October 25, 2005Written by:
Gunstar Super Heroes is more or less a remake of the classic Sega Genisis title, Gunstar Heroes, which was and still is critically acclaimed for its fantastic 2D sidescrolling action, but does it live up to the test of time? Well, I happen to have mixed feelings.
The story is the same as it has always been, apparently, in that you must collect these crystals before the get into the hands an evil cult, who want to resurrect the God of Ruin who will destroy the earth. To stop them, you can play as either Red or Blue; interestingly enough, all the characters are named off a color...yeah. From there, you can select your difficulty level, one of three. A cool part here, is that each character and difficulty level acts as a save file, so you have six save files, which is pretty niffty.
Random scene of dialogue, one of which you will see before and after each level.
The difficulty levels feel about the same, except that you start out with different levels of health. On easy mode, you get 200 health points, while on normal, you get 150, and then on hard 100. You can pick up health and other pick ups along the way as they are dropped by enemies, however, you must be quick about it because they dissapear quite expediantly.
Each of the two playable characters has three weapons, only one of which is unique to one another. The three gun projectiles whatever, are all pretty sweet and can each be used to accomplish different tasks and accomodate different strategies. Like, one weapon is a straight up laser and fires straight, while another one has a shorter range but has a small blast radius to hurt many surrounding enemies, while the other kind of hones in on an enemy and does continuous damage. You can change the weapon on the fly by pressing the R shoulder button; very simple and fast.
That's my favorite weapon; it just fires out a continuous blast of these fire balls at a high rate. It's pretty sweet.
Also, there is this meter for each weapon, and when it begins to flash, when it is completely filled, then you can unleash a massive Supercharge attack, which is unique of course to each weapon, all of which create a stunning blast.
And aside from the gun attacks, like in Metal Slug, if you are very close to an enemy, you will automatically pull out your knife, or sword rather, and stab them. The game is not limited to just these things either. There is also a wide range of hand-to-hand moves you can do, mostly kicks, but also a sweet uppercut. These are performed merely by pressing A to jump and then A again in a certain direction, or pressing A while holding up or down on the D-pad, depending on what you wish to do.
Uppercutededed. Ok, I'll stop, I'm sorry.
My problem with the weapon system is in its simplicity in the fact that you can merely hold down the fire button and take everyone out, taking away some of the challenge that could have made the game last longer and be more difficult and so forth. So, without ammo or the ability to overheat your weapon or anything, it seems a tad easy. The game itself is already a bit too short, with about seven levels, and only really gets difficult at the last level when you fight five or so bosses one after the other.
Anyways, there are high scores in which you can input your initials, so there is some replay value there with trying to get the best score. Also, once you beat a level, you can go back and play a certain section of it if you wish, or the entire thing, since each level is split up into a number of smaller sections.
Another thing with replay value is that each difficulty level has a different ending, so you will want to beat the game in all three difficulty settings in order to view the true ending and learn what exactly happens and why.
This village is no place for a mighty warrior.
Going back to the levels though, most are your typical sidescrolling ones, however, there is much diversity to be had with some pretty sweet levels. One has you running around this crazy circular levels collecting chickens...IDK, it is weird and does not make a whole lot of sense. But there is another one that is like Xevious or another classic arcade plane shooter where you are in a helicopter shooter other ships and dropping bombs on tanks and stuff; it is cool. But, there are some more impressive ones, like this train level where you are riding this weird animal thing, and you can run on the ground or on the ceiling as well as fly in the air, so you can continually alternate and shoot and stuff; very cool. And then there is this other one when you are like, on a board game and "rolling" a single die to progress...ingenious.
This is a pretty cool level-type. You are set on this aircraft and you rotate around defeating enemies and stuff.
So, while there may not be too much to this game, and it may be a bit too short, it is pretty fun and unique while it lasts, throwing something new at you every step of the way. I heard that the original had multiplayer, although it has been taken out in this version, which is sad because some multiplayer would have been awesome.
I liked the game, it was fairly solid, but it was just too short with no real incentive to play it over and over again like say Metal Slug did with its collectable card system, and it was not all that difficult which made it faster to beat, although I will say that it had some pretty nice elements and what not. So, you know, I do not know. I would just suggest renting the game if you can instead of buying it or borrowing it from a friend for a day or two. It will not take you too long to beat. It was good while it lasted.7.5/
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