I scolded the original Giga Wing in my review of it a few weeks back, and I’ve decided to review the second entry in the series hoping for some improvements. Released in 2001 for the Sega Dreamcast, Giga Wing 2 was developed by GeneX and published by Capcom. The vertical shooter would introduce players to new pilots and offer a four-player mode. Would the second installment of Giga Wing upgrade the series or would it show similar disappointments to the original?
Let’s take a look at the story from the official manual:
“The Serbenian Republic is a beautiful region in the center of the Eurasian continent, nestled between the Black and Red Seas. For decades it has been one of the most peaceful countries in the Union.
Secretly, though, it’s been rumbling with unrest and dissatisfaction. Suddenly, the Republic army erupts in a wide-spread coup against the Union garrison and announces its independence. The Union government is shaken to its roots.
Other Allied Nations make a gesture of assisting the Union’s military government. But large-scale military intervention is viewed as unwise as the balance of power shifts daily between the rebels and the Union forces.
The Union government contacts Giga Wing, an elite special forces team, to take the situation in hand. Five young aces take off and head to the Serbenian Republic.
It’s an entirely new battle!
Nothing is impossible for Giga Wings pilots!
Giga Wing is an independent group of air mercenaries originally formed by pilots of the elite Unit 100 Airborne. They played a legendary role in the last war, but have since resigned from the Unit in peacetime.
Since Giga Wing pilots do not pay tribute to any nation and aren’t bound by any law, hopeful applicants are not questioned about their past or the history of their airships. The only qualification is excellence!
Only the highest qualified aces are allowed to join. Because of this, Giga Wing pilots display a battle prowess that significantly contributes to successful battles – while engaging the minimum of pilots.”
All in all, a bunch of mumbo-jumbo but let’s take a look at the pilots you can choose from. I thought there was more than this from the manual, I believe you can play as up to eight different pilots but I could be wrong so don’t hold me to it. Anyway, here are their bios from the manual:
Kart – A hero of the previous war. It is said that his squad’s performance brought about an early end to the war. However, Kart’s entire team was annihilated in a battle at Lullie Sea, leaving him with no one to lead. After the war, Kart became a mercenary, earning the ominous nickname “Companion Killer”.
Romi – A perfect ace pilot whose skill is unrivaled in the team. As a war orphan, Romi was raised in a military institution. While there, she received special education as a fighter pilot.
Limi – The last survivor of an ancient Serbenian family. Limi keeps alive the legend of the family’s powerful canon.
Chery – Officially registered as one of the replicoids (artificial soldiers) mass-produced during the war, in reality, Chery is an original artificial human. She was found in a sanctuary.
Ralugo – Once fought for independence for his family in Serbenia, but lost to the huge power of the empire. After living as a drifter, he has decided to become a Giga Wing mercenary.
I did my playthrough as Kart. The finale of the game sees Chery blowing herself up with a bomb to stop the enemy while Romi or Limi (I can’t remember which one) dies. Kart retires and ends up becoming the president of a country or something like that.
The intro was much better than the previous game. It felt like a game that belonged on the Sega Dreamcast which I could not say for the first game. The original Giga Wing looked like it belonged on the Super Nintendo. When I started my playthrough, I noticed that the presentation and graphics continued on the improvement from the intro.
Giga Wing 2 looks much better on the Dreamcast than the first game. I don’t know what happened because they were only released within a year of each other but they look vastly different. The insane number of bullets will still kill you every 15 seconds but like the first game, you have unlimited continues. It’s both a blessing and a curse for this game because it takes any challenge out of the game but allows players of all skill to have fun and see the entirety of the game. There’s no way I could beat this game without the unlimited continues, there are just way too many bullets on screens and you will die every few seconds. Luckily, you have unlimited bombs to blast and they destroy almost everything on the screen. In this aspect, Giga Wing 2 feels more like a tech demo than an actual game, showing off the graphics, controls, and soundtrack instead of putting forth a challenge. The object of the game is to get a high score because we all know the only way you’ll fail is if you quit. A full run playthrough will last maybe 15-20 minutes.
The story added some layers to the game but the text scrolled too fast and when you can read it, it’s hilariously bad. Some characters will give facial expressions and there’s a point in the game where this girl yells “I’m going to destroy all of you!” Her face is so hilarious and scary at the same time, it made me laugh out loud while also feeling uncomfortable.
You can play the game with three other friends which I’m sure adds some fun to the game but Giga Wing 2 suffers from the exact same issues as the first game except for the presentation. The gameplay is just fun and in 2001, gamers wanted a better challenge in shooters than just getting a high score.
No memories of Giga Wing 1 or 2 and after these reviews hopefully I forget about them.
Giga Wing 2 looks better than the original but still suffers from the lack of challenge due to unlimited continues and cheap bombs. You’ll cruise through this shooter in 15 minutes every time you play it. The strange story doesn’t add much but at least the second entry looks ten times better. Any fans of shooters should expect more from a game released in 2001.
Giga Wing 2 scores a 6.1 out of 10.
Do you remember when Giga Wing 2 first came out? Did you like the first or second game better? Who was your favorite character to play as and did you laugh at the terrible dialogue? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments.
If you’d like to own a copy of Giga Wing 2, you can purchase a used copy of it for the Sega Dreamcast for anywhere between $400-$800 on eBay.