The first adventure may have arrived long before the Nintendo Switch was about, but it doesn’t mean we can’t ignore the fact that Guns, Gore & Cannoli was pretty fantastic. Back in 2015 the guys over at Crazy Monkey Studios brought us a comical platforming tale of an Italian mobster, Mr. Vinnie Cannoli and his adventure through Thugtown after a zombie outbreak had overrun the city. Now though he’s back, and this time – with Nintendo Switch in full swing – we can now enjoy Vinnie’s delightful adventures on the go as we head back into a story in which the life of a mobster is the only way we know.
Like all good sequels, Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 is a continuation of the outing with the game taking place some 15 years after the events of the first game. Just like last time out, the tone is set early on with our wise cracking protagonist tied up in a chair and facing the rough end of a beating from the local mob. After finding his mob rivals spending a little too long admiring his past antics however, our hero quickly turns the tables and puts the first of many goons to the floor, before heading off on yet another action-packed platforming adventure filled with zombies, gangsters and even Nazis requiring a consultation with Vinnie Cannoli.
The first thing you’ll notice besides the humorous nature of our protagonist is the incredible art style that returns and encapsulates the Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 experience. From mobster to zombie, floor to ceiling and pillar to post, the level of detail is incredible, especially when you start to fill the surrounding environment with bullets and watch as certain areas crumble, leaving a path of destruction and rubble in your wake.
This is typically true for vehicles, but also many other things such as decorative items that litter the many buildings and pathways – chairs, tables, doors, etc – up to more meaningful destructibles such as the buildings themselves, or parts of them at least. Much of this destruction is done through the use of explosives.
When it comes to the visuals, the guys over at Crazy Monkey Studios have done everything possible to ensure Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 maintains the high-standards set by its predecessor, but whilst that must be applauded, there are also a number of new tweaks and changes that give even more to cheer about when it comes to the latest adventure.
The first notable change this time around comes from the new aiming system which is now fully functional in a 360-degree aiming wheel type system. For me this is a fantastic addition and there is little more satisfying than pulling off some perfected shots with the ultimate precision. What makes it better is that it hasn’t been implemented in a lazy fashion such as just enabling the arms to spin around, and should you aim behind Vinnie then he will turn around accordingly to match the direction of the shot – it’s a little change, but a significant one I’ll applaud all the way.
Another change comes in the form of health bars above the heads of both our protagonist and the many enemies he takes down along the way, be it the Nazi invaders, the unruly undead or the unwavering mob patrol. For me, this wasn’t a change I appreciated – sure for the end of level bosses this is always a good thing, but for every character, I’m not keen. Again, it’s only a little change but unlike the classy 360 degree aiming, health bars aren’t nearly as necessary.
The biggest change of all though comes down to the introduction of online multiplayer which allows players to go at it in co-op. Sadly my time online was only met with players who didn’t seem to actually be playing at all, random disconnections, or those who simply wanted to race through without enjoying the experience; playing through as if it was some kind of speed run. Should you manage to team up with someone who wants to play the game properly though, it goes without saying that you’re in for a treat – especially when Cannoli 2 runs smoothly. If you want to try the harder difficulties, teaming up may be your only option.
As for the gameplay itself, Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 brings out the very best of the platforming genre. For some there may well be a feeling of repetitivity due to the fact that all you’ll really be doing is jumping from platform to platform, and shooting enemies, but thanks to the fantastic level design throughout, it can be easy to forget that each stage is essentially built around cleverly placed platforms, ensuring things always feel fresh. With a vast variety of enemies – all of which have their own unique looks and attacking threats – plenty of weapons and a constantly changing environment, things rarely ever feel too similar. This is helped by the multiple pathways that are usually hidden across different areas; exploring fully will only bring more variation to each of the 17 chapters that you’ll be playing through.
Finally, I can’t leave this review without mentioning the sound. As someone who goes out to buy the best headsets for my games, sound is important, and this is another category in which Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 truly shines. From every bullet and explosion, to the classic soundtrack that tootles along in the background, everything you’ll hear helps to set the tone of the 1940’s setting that Vinnie Cannoli is now a part of.
Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 is an immediate classic. It brings humour, style and quality and mixes it all together to bring out one of the finest platforming experiences available on Nintendo Switch. Whether you’ve played the first game or not, Guns, Gore and Cannoli 2 is a game that you need in your library and if you’re a fan of witty humour, a classic hero and memorable gaming experiences then get out there and buy this gem. It’s one you won’t forget anytime soon.
Welcome back Vinnie Cannoli!
Massive thanks to: Crazy Monkey Studios
Release date: August 2018
Formats: Nintendo Switch (Review)