Rapid Reload


Sony Computer Entertainment

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Rapid Reload, also known as Gunners Heaven, will take you on an exciting journey in search for a treasure.

It is the middle of the third industrial revolution on the western continent of Alhzade. Legends and folklore surrounding a mythical Valkiry Stone are dismissed as tales since reason prevails in this age. However, you have learned that a malicious gang of criminals have become quite interested in these old stories. This leads you and a friend to believe that the stories may be true and you both set off on an adventure to discover the truth.

When starting a game you are given a choice of two characters to choose from, Axel and Ruka. There are six stages to finish with over 18 different areas included. Many encounters will occur with mechanical machines, dragons, and other creatures firing all their power at you, and many members from the armed gang who will try to stop you. When you kill an enemy, small diamond shaped icons will come bouncing to the ground. These icons can be of four types, a power up, boost, bomb, or life. The power ups add an extra second to your weapon's power for it to remain enhanced and the time left is displayed in the center top of the screen. The boost icon will super charge your gun for ten seconds. The bombs can be collected as you advance and have a different effect for each character. For Axel, a bomb will damage any surrounding enemies, while Ruka's bombs explode to neutralize any incoming bullets. A life icon will restore some of your health back to you, and after completing a stage your health bar will be replenished. Each area ends with a boss character that will provide you with a good challenge for your reflexes and abilities.

You are armed with four different types of gun pods: normal, homing, ground, and fire shot. Each gun pod is specialized for use in certain situations and require some experimenting to see which weapon is most efficient in different situations. A small box above your health bar in the upper left corner contains a letter that indicates the type of weapon you currently hold. You also have in your possession a grappling hook that is useful for making a quick get away from a sticky situation. Sliding, jumping, ducking, hanging, and running are some of the maneuvers your character will be able to perform throughout the game.

Graphics are really well drawn and very fluid. The characters are easy to control and skillfully designed. You'll find yourself going through industrial areas, jungles, abandoned mines, and other places. The background music, although a little repetitive, consists of two tracks that you can select in the options menu and is quite appropriate for the game.

I was unable to make any use of the gunlock feature for the game. On our version it didn't seem to have any effect at all. Also, the codes I found for Gunners Heaven didn't work with Rapid Reload the European version of the game.


Rapid Reload is a superb shoot'em-up that is fast paced, has great 2D graphics and is a great deal of fun.


In North America:

Sony Computer Entertainment of America,
919 E. Hillsdale Blvd., 2nd Floor,
Foster City, CA 94404

Web Site: www.scea.sony.com/scea

In Europe

In UK:

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Waverley House
7-12 Noel Street
London W1V 4BA

In France:

Sony Computer Entertainment
131, avenue de Wagram
75838 Paris Cedex 17


Overall: ****


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