Gunstar Heroes

released on Sep 09, 1993

The Gunstar family are the protectors of the planet Gunstar 9. After many years of peace, vicious dictator Colonel Red kidnapped the Gunstar twins’ older brother and used mind control to make him his slave.

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Common Treasure W; constant fast-paced action with tons of weapon combos to try, crazy boss fights, and an awesome throw move that's made even more fun with a friend. The silly dice maze can eat my ass tho (t. I got "destroy the core" and the Jerma985 fight every single time)

Treasure delivering as always, shame hardly anyone eats their games up tho.

Although I have seen people talk about the Sega Genesis in terms of its intense competition against the Super Nintendo during the 90s, I rarely saw anyone bring up its actual games. Sure, the original Sonic the Hedgehog games were (and still are) some of the most wildly popular games of that era, and the console also found some popularity with the beat-'em-up crowd with the Streets of Rage series, but whenever I would try to think of must-have exclusives for the Sega Genesis, no other games would come to mind. When I found out about Gunstar Heroes, though, it looked interesting enough for me to want to give it a shot, and I'm glad that I did, because this game honestly surprised me with how good it was.
On the surface, the run-&-gun gameplay of Gunstar Heroes seems simple, but it did quite a lot to make the core gameplay loop feel more deep and rewarding to get a grasp of. For starters, I really liked how the game incorporated its four shot types, as they not only each had their own strengths and weaknesses, but the ability to combine them meant that I was constantly experimenting to see what strategies worked and felt the best. The action in Gunstar Heroes is fast-paced and chaotic, as every moment of each level is spent shooting or dodging enemies that continuously appear on screen, and using the movement abilities and melee attacks made the combat feel even more frantic and engaging. Despite how this game is only made up of seven levels, each one feels distinct and brimming with new ideas, as Gunstar Heroes constantly changes up level structure, control schemes, and boss encounters in ways that feel well thought out and exciting rather than gimmicky. I'd also say that Gunstar Heroes is one of the most visually impressive games of the fourth console generation, as it not only had some excellent sprite work and a vibrant color palette, but the more visually complex boss battles such as Seven Force and the Core Guard System were very impressive to look at while also having a unique sense of depth.
Generally, I had a great time with Gunstar Heroes, but I did have some gripes with it, and most of these had to do with the game's difficulty. For the most part, Gunstar Heroes is a challenging, but reasonable run-&-gun game, but its random difficulty spikes soured my mood at times, as dealing with seven phase boss fights or occasional bullet hell moments felt more like pure frustration rather than a fair challenge. This issue worsens the game's already inconsistent checkpoint system, with some of the harder levels not having them at all. Although I did praise the game's commitment to constantly switching up its level design, the weapon controls for the spaceship in the level "Empire's Space Craft" were very finicky, and it was especially annoying to try and dodge enemy fire and meteorites when I couldn't even aim my vehicle's weapon in the direction that I wanted it to. These issues felt minor in comparison to what Gunstar Heroes did well, though, and I not only really enjoyed this game, but it also made me excited to check out what is arguably Treasure's most famous game, Ikaruga.

i love Treasure but I wish this game had better checkpoints

When I'm in a Epilipsy Triggering Competition and My Opponent Is Gunstar Heroes squidward.gif

One of those games where weirdly enough it's exactly as good as its reputation, though with maturity maybe the dice board section is not as cool as I once thought it was. Everything about moving and shooting in this game feels phenomenal though so whatever.