Review by HyperSonicEXE

Reviewed: 10/27/05

This nostalgic game's got SPUNK!

There's a good chance that if you're playing this game, you remember the fun of (and may still even have) the original Gunstar Heroes for the Sega Genesis. You remember all the fun quirky bosses and the fast-paced, fully loaded qualities of that gem. And, seeing as how this game has Gunstar Heroes in the title, you expect it to be the same thing just rehashed to get it off of the shelves.

Throw that notion out the window, right now.

You get to keep your quirky bosses, the hundreds of enemies, you even get to keep some of the same basic stage structures, but just a little under half of the game is brand-new content, and Red and Blue are even more nimble than you remember them.

Gameplay - 8/10 - In Gunstar Super Heroes, you play as either Red or Blue, the two heroes of this story. The weapon which puts the "Gunstar" into this series is a gun which fires various weapons including a chasing shot, a damaging fireshot, a piercing lightning shot (exclusive to Blue), and a well rounded gatling blast (exclusive to Red). These adaptable guns are the mainstay of the series, but in this game, you do not have the ability to combine the weapons, but each one is available to you at any time. That's not all these elite fighters can do, however. Through training, these new heroes are capable of Air Kicks, Wall Kicks, Power-Sliding, Uppercuts, Slashing, and various other tricks when guns just won't cut it. This mobility will serve you well; this time, your enemies (bosses in particular) aren't going to sit back and take the hits. There's a decent chance that they'll eat through your health like a kid in a cookie jar if you're not careful. Avoid attacks with this newfound mobility, and you'll find yourself victorious (even if it is by a hair, sometimes). But that's under normal circumstances; quite often, you'll find yourself in a vehicle of some sort, temporarily abandoning part of or the entire sidescrolling formula for some challenging, yet familiar scenarios. All of this, in conjunction with head-spinning graphics, provides a very thorough, almost mentally exercising, affair.

Story - 8/10 - Gunstar Heroes' story was no more than most platformers provide; evil guy's going to take over the world and you've gotta stop it. In Gunstar Super Heroes, each character has his/her own backstory, more of which is revealed as you increase the difficulty of the game. Yeah, you've still gotta save the world, but at least you get to find out why before you reach the final boss, and the intrigue almost never ends.

Graphics/Sound - 10/10 - It's good. Almost too good. Sound effects and appropriate background music make for an immersing experience. But where this game really shines, and where I'm pretty sure Treasure intentionally spent most of their time on, is in the graphics arena. It's astounding for a GBA title. There's hardly any noticeable slowdown, and the only time you can see flaws are when the GBA needs to rotate some graphics. However, the amazing graphics may lead to some confusion during hectic fights, and this pushing of the GBA hardware probably didn't allow for a much-anticipated Co-op mode.

Play Time/Replayability - ?/10 - It's short. Really short. You think Megaman and Metroid games are short? Fiddlesticks. Playing through this game on Easy often times out to 1 hour. But unlike other series, many gamers find themselves playing this game for countless hours just because it's quick enough to be substantial. For others, it's an extremely short trip down memory lane.

Final Recommendation - 8.5/10 - If you are a fan of platformers, or just never got tired of playing the original Gunstar Heroes, pick up a copy of this as soon as you can. Otherwise, the game length (or lack thereof, rather) just doesn't warrant the full purchase, especially since the game has no multiplayer.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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