Gungrave follows its main character through a variety of stages on a path of revenge. While the game play received moderate reviews, Gungrave received acclaim for the character designs provided by series creator Yasuhiro Nightow and mechanical designs provided by K?suke Fujishima . Both artist's respective styles helped give the game a distinct feel, which helped Gungrave translate from a video game to an anime series as well as a video game sequel for the PlayStation 2 entitled Gungrave: Overdose in 2004. Cinematics were provided by Ikusabune Co., Ltd., which developed the sequel with Red Entertainment's supervision. As a third-person shooter, Gungrave focuses entirely on combat and forgoes the puzzle solving aspects of some of its forebears. Combat varies between gunplay with enemies at a distance and simple melee combat at close range, and the game rates the amount of flair the player uses to destroy everyone and everything in sight. Beyond the Grave is equipped with a damage-absorbing energy shield that can absorb a large amount of damage in addition to his life bar. When the shield is fully depleted, the player is highly vulnerable and further damage reduces the character's health level rapidly. However, the shield will recharge fully if no damage is sustained for a brief period of time. By performing well during stages, the player can unlock special attacks such as machine guns or rockets launched from the coffin on Beyond the Grave's back. Can be used by charging the beat meter which is represented by a skull on the top left corner of the game's heads-up display. Strategy is required in setting up combos that are as long and devastating as possible, which helps to carry on the over-the-top action of the game. Stages and some important events within stages are separated by anime cutscenes featuring art by Nightow. Characters are expanded on and the player is given a back-story that is not obvious through gameplay alone. Cerberus — Beyond the Grave's twin handguns, named for the three-headed hound of Hades. If the player allows Grave to stand still during a fight, he will begin to target and shoot every available target on screen without looking. Coffin —Beyond the Grave carries a tremendous metal coffin on his back which contains a variety of weapons that can be only used as special attacks.