You’d be forgiven for thinking that GyroBlade is an old arcade shooter that has been brought back to life on modern consoles. It certainly looks and plays that way, but it’s actually a brand new game that merely evokes that classic feeling. With only one fire button to complement your movement, it’s one of those titles that you can pick up and play … until you probably fail, like I did.

As a vertical shmup, you need to pilot your titular GyroBlade helicopter and shoot down enemy craft. There’s no real bullet hell here for the most part, but the sheer number of enemies can make bullets hard to avoid. As such, your main focus here will be crowd control to keep enemy numbers down. Certain craft can drop weapon upgrades, giving you the choice between a power shot and a spread shot. Spread can do wonders for taking out multiple gunships, but I preferred the other for the raw sheer power.


… and that’s basically your lot. Taking place over eight areas, you’ll be facing similar enemies over similar environments. You may get a little bit tired of facing the same copters and AA turrets as you fight above rather generic sea, forest, and sand…. but you may very well not. The game has a really tight control scheme, and it just feels great to play. Whether you’re taking out the hordes of enemy craft or blasting away at one of the giant bosses, it really is just an absolute joy.

Despite the lack of variety, the game is a blast to play for those looking for a retro vertical shmup experience. And really, for the low asking price, what more could you ask for?