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Graze Counter GM Review

Graze Counter GM Review

Graze Counter GM promises a highly replayable experience with a unique gameplay hook to call its own. So while I was sceptical about that premise, I went in with an open mind and left with some interesting feelings about it all. Let’s talk about those feelings and evaluate this experience as a whole.

Graze Counter GM takes place in the 23rd century when EDEN, the massive virtual reality network that helped humanity flourish, suddenly severed all contact with the outside world, leaving the minds of its 100 million users trapped inside. So a covert special task force known as “Saviours” has been recruited to address the situation by using special attack programs modelled after fighter jets. They plan to delve into the deepest cores of EDEN and find who or what has set it haywire. That sounds like a cool plot, but the game doesn’t do much with it. I know it’s weird, right? Like, you play the story mode with seven levels consisting of five stages plus two alternate missions and read dialogue from the anime girls and repeat. That’s it. I asked myself many questions while playing, like how did this all happen? What’s EDEN? What does it stand for? Where did the fighter jets come from? And so much more! I know presenting a cohesive story is hard in games like these, but I wasn’t asking for a ton here. There could’ve been log entries, artefacts to find, or even some unlockables, which would provide context to the world.

The gameplay is a lot of fun, though, and it contains all the modern tropes you would expect from a bullet-hell shooter. There are robots, alien ships, an insane amount of projectiles coming at you and, some bopping tunes to go along with it all. There are four difficulty modes, all of which are challenging in their own right. I mainly played on the first one and often had to restart a stage several times before beating it. With this title’s unique graze feature, I could parry bullets and send out a devastating laser beam attack, and killing all enemies in sight never got old. The standard attack and a special attack meter fill up as you defeat enemies, which unleashes another devastating beam attack. For those having trouble with the mission mode, you can learn the basics of Graze Counter GM with a playable tutorial, but I barely touched it, as the experience was kind of pointless. Everything is explained to you right from the start, and you only use two buttons and an analogue stick, so the inclusion was a bit strange. This game does seem like something that could be mastered, as its simple controls and clear visuals make for an easily understandable and hard-as-heck experience.

Everything about this title is stylish, as the colours pop off the screen and never get in the way of the action. However, I didn’t like how your character is always on the left side of the screen. I get what the developers were going for, but it just ends up being distracting, so I wish more of the screen was given to what’s most important: the action. Thankfully, the visuals help with the gameplay because of the futuristic setting and the anime art style that help bring it all together. It’s pretty to look at, too. That soundtrack, though, oh, it’s so good. I love how its intensity keeps building, and I hope Bikkuri Software releases it on streaming platforms someday, so I can listen to it whenever I want. These tunes made every knee-jerk reaction move feel much more important, creating a feeling of epicness as I advanced through the story.

I also hope Graze Counter GM gets a DLC or a free update soon, as I don’t want to keep replaying the same levels over again, even if they are fun to play. Its main story mode is relatively short, and my first playthrough only took about an hour or so. Graze Counter GM has four playable characters, all with their own ships and attacks, making it seem like it would be highly replayable. However, while these are nice to have, you will still be facing the same enemies, and the backgrounds don’t change that much, so I don’t think the game fully delivers on that promise. That’s unfortunate because I loved my time with this game, and maybe if there were a bit more to do outside of a bonus mode to unlock, I would keep playing, but as of right now, I think I’ll leave it at that. All you do is pick your character, kill a bunch of enemies, pick a route, and repeat. That’s it. Why not include experience points? That would’ve helped a lot!

Graze Counter GM’s gameplay, visuals, and soundtrack are all very good. But its promise of a highly replayable experience doesn’t stick the landing as a lot of it feels repetitive, and once I was done with the game, I didn’t have much of a desire to see the rest of it. I still had a good time with it, but I feel more could’ve been done to incentivise me to see what else it has to offer. It also doesn’t help that its story feels like a half-hearted effort. So that’s a bit disappointing.

7.00/10 7

Graze Counter GM (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

A bopping soundtrack, crisp visuals, and a unique gameplay twist aren’t enough to save Graze Counter GM, as it’s not quite as replayable as advertised.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Jon Wilson

Jon Wilson

Staff Writer

Lover of dogs, video games, and Fall.

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