Review by Zylo the wolf
Genesis DOES, you can't do this on a Nintendo (Except Virtual Console)
If you ask any random person to name some really good Sega Megadrive games then they will most likely name the Sonic the Hedgehog games and that all they have played. Pretty much any other game than the Sonic games on the Sega Megadrive is unknown to most of the todays gamers. Don't ask me why, I don't know where everyone who had a Sega Megadrive went after games stop being produced on the system. However one game that usually is one of the first that comes up when other Megadrive games than Sonic is in a discussion is Gunstar Heroes.
The story in this game is about four marvelous gems that contains the power of an alien android known as the Golden Silver. They were in possession of Professor White until General Gray found out the four gems big secret. The general sent out his troops to steal the four gems and also managed to brain wash one of Professor White's best guardians, Gunstar Green. To avoid the Golden Silver to reawaken, two heroes known as Red and Blue have been sent out to retrieve all the four gems and stop General Gray's plan.
Gunstar Heroes is an so called Run and Gun game. You have a weapon and your job is to get through a stage by shooting down as many enemies as possible that stands in your way. There can be many mid-bosses in a stage, and each stage finally ends with another boss. There are also a few power ups on each stage that either gives you a new weapon, or a heart ball that gives you more health.
The first thing you choose when you start a game is which character you want as play as. The first one is called free shot, while you are playing with this guy you can run and shoot enemies at the same time, but you can't aim in as many directions as with the other character. If you choose fixed shot instead, then you can't run and shoot enemies at the same time, but in the other hand you can aim in more directions. The game is exactly the same no matter which character you choose, but your strategy against some bosses are going to be totally different.
After this you get to decide in which order you shall play the first 4 stages, just like in the Mega Man games. Despite being an more action type of game, this one also includes many places where you have to jump instead of shooting. It's also possible to damage enemies by either gliding against them, hitting them with a jump kick, or just get close to them and then throw them away. While it's much more dangerous to face the enemies in a close combat, it can be more effective in certain places.
There are two things that makes Gunstar Heroes better than any other Run and Gun game. One thing is that you have health points instead of lives, which means that you don't lose a life every time one of the enemy bullets touches your character, but on the other hand you die once you run out of health points. This not only makes the game much easier for a rookie to enjoy than the average Contra or Metal Slug game, but it also means that the bosses can be a lot tougher and there are a lot of more action on the screen. When you play at the more harder difficulties there won't be many seconds where you can relax.
The other thing that makes this game awesome is that when you start the game, you select on type of weapon. When you found another weapon you can combine the two weapon types to an even more deadlier weapon. A homing laser sounds nice, doesn't it. There are a total of 20 different weapons that you can play with, and it's good if you find what weapon you prefer fast and then learn how to use it at max.
This game comes with four difficulties. Easy is just what it sounds like, the game is really easy on this difficulty. However I recommend that you start on this difficulty so you got a clue what's going to happened on the more harder difficulties. If you should die, then you don't have to worry to much since you have unlimited continues. You might think that this takes away the challenge in this game, and yeah it does on easy, but try to beat the game on hard or expert without losing a continue, or 20.
Personally I don't know what could have been made to make Gunstar Heroes a better game. I fail to see how anyone who loves action can't like this game. It has both easy and hard difficulties if you just want to beat the game or play it for a long time and be a hardcore gamer. It has a kick ass two player mode, which makes the game even more fun than in single player. If you still have a working Megadrive but not this game then I suggest you start look for one. It might also be a good idea to get it if you have access to Virtual Console on a Wii, but I don't know how that port is. No matter what, Gunstar Heroes is one of the best games which has ever been made. Great job Treasure!
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