Review Information
Reviewer Name: Jonas Sardinha
Game Difficulty: Medium
Difficulty Options: False
Game Information
Full Title: Gain Ground
Year Released: 1990
Game Type: Misc/Other
Max Players: 2

Gain Ground is an action-strategy game originally released for Arcade systems in 1988, it was later ported to many home consoles, including the Sega Master System in 1990.
The player controls a character who has two types of shots, a normal one and a special one, these shots vary according to the character. You start with three characters, you can get more of them by rescuing hostages and taking them to the exit, after that, this hostage will be playable in the next stage, there are 10 different warriors in the game, and new hostages can be saved until Round 4, where there are no new hostages in any Stage. If your warrior dies, he becomes a hostage you'll have to choose another one, you can rescue the dead warrior so he can be playable again in the next stage, if you lose them all, you have infinite continues until Round 5, where you have no continues at all. There are 5 rounds, each one with 10 stages, you can choose and replay stages until Round 4, where you'll have to play them in order and cannot replay stages. You can complete them in two ways: killing every enemy or leading every warrior to the exit, you recieve a bonus of 500 points if you finish the stage in under 100 seconds and another bonus of 500 points if you killed every enemy. In Stage 10 of every round you'll have to defeat a boss and there is no exit or hostage saving, you recieve 2000 points after defeating it, except for the final boss, where you recieve 10000 points. This game can be played by 2 simultaneous players, if there are 2 players, the number of enemies in some stages is bigger.
Graphics are good, when you choose a player, you can see how he/she is, the character's sprite in-game really matches his/her photograph, but I didn't understand why P1 characters are male and P2 characters are female. Another interesing thing about the graphics is that the characters' sprites are not mirrored, they keep their accessories on the same hand when they turn. The enemies' sprites are also well-detailed.
Sound & Music
The game music is really good, they match with their respective rounds, for example: in Round 4, where the background and enemies are futuristic, the song has some electronic and robotic effects. Most of the songs have a battle style. The sound effects also match well, when someone explodes a bomb, you hear an explosion sound effect.
Button 1 does a normal shot, which is the same for most characters, while button 2 does a special shot, which varies depending on the character, and you move in all eight directions, some special shots may be shot from all eight directions, but few of them have a set direction. The response time is perfect.
Replay Value
Music & Sound
Replay Value
Gain Ground may be hard at the start, especially in multiplayer, since both players need to know the exact character for each situation, and if they don't have said character, they can be in serious trouble. If you know the exact character for every situation, you can easily complete the game, and even after finishing it, you may want to play it again some other day. However, for multiplayer game, both players will need to cooperate and know the game really well to complete it
Gain Ground is a great game overall, it has nice graphics and a good soundtrack, controls and gameplay are acceptable, but the game can be hard if you don't know it very well.
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