Review by MaverickSlayer
By far my favorite game EVER
I've been a hardcore gamer for about 15 years and Gunstar Heroes was one of my earlier games. I'm also a huge fan of Treasure and adore their video games for their level of uniqueness. Never in my years of gaming have I played a game more memorable, innovative, and flat out fun than this very title. Every factor that makes a game perfect to me stands out in Gunstar Heroes. Allow me to break things down for you.
Okay, it's a Genesis game. You really can't expect an epic story from a seemingly straightforward sidescroller such as this, but it STILL does a darn good job in this department. I never owned the box of booklet for this game (sadly) so bear with me as I improvise here.
General Grey with the help of a few other color named baddies have retrieved 4 gems from different parts of the world that will be used to revive the "creator of the new world" with their amazing power. Once revived, this creator or "new god" will have the power to destroy the world. To prevent this from taking place, the Gunstar Heroes were assembled. With the help of Professor Brown and their pal Yellow, Red and Blue must load up their guns to thwart these villains before it's too late and they escape with the gems into space. As the game progresses, a few fantastic plot twists occur such as the gradual importance of another villain, Smash Daisaku, and the unfortunate event that takes place before the 5th board. I won't ruin anything there. You play it and find out what happens.^^
This game is as colorful as the characters names. GH is easily one of the prettiest looking games on the Sega Genesis with it's stunning animations, great looking characters/sprites, and amazingly detailed environments. There are even some cool 3D effects. Thats probably the only reason "Melon Bread" exists........you'll see. All in all, Treasure couldn't do much better than this in the graphics department. Until Dynamite Headdy came out a year later of course.
Some of the most memorable tunes in video games. The quality of the music and SFX were really nothing too major but they were all done perfectly for a game as old as this. I would have to say that every track in this game is well worth listening to in the sound test, weather it's rockin' and catchy Ancient Ruins track, the fast paced track for the fight with Seven Force/Green, or the track for the "space-shooter" board which couldn't fit the theme any better! The Sound Effects are good too. You really can't argue with those rapid explosions and sounds of gunfire. Whats great is that it doesn't interfere with the music. Nothing is too loud or soft. And one of my fondest memories of this game involves the warping sound effect that you heard when entering/exiting an area in Black's board, err.......board game. Now how about the voices? Not a lot, but from Red's "Hiyaah" to Daisaku's sinister laughter, it's nothing short of AWESOME.
GAMEPLAY: 11 (hahaha)
Okay, lets get down to the nitty-gritty here. This is where GH truly shines. The ideas put into this game and all the things you can do throughout it are jaw-dropping. The weapons/melee system is this game is pure genius. There are 4 different types of guns (Fire-like a flamethrower, Force- rapid fire, Chaser-your bullets home in on everything, and lightning-an average laser gun) but the true amazingness of these weapons is in the combination system. You can put together any 2 of these 4 guns or 2 of the same type to make a new and more effective weapon. That makes a total of ::counts on fingers:: 10 combinations, each unique and effective in their own way. Fire + Fire is my personal favorite.
Believe it or not, shooting the crap out stuff with your tricked out weapons is not the only method of defeating enemies. You can also kick in the air, slide, throw, and dash into unsuspecting bad guys. Combat systems really don't get much deeper than this.
Another fantastic part of GH's gameplay is the fact that every level is completely different and unique in their own cool and sometimes bizarre way. You'll take on hoards of soldiers on the scaffolding of a construction site, fight your way through a freaky board game where your mini-boss fighting skills and luck are put to the test, gravity switch your way through a mine shaft, and wet your pants in happiness when you see the Ikaruga-like space-shooter board. (I was like 5 the first time I beat this game, what do you expect?)
One final Gameplay topic I MUST bring up is Seven Force. In my opinion, this is by far the greatest video game boss in history. Seven Force as it's name indicates can transform into any of 7 different forms by it's pilot Green (Depending on if your in a horizontal or vertical part of the mine shaft), each with their own unique look, and set of attacks. This is also a very long boss fight if your on a higher game difficulty since you will have to fight them all. Green is also an awesome character. Sad part is, he was originally a Gunstar and Yellow's brother, but was brainwashed.
Nothing to argue about here. Responsive, easy to understand and..........it's a sidescroller! Cmon', if you don't like where the functions of the buttons are, than you can change them in the handy options menu.
REPLAY VALUE: 8
A game such as this really can't have an extremely high replay value. It's not the longest game in the world, although it's not particularly short either. To me, Gunstars can be very high in RV since I enjoy setting goals for myself when I decide to play this game, such as playing it on Expert without continuing or playing through GH using only one type of gun. As for you individuals who aren't THAT nerdy, there's also a co-op mode for some great replay value with your friends. It's always more fun to blow things to pieces with a buddy! Like that one Forth of July where me and............yeah, never mind.
I really hope that reading my lengthy review enlightened you a bit about this amazing game, weather your already a fan and wanted to check out some second opinions, or someone whose a classic gamer and hasn't yet played this game. All in all, this is my favorite game and I want to share this revolutionary gaming experience with who ever else is even the least bit interested in Gunstar Heroes. Buy it, love it, embrace it, laugh at melon bread, The End.
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