Review by Uvula Walrus

Reviewed: 03/23/03 | Updated: 03/29/03

Killing is fun!

Yes, it’s inevitable. Your male instincts overpower you. You know that you’d like to pick up a nice RPG or a quite puzzle game, but you can’t help it. You see a video game with the word “gun” in the title. Therefor, it must be good. Anything with guns is good. Heck, why do you think Rambo was so popular? It sure as heck wasn’t the gripping story line or the acting, it was the guns and mindless violence. Plain and simple.

Gunstar Heroes never resorts to any wussy story line or girly-thinking levels. No sir, this is a very manly game. It’s nothing but pure chaos. You can kill, kill, hurt, kill, and then kill some more. Sure it’s stupid, shallow, and overly violent, but when was that a bad thing?

The Story
Some butt head took my instruction manual, so I’m not very sure about the story. From what I can tell, though, is that 4 jewel things with some sort of power were taken by some mean dude and the mean dude wants to use them to do something bad, obviously. Well, think about it. You have 4 magical crystals that can destroy the world, what else is he gonna do with them? Sell them for profit to a rich ambassador? No way, that wouldn’t be fun at all, I could imagine the dialogue:

Main commando dude: “We better stop him! He has the Four Magical Jewels™!”

Other Main commando dude: “He’s going to destroy the world?!”

Main commando dude: “I never said that…”

Other Main commando dude: “Well what else would he do with them!?”

Main commando dude: “Something much worse… he’s going to sell them on Ebay!!”

Other Main commando dude: “Nooooooooo……!!”

It’s time like these that I realize, I’m not much of a screenwriter am I?
Oh well…

Treasure has always had some neat game play ideas. Oddly enough, Gunstar Heroes does nothing to improve upon the action genre. That’s fine with me, the game keeps a fast tempo and all your attacks are on the same button, which creates some neat fight-scene scenarios. In the opening jungle level, for instance, you are surrounded by large groups of soldiers with nothing but your little flame-thrower. The cool thing is, as long as your finger is holding down that fire button, your character’s ready to do some melee-based attacks as well. So when that dude approaches you from the behind, your character will automatically grab him and chuck the poor sap across the screen, killing any opponents in his path.

Other than that odd feature, nothing else was thrown (Hahaha get it? Thrown!?) into this game. I’m fine with that though. As long as I’m killing something I am happy. And since you never stop killing in this game, you can bet you’ll never get tired of watching everything go boom. or as EGM once said in their review of Zone of the Enders 2, “Everything goes boom real purty”.

For a Genesis game, this looks pretty good. Fifteen or sixteen characters can be on screen at a time and the game is never even phased by it. That’s right, barely any slowdown at all. That means, for all you idiots out there, the game’s frame rate barely ever drops.

The backgrounds look great also. They all appear to be hand drawn with watercolor or some fancy paint like that. I’m not too sure really, art’s not my thing. But neither is writing!

Besides the awesome artwork, the level designs themselves are great. One level, for instance, has you in space, being monitored by your enemies. Every time you defeat an opponent, you get to see the people watching you react with angry actions or laughter.

Another level of notability would be the Dice Palace. You enter the small “Palace” and are greeted by a large talking board game that tells you to roll its dice (Keep your mind out of the gutter!). You go over to the dice and chuck them and your little icon begins to move the number of spaces that you rolled. Every time you land on a square, you are presented with a challenge such as fighting a boss or racing through a maze. It’s original stuff like that that makes Gunstar Heroes stand out from the crowd.

Music and Sound
This kind of disgusts me actually. Sure, some of the music’s cool, such as the little song that plays when you beat a level or get a game over, but most just sounds random and slapped together. The sound quality is crappy any ways. Most of the time, you can’t even tell a difference between any of the notes.

The sound effects, on the other hand, aren’t too bad. You get to hear lots of screams and explosions and stuff, and anything that involves explosions is all right with me.

Considering you can buy this game very cheap any ways, there’s no excuse to not pick it up. I found my copy for five dollars (in US money), so I don’t regret anything about getting it. My best bet for finding it would be a used-game store or that garage sale your nerdy neighbor is having next week.
Don’t expect a huge adventure or any sort of replayability though. Most can beat the game within a two-day period and the only reason to play it again (besides the higher difficulties) would be for it’s great 2-Player mode.

Rating: 8

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