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Hardcore. Insane. Suicidal. These are the words that come to my mind when I played Gunstar Heroes. Released by Treasure and Sega in 1993 for the Sega Genesis, Gunstar Heroes took the Contra formula and cranked it up. This crushing run-and-gun shooter blew gamers away with how much action it could pack into the screen. How does it hold up? First, let me ask the question… do you want to die in this Gunstar Heroes review?
Gunstar Heroes Plot:
There are a few scenes of dialogue when Gunstar Heroes starts up but other than knowing that a few gems were stolen, I didn’t understand what was going on during my Gunstar Heroes review so I turned to the best source I could find…the internet! The gems are apparently very important! Here’s why:
You are part of the Gunstar family living on Gunstar planet, I know, how unique. Professor Gunstar is the elder of the family and defeated an evil robot named Golden Silver many years ago. This robot came to the Gunstar planet to drain the planet of its resources, including the precious gems on the planet. Professor Gunstar was able to seal away the robot and hide the gems that powered it.
Now in the present day, an evil villain named Colonel Red has put together an army and found the hidden locations of the gems. He intends to use them to power up Golden Silver and take over the world! It’s up to Professor Gunstar’s twin boys, Blue and Red (not the boys from Pokemon) to defeat Colonel Red and his army.
Gunstar Heroes Gameplay:
Okay, let’s start with the thing I liked about the game during my Gunstar Heroes review. You can select four levels to play and how you progress through them. If you can’t beat one, try a different level, and see how you do. The first four levels are interchangeable but the last three you’ll have to play in order. Gunstar Heroes is brutally hard so I liked that feature, but more on its difficulty later. Along with choosing what level you play first, you can choose between four different guns and their powers. Each gun shoots differently, some shoot green arrows, some shoot constantly, and some shoot fire, but choose what you think is best because you can always change it later. I started with the gun that constantly shoots but later switched to the honing gun that follows enemies on screen.
The other thing I liked from my Gunstar Heroes review was the colorful graphics and environments. It looked so good and reminded me of a 90s cartoon with the way the characters looked. I loved blowing up forts and destroyable objects in the background. Everything looks great in Gunstar Heroes, you won’t hear that complaint from me. The one thing I questioned was the inclusion of the 3D bosses. They looked so out of style compared to the rest of the game and honestly made the game look cheap whenever they appeared. Just stick with the amazing 2D colorful graphics!
Want to know what sucked for me during Gunstar Heroes review? The incredible brutal beatdown that the game comes with. I beat Gunstar Heroes. Want to know how? I CHEATED. That’s right, I said it, I CHEATED! If anyone tells me they beat Gunstar Heroes without cheating, I’m calling them a liar because this game does not want to be beaten. I don’t know if I’ve ever played a game so brutally hard. It’s almost unfair the way everyone gangs up on you. If you let them get to you, they’ll start piling on your back making it impossible to move until you shake them off. The whole game is so hard! I used a Game Genie cheat to make me invincible, and guess what? I did that on level one after failing to beat it multiple times and struggling to get to the final boss on level one. I managed to get there but I couldn’t beat it. You’re able to pick up health and expand your overall vitality throughout the game but even with that, I knew I was going to beat this game.
The jumping mechanic was tough to get used to and I struggled to jump when I needed to during my Gunstar Heroes review. Of course, that resulted in my death numerous times. Where I lost it was when the mining-level boss revealed himself. He has SEVEN forms and you don’t get any health in-between forms. HOW CAN YOU BEAT THIS BOSS WITHOUT CHEATING?
Animations of characters throughout the game were fun to watch. Facing the third boss on the cloud level was cool because he spun on the helicopter blade and everything was smooth. This game is very impressive with how much it can pack into the screen but the difficulty was just too much for me during my Gunstar Heroes review. One of the bosses you actually play a board game with rolling dice and everything! Your character makes his way through the board fighting enemies just about every other turn in addition to fighting the boss on that stage. The final level of Gunstar Heroes is just crazy. You refight every boss in a row and finish off the game fighting Golden Silver. They don’t get any easier the second time fighting them all and unless you have a vitality of 999 (I did and it didn’t go down, thanks to Game Genie!) then I don’t see you having much of a chance of winning. There’s a fine line between making a game difficult but fair. Gunstar Heroes crosses that line and makes it too much of a challenge.
How many actual people have watched the end credits to Gunstar Heroes? Those are the true superheroes.
I had heard of Gunstar Heroes a few times but never watched anyone play it. I knew it was action-packed but didn’t believe how much it would crush me. After an hour of struggling just to get to the final boss on stage one, I said screw this and turned on the game genie. Without it, I never would have witnessed the second stage!
Gunstar Heroes Review Score:
Are you into S&M? Do you have suicidal thoughts? If so, Gunstar Heroes is the perfect game for you! Watch the cute little animations of the environment as your face gets blown off by a thousand rounds of ammunition. Pretty game, but brutal. It’s not for me. This game is not worth spending hundreds of hours mastering. Don’t die a million deaths for ten seconds of glory.
Gunstar Heroes scores a 5.9 out of 10.
What would you write in your Gunstar Heroes review? Do you remember when Gunstar Heroes first came out? Did you cheat at the game? What was your favorite gun or boss? Am I pussy? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!
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