The reviews on this site are the text versions of the videos on my YouTube channel. The text based reviews use (if at all) very little pictures. Please follow the link to the corresponding video in order to see in game graphics.
Guntu Western Front June, 1944 was made in 1997 by Electrocoin Japan CO., LTD.. It was exclusively released in Japan on the Sony PlayStation. The subtitle Tetsu no kioku means “memory of iron”. As for the language barrier I am forced to guess the story. The game seems to take place 1944 in France shortly before the invasion of the Normandy. The aim is to take out several German vehicles and an antiaircraft defence. Possibly the operators of those machines are targets as well. Guntu stands for General’s UNdercover Tactics Unit. The player is one or more American soldiers, possibly in a vehicle.
The player may choose one of three weapon combinations. No matter the choice one part of the pair is always a full automatic machine gun. Along this the player can choose rockets, explosive rounds or fire bombs. Those special weapons behave really unique and each manages to change the play style dramatically which increases the replay value of the game.
The game features six stages: The first stage takes place in what appears to be a camp. The second stage takes place in the streets. The next stage is a military airport. The fourth stage is a valley. The fifth stage is the entrance to the headquarter and the final stage plays inside the headquarter. The levels are usually concluded with a bossfight against a tank, although two levels let you the face the boss from the very beginning. Furthermore the boss of the third level is an antiaircraft defence.
The game lets the player save the progress, and allows free choosing amongst completed levels. The levels are selected on a map screen. There is no life bar. Instead the level time limit serves this purpose. The player loses time when getting hit. Depending on the nature of the hit the player looses more or less time. Time can be gained by shooting enemies or more notable projectiles thereof. If the player runs out of time the game is over. However the game features unlimited continues which let the player retry from the start of the level.
The game had underdeveloped graphics for its time, but personally I think this doesn’t matter much anymore 20 years after its release. The graphics are sufficient to provide the desired atmosphere. The enemies look intriguing and show a wide variety. The soundtrack consists mostly of rock music and is really well done.
Personally I had a great time playing this game. It offers everything what makes a great light gun game: precision, variety, uniqueness, difficulty settings, unlimited continues, unlockables, challenge and a level select screen. Furthermore the game supports the Namco G-con. Personally I like the default difficulty. The screen clearing flame bombs are imbalanced and take out the fun from the game as they are too strong. Concerning strength the explosive rounds are somewhere in between the rockets and the flame bombs. I recommend using the rocket combination which provides a fair share of challenge, involving the feeling of achievement and an accelerated heart beat during certain segments. Personally I found stage three the most difficult part of the game. While not being amongst the best light gun games for the system I recommend this game to every light gun enthusiast as it is a very solid experience.
The cover of the game looks disappointing and boring. It lacks the beautifully drawn artwork from the game and the pixelated logo looks dilettantish.