Gungnir Review
Gungnir Box Art
System: PSP
Dev: Sting
Pub: Atlus
Release: June 12, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p Alcohol Reference, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes

With the storyline and battles covered, that's pretty much all there is to Gungnir. Story scenes lead into battles, with only a short break to buy equipment, craft weapon upgrades, and recruit troops in between. There are no optional battles or explorable areas in Gungnir, and thus no opportunities to grind up levels for troops that are getting behind, other than failing and replaying one of the lengthy main battles. In this way, Gungnir practically requires the player to use only a small portion of the available troops, and battle often feels like an exercise in attempting to garner as much experience as possible for the lowest-level troops rather than strategically planning the best route to victory.

Gungnir Screenshot

There's not much to say about Gungnir's audiovisuals. The battle screens and interface are generally serviceable, though not particularly stylish. The character portraits, seen in the traditional Japanese "talking head" conversations, are attractive, but seem off in several ways. There's not a wide enough range of emotions displayed on the characters' faces, meaning that character expressions don't always match the tone of the conversation. Most of the characters also look far too clean and shiny for the situations they're in, particularly the supposedly impoverished rebels. Gungnir's music does a better job of conveying the game's atmosphere than the graphics do, with suitably serious and grandiose tracks.

Although Gungnir's campaign will take a while to play through, that's solely due to the artificially lengthy battles. Though there are several possible endings based on the choices Giulio makes, I suspect most players won't have the patience to go through the exact same campaign a second time.


For some, Gungnir might be a game that has been helpfully stripped down to the basics, with no extraneous frills to artificially extend gameplay. For others, it will feel like a barebones effort with some problematic aspects to its battle system. Your mileage will vary based on how much you enjoy the kind of challenge Gungnir provides and how much patience you have for the battles. In general, I'd call Gungnir a fairly average example of the strategy RPG genre. It'll scratch the itch of hardcore strategy fans, but there's not a ton to miss by skipping it, either.

Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: July 10, 2012

The graphics are serviceable and the character designs look nice, though some will find them unsuited to the game's themes and content.
Gungnir's cramped battlefields can be difficult to navigate, especially when they feature multiple levels.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The game's music conveys its atmosphere better than its graphics.
Play Value
There are multiple endings based on player choices, but the journey itself never changes and contains no optional activities.
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Dealing with societal inequity and racial prejudice, far heavier themes than the average video game, Gungnir's intense narrative offers gamers a world worth saving and characters deserving of empathy and attention.
  • Building upon the traditional action queue of turn-based SRPGs, actions in Gungnir all have a numerical wait interval associated with them. Faster actions bear smaller numbers, allowing them to precede slower preexisting attacks. Should the player wish, they may sacrifice tactical points, which afford them more combat options, in order to accelerate actions.
  • Developer Sting has a proud, extensive history of expertly crafted, highly innovative RPGs, having garnered critical acclaim and fan admiration with classics like Riviera, Yggdra Union, and Knights in the Nightmare.

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