Retro Night – Gunstar Heroes – Sega Megadrive (updated)

From my new arrivals this week one game really stood out that made me more excited than the rest and this was Gunstar Heroes. I’ve heard a lot about the game and had its spiritual (if you like) successor on the PSX but I have failed to play the original. As always I could download the rom and play on a PC however there’s nothing quite like the original medium it was meant to be enjoyed on.

So parcel arrived, box opened, dinner eaten and straight around to RetroleChucks place for some two player mayhem! (this will be a joint blog with RetroleChucks sections highlighted in Italics at the bottom of the page)

So a brief overview of the game:

Plot

Evil robot beast who can destroy life as we know it is powered by some nice looking gems, these are hidden all over the land until another (less tough but still Bad) Evil guy collects the gems for world conquest. Two twin bros set off to recover the gems since ‘Less Tough’ Evil guy has brainwashed their brother to do his bidding. You know the score similar story different game, its compelling enough and well thought out with a touch of crazy!

Game Play

Ala Megman you get to choose what level you would like to play, a whole choice of four but don’t let that fool you there are more as the story progresses.

GunstarStageSelectSample
Japanese not included

You also get to choose your base weapon, Fire, bolt, Rapid(spread), homing, this is to decide what weapon you will start off with when you die…and you will die! During the game you can pick up alternative weapons and you have a maximum of two slots (you don’t have to stick with the base choice), weapons can be switched or combined which is a great feature. We found Rapid (spread) and homing worked best together but you may differ, good feature!

Health wise you start with a number points, I cant remember off the top of my head so lets pick 150, its quite a nice thought out system, if your Twin dies you loose half you energy and give it to said twin. There are no lives in the game only infinite continues so later on in the game when you have died a few times dodging bullets and being careful really counts and increases the ‘Team work Factor’.

That covers the mechanics, the actual game play is a side scroller, if I mention Metal Slug you should instantly conjure up what its like. You can hang off platforms, slide, throw, shoot, punch etc etc.

Visuals

The game is darn pretty, I couldn’t quite believe it was a MegaDrive game, theres so much on the screen at once its overwhelming at first. You do get use to it very quickly and is a marvel to look at, there’s sudo 3d effects, stretching sprites and large moving backdrops. Bravo Treasure for a great job!

last_Gunstar
Bright and colourful

Sounds

The usual MegaDrive pallet of bangs and crashes, music is nice and catchy and doesn’t annoy even on the parts you get stuck on.

Game

This game is fun! One of the best games I’ve played on the Megadrive, made all the better for being two players. Fast paced shooting action with a touch of Japanese humour and brilliant visuals, controls are tight and it just doesn’t let up.That being said its not always a mindless button masher you need to concentrate and work as a team especially on the later stages. Highlights for me were the bosses and the **SPOILERS** Shump level, this was awesome, one player steered, had basic shooting available and the over had full weapons which could be launched remotely (think R-Type).

GENESIS--Gunstar Heroes_Aug6 5_09_10
Is that M.Bison?

We completed the game in 3 hours or so using a fair few continues especially on the ‘Boardgame’ stage, novel idea and although frustrating had us laughing especially the ‘Curry and Rice’ boss!!

curryandrice
Odd indeed and he times his kicks perfectly!

The latter stages of the game after the initial four stages were seat of your pants affair, more non stop action as you had to replay all the bosses again until you battle with the Lesser Evil guy **more SPOILERS**..which…doesn’t actually happen, he gets overpowered by the gems so you move straight onto the evil Robot dude! Two continues later and he was defeated and a nice little ending finished the game off.  All in all worth a purchase, recommend finding the Classic Collection like me as its much cheaper unless you’re made of money or a proper collector

Retrolechuck says..

Gunstar Heroes was a treat to play, Run N Gun gaming at its highest quality. Playing two players whilst a fun experience, both of us worked on a basic strategy of covering parts of the screen each. Choosing a different weapon to Da22 (the laser cannon didn’t quite rock as much as the flame rounds) the game still felt balanced. The power ups made the different weapon choices even more strategic and we soon worked out what combo was best for each boss. As Da22 pointed out the Shmup stage was also very interesting to play. I was controlling the ship and one way cannon whilst Da22 was blasting everything in site with an aim even Eric Bristo would be proud of.
One of the stages that stood out for me was the “board game” stage. Using your character to pick up and roll the dice to determine what event happened next was a refreshing and good way of braking up the non stop action of previous stages. (ooo that micro boss was a nasty one to beat 🙂 )
I would totally recommended this game to anyone and is welcome in any game collection. The price is high to buy these days and i can see why.

A creative and fun game to play with a good level of difficulty.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. acidbearboy says:

    This is a good game, though I played it on ps2 and xbox 360. What’s the spiritual successor on PSX, Rapid Reload? I heard the GBA game is decent too.

    Like

    1. Da22 says:

      Yeah rapid reload, I had it, was a good game as I remember although I sold it for something else as was the way when you’re a kid with little funds.

      Like

      1. acidbearboy says:

        Yeah, I liked it too. Pricey now!

        Like

      2. Da22 says:

        Everything is 😂

        Like

  2. stevenger says:

    Sounds cool, surprised I’ve never come across the PS1 one you mentioned. Gameplay makes me pine for Midnight Resistance!

    Like

    1. Da22 says:

      Deffo a great game il bring it along when we all meet up

      Like

  3. stevenger says:

    Updated! Two thumbs up!

    Like

    1. Da22 says:

      Double recommendation, double the thumbs!

      Like

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