Review by Big Bob

Reviewed: 01/16/07

If you like explosions, this is the game for you.

One of the things I wished I could do for the last few years was go back in time and hand my younger self a bunch of Sega Genesis games that I should have played. It's so frustrating knowing that I passed up several excellent video games for terrible ones based on TV shows. When Gunstar Super Heroes for the Game Boy Advance came out several months ago, I bought it and enjoyed it, but I kept hearing that it was inferior to the original, so when Gunstar Heroes was announced for the Wii's Virtual Console, I made sure it was the first one for me to download.

The first thing I noticed is how ancient the graphics look. I'm not trying to downgrade them, since I'm sure that they were very impressive for the time, but they don't quite hold up today. I feel that GSH had a lot more style in its graphics, but this game just seems more silly than stylish. However, despite that, there is almost no slowdown at all, which is quite a task, considering how many enemies and explosions can end up on the screen at a time. The music is also a mixed bag; some of it is catchy and some isn't, yet they all have this kind of ancient feel to it, which is expected considering that it's from a few generations back.

However, those are not the point of the game. It's called Gunstar Heroes because you shoot, shoot, shoot. When you start a game you can select whether you prefer your character to move or stay still while shooting, and also selecting which type of weapon you want (blast, fire, laser, and homing). Each weapon is useful in certain situations, and what's cooler is that you can mix and match weapon types for a total of 16 different combo weapons. If one doesn't work, you can just switch out for something that does. It's an excellent system that gives you a lot of variety in your attacks and warrants multiple playthroughs. However, the weapon isn't all that's great about the game. From the very start, swarms of enemies come at you, and it's your job to kill them all. Grunts are typical very easy to dispose of despite their numbers, but the game also has a freakishly high amount of boss battles, sometimes right after each other. Bullets are flying everywhere, lasers are flying everywhere, it's an exhilarating experience. Oh, and you can throw enemies as well. Good for knocking down a bunch. The game also has a 2-player option, which unfortunately I haven't had much experience with. It is quite fun though, if you can manage to avoid throwing each other every time you want to shoot.

The game is rather short; only 7 levels, but it has 4 difficulties, the highest of which I can't even complete one level on. Not only that, but multiplayer's fun enough to always invite somebody to play with. The game can be frustratingly difficult, but it's never obnoxious about it. A death is simply "Game Over. Continue?" and the respawn points are always generous. For $8 this is an excellent game, and highly recommended to everyone.

Rating: 9

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