Gungrave for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
Instantly recognizable, due in part to the unique visual style of TRIGUN's Yasuhiro Naito, Gungrave casts players as Grave, an enigmatic, double-gun wielding anti-hero forged in much the same spirit as Todd McFarlane's Spawn character. Bent on the destruction of an evil criminal organization, Grave must traverse six unique environments, utilizing the dual handguns and coffin he possesses to literally destroy anything and everything in his path while doing so. At its most basic level, the gameplay in this third-person action title encourages players to destroy the various enemies along with the environments themselves. Uninterrupted carnage steadily increases the "Beat" meter, allowing players to achieve extended combos through carefully planned attacks. Higher scores and extra abilities are awarded for exemplary play. Complementing Grave's Cerberus guns is a giant coffin that he can wield as both a melee and projectile weapon. In close combat Grave swings the coffin in a 360-degree arc around himself, inflicting significant damage to anything caught in its path. The coffin can also fire a "Demolition Shot." Initially, only one shot is unlocked, with others earned by collecting skulls throughout the game (the higher the ranking, the more skulls earned). Acting as a smart bomb of sorts, a Demolition Shot can be used to eradicate entire enemy hordes, with rockets or copious rounds of gunfire. The aforementioned Beat combos, in addition to increasing the stage score, gradually fill an onscreen meter that rewards players with additional Demolition Shots. A maximum stockpile of nine Shots is allowed per stage. At the conclusion of each level, players are ranked according to their performances in categories such as Beat Count, Enemies Killed, Life Remaining, and so forth. When engaged in combat, Grave doesn't immediately lose health. Instead, attacks are absorbed by a shield that constantly replenishes itself when not under fire, with the catch being that players have to interrupt a combo in order to seek out safe cover first. More routine maneuvers include the ability to run, dive sideways, perform 180-degree quick-turns, and to lock onto and strafe around enemy characters. Cel-shaded cut-scenes highlight Grave's predicament and his interactions with the other characters. Adjustable difficulty settings provide additional replay incentive, as do hidden extras, such as a 3D model gallery mode that allows players to view various character models.