Gore & Cannoli is a 2D run ‘n’ gun platformer, where gangster Vinnie Cannoli ends up in the middle of a mysterious zombie outbreak. The story ended in a way that was crying out for a sequel, now it’s finally here with more guns, more gore, and a load of improvements under all that cannoli.

Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 features Vinnie Cannoli once again, only this time it’s a whole fifteen years later during the the final stages of the Second World War. The past has caught up with Vinnie and he finds himself being pursued by every mobster in the vicinity. The police aren’t any friendlier and will attempt to gun him down too.

At first, Vinnie may feel a little strange to control, as if you use a controller, the right analog stick causes him to face left or right whilst the left makes him move. This is something you will get used to in no time at all and will soon feel natural. Controls can be remapped in the options menu whether you use controller or keyboard.

During the first few levels, the main enemy is other gang members and the police; all of them armed and dangerous. Some of them are big, burly men who charge at him like an enraged bull, others come at him with melee weapons and many of them have guns. Vinnie is just as headstrong as before and has even more one liners up his sleeve as he blasts through waves upon waves of enemies. It seems he has become more versed in combat over the years since he is now also able to kick, double jump , roll and wield dual guns.

Aside from new combat skills, there’s also some exciting new weapons including a chainsaw and rocket launcher, and they feel fantastically destructive. If you run out of ammo at any point, this time around there two weapons with infinite use; a handgun and a baseball bat. Weapons are selected by bringing up the weapon wheel, which also shows the ammo count, and thanks to the new 360° aiming system, shooting everything on screen is so much easier. In the options menu, you can choose to automatically switch to new weapons, which eliminates the need to always have to bring up the weapon wheel in the midst of battle.

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As if things weren’t crazy enough for Vinnie, he later finds himself back in Thugtown from the first Guns Gore & Cannoli , and zombies are still running rampant. In fact, some of them have mutated and there are now some new zombie types to add to the variety. There are hulking monstrosities that throw rocks and absorb tonnes of damage, almost like the Tanks in Left4Dead. There are also ball and chain zombies which launch themselves through the air and zombies which have taken to running like dogs. When Vinnie gets injured, he must eat cannoli to recover health but this time it has a heart above it, making it much easier to see among the carnage.

Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 is more chaotic than ever before with bodies falling all over the place, ceilings collapsing, walls exploding, enemies attacking from everywhere possible and bullets flying in all directions. The environment can also be used to your advantage and it’s supremely satisfying to cause crates or air conditioning units to drop down onto enemies, or to use exploding barrels to take them out. On his quest to survive and take down his adversaries, Vinnie will fight his way through streets, burning buildings, a movie theater, army barracks, mines and much more. At the end of some stages there are challenges where you must survive waves of enemies for a certain period of time until the exit opens up. Challenges and boss fights are always fun and intense.The action is nonstop and poses a challenge even on an easier difficulty but true veterans and masochists can attempt to play on the ‘impossible’ difficulty setting. An even bigger challenge is managing to stop playing because it’s so much fun.

The animations are as smooth and impressive as ever and the gore effects are some of the best there is in the 2D genre. Body parts fly, heads explode and mashed up bodies fall to the floor in a disgusting heap. Squeamish players can tone down the gore with the ‘low gore’ option. The hand drawn environments are just as detailed with: cars, weapons, furniture, buildings, music and other small details, perfectly capturing the 1940’s war era. The story itself is humorous and engaging with animated cutscenes, and the voice acting is also impressive. Vinnie is a likeable protagonist and if you played the first game, you’ll find yourself even more invested in his story and just what madness the villains are roping him into this time.

Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 is a direct sequel to Guns, Gore & Cannoli and is much more refined and improved. There are new weapons and Vinnie has new and improved skills such as doublejump and roll. The animation and the gore effects are some of the best in the genre and it’s insanely fun to play whether you go it alone or with friends. Fans of Guns, Gore & Cannoli will find even more to love about its sequel but even newcomers will be able to get fully immersed in the madness. Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 is well worth the download and fans of 2D run ‘n’ guns shouldn’t think twice before adding it to their collection.

***** 5/5

Developed and published by Crazy Monkey Studios, Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 is available on the Nintendo Switch now

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