Review by Ninja Golf

Reviewed: 07/05/01 | Updated: 07/05/01

Move over Wrigleys, here comes Gunstar Gum.

PROLOG

Each system gets its share of underrated games every so often. Mostly every SEGA system has gotten its share quite a few times. The SEGA Genesis, which was tough competition for Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainment System, got one of the most underrated games of all time. Enter Gunstar Heroes, an unbelievable side-scrolling shooter. I may have said unbelievable, but you better start believing, because you are missing out on what could be, the greatest game ever created.

STORY: 10/10

Gunstar Heroes follows a simple story, which turns into a complex one in certain areas. Gunstar Heroes simplicity in the story is like mostly others in the genre, save the world from being destroyed by a sinister group. Where it gets complex is to how sinister the group is. You play the role of either Red or Blue, the 'Gunstar' heroes in Gunstar Heroes. The agony they put you through, the life threatening situations, and the pure chaos, makes this group, sadly named after colors, more sinister than most. The story plays out very well and is done much better than most side-scrolling shooters, even if you find that hard to believe.

GAME PLAY: 10/10

The pure heart of each game is of course, the game play. This is the factor at which Gunstar Heroes screams past the rest, even in multi-player. Gunstar Heroes is great in so many aspects, it is hard to hate it, or even think about hating it. Customization is something that every side-scrolling shooter needs, but most don't have it, and if they do, it is simple and not too fun to explore. The customization involves the weapons in Gunstar Heroes. There are 4 elements/types of weapons to choose from. Force (default), Lightning, Fire, and Chaser (tracking). Combining weapons allows you to make special weapons, powerful weapons, or just the weapon you need for the occasion. If you do the math, up to ten combinations can be created. Gunstar Heroes plays out in four action-packed levels, excluding the final stage. The boss battles in this game are also another key point. Very huge bosses are found at the beginning of the stage, the middle, the end, and are very detailed and diverse. The stages in Gunstar Heroes are very detailed and fit the environment of the game. Red and Blue will use a few vehicles along the way to rid the world of evil. The game play in Gunstar Heroes has never been done correctly in its genre, until of course, Gunstar Heroes.

GRAPHICS 10/10

Gunstar Heroes is an amazingly fast paced game and shows no slowdown at all, even if the screen is flooded with enemies. For the SEGA Genesis, it sports very well done 2-D graphics, with 3-D effects here and there, somewhat like that seen in the Vectorman games. Very highly detailed environments and stages enriched with glorifying colors. Gunstar Heroes showed the true power of what 16-bit games could look like back in the days of true console competition.

SOUND: 10/10

The music and sound effects in Gunstar Heroes is the type that never gets repetitive and truly fills the environment. For MIDI based music, it is really well done on a cartridge based game. This area is where a game usually has its flaws, but not in Gunstar Heroes.

OVERALL: 10/10

EPILOG

Treasure made an instant classic when the released Gunstar Heroes to the public. It seems as if it only got to the 'cult hit' stage, rather than a popular, well-known game. You can't make up for the past, and that is why this game will always be underrated no matter what. Gunstar Heroes is very well deserving of a sequel, and it has yet to spawn one. If Lady Luck is with us, hopefully a port will be made for the Game Boy Advance, or even emulated on a console. Only time will tell if history will be revived.

Rating: 10

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