Title: Gryphon Knight Epic
Platform: Steam, Windows, Mac, Linux
Reviewed on: Windows
Players: Single player
Written by Dragoon 25th August 2015
Gryphon Knight Epic, the debut game from Cyber Rhino Studios, is a side-
After defeating an epic dragon our hero, Sir Oliver, and his friends help themselves to relics from the creatures’ horde. It turns out that these relics were cursed and it causes all of Olivers friends to go rogue a few years after their quests end. It’s up to Oliver and his trusty gryphon Aquila to find his friends and save them from the curse. Unfortunately this kind of story is fairly cliché and is mostly just there to set you up for the various levels and bosses you will face and it doesn’t really pick up later on. The writing is also substandard throughout and it feels like the game was just trying too hard to be funny but its jokes mostly ended up falling flat.
Gryphon Knight Epic is a hard game, a really hard game. Some will relish the challenge but even those people will find the game unfair at times, your hitbox seems overly large which makes it hard to avoid damage and health is limited with refills being sparse, even on the easier difficulties. The game takes some inspiration from Megaman with how you obtain new abilities. As you defeat the various main bosses you obtain their weapon, such as a scimitar which shoots crescent beams, but sadly these bosses feel overwhelming and at times their attacks seem to be random or just downright unavoidable resulting in little strategy. If you die you lose a life and restart at a checkpoint but if you lose all your lives you have to replay the whole level from the start, this kind of thing made sense back in the days of the arcade but now it just feels outdated and frustrating.
There is an turning mechanic that lets you change direction at a press of a button and hit enemies behind you but it is poorly implemented and often has you flying straight into danger, it would have been better to let you fly freely in all directions and the ability to move in one direction and shoot in the other would have been great. There is an upgrade shop accessible between levels but gold is hard to come by so it takes a lot of grinding to get all the upgrades, it’s even more frustrating since you lose money when you die and you will die a lot.
Graphically Gryphon Knight Epic looks good with a charming pixel art style that really brings life to the game. The levels all look great and are well designed with their own distinct themes but the backgrounds are bland and repetitive, also some enemies just don’t seem to fit their levels. The bosses are great to look at as well but unfortunately the game in general just isn’t as fun as it looks. Sound wise the game has a good soundtrack with some catchy chiptunes and the sound effects throughout are passable but nothing standout.
Overall Gryphon Knight Epic just seems like a game that was trying too hard, it really wants to be a difficult game but it does it in a way that just seems unfair and its attempts at humour are let down by it’s poor writing. While it had an interesting setting it feels like it was wasted on a game that just wasn’t up to snuff. It’s hard to recommend it to anyone but fans of shoot-
Gryphon Knight Epic flies in with a limp 4/10.