Our Score

7

 

Gunstar Heroes

August 26, 2012

In their crusade against the evil dictator Grey, the Color Army sets out to prevent him from turning their own brother in arms Green against them. In order to restore balance to the world, the player must collect all the mystical gems to avoid the minions of planet G-9 from causing havoc and despair to the universe. Furthermore, Grey’s plan to reactivate the menace known as Golden Silver has to be stopped!

Run and Gun bliss! Gunstar Heroes demonstrates the great power of the Sega Genesis. Beautiful (especially colorful) graphics, exhilarating music and sharp controls allow the player to have a great gaming experience. Although the story seems a bit unfinished, it is certainly no distraction to the pure fun of creative stages and bosses that this game provides.

One Gun, Sixteen Arms:

Controlling the characters Red or Blue is easy, really easy. Use the D-pad to move, A to Jump, B to shoot and C to switch weapons. Slide by pressing down as well as the jump button and by performing the same combo. Climb back up by pressing up and then the jump button. When close to an enemy, the player may throw him by double tapping the fire button. Most enemies will explode after this.

There are four basic types of weapons which make another four when combined with each other. You may use the single weapon or two of them simultaneously and gives the opportunity to use up to a total of 12 different arms.

When the game starts you have two choices. One is to have a Free Shot option where you can move completely freely while shooting and the other possibility is the Fixed Shot which causes the player to stand still while shooting. Depending on your playing style, the Free Shot offers more mobility freedom, but the Fixed Shot is a great help during boss fights.

Gunstar Heroes has four main stages and a final level where you fight all the bosses again. Each stage has its unique features and you may choose them in any order. You may also select what weapon you start with, and whenever you continue, this choice will remain as the same. A second human player may join in at any time and will choose this option upon arrival.

Fight for the natives:

This stage is really straightforward, lots of enemies, and lots of gunning. Grab the weapon combination of choice and just keep running through the stage. Once you reach the pyramid, jump up without hesitation, otherwise enemies will grab you and a lot of precious vitality is lost.

As mini bosses or bosses appear, their abilities are listed beforehand. The first foe falls down really easy when utilizing the Chaser weapon. The second mini boss is beaten by avoiding his incoming kicks whilst constantly keep firing at it.

This stages boss is Pink. She controls a mechanized bug of some sort. Shoot it when it first appears and as it moves towards you, slide underneath it and shoot upwards. Do not worry about the vitality lost here (unless you are already low), as it will be dead long before you run out of life. Claim the crystal and get ready, the next stage is a wild ride!

Some Wagon Riding:

Get into a Mining Cart and ready yourself for a rough Gunstar Heroes ride. This stage moves quickly and it is crowded with enemies. Having a seeker weapon helps a lot but any weapon will do fine at this time in the game. When you reach the trains, don’t just shoot at anything and everything, but try to aim at the troops inside so that the train itself explodes. When the train starts going vertically you may change sides by tapping the jump button twice.

Eventually, another boss will appear and this time it is Green. It is a pretty long fight so be prepared and try not to lose too much health early on. Green has a magnificent mecha called the Seven Force. It contains Soldier Force, Tails Force, Tiger Force, Eagle force, Blaster force, Urchin Force and Crab force, which are all the abilities of this particular boss.

Each ability or “section” is defeated differently. Soldier force fires and jumps at the player. Stay on one side and shoot at it while avoiding its arm when it is thrown at you.

Tails force is really easy to beat. Shoot and shoot and shoot, it will only fire bullets from the top side, so just slide down and back to concentrate its fire in one place.

Crab force throws shells at you. Jump and try to predict the attacks.

Eagle force will perform some sort of dance routine. Follow it to avoid getting hit and shoot it repeatedly as most damage is usually inflicted here.

Blaster force fires explosive rounds, but it has a limited amount of bullets. It will eventually stop to change clips, which is an excellent opportunity for a big blast.

After defeating Blaster force you are finally done. Congrats!

Pursuing the Enemy:

The battle ship containing the enemy is leaving and the player has to pursue it before all hope is lost. Ride upwards, keep jumping and at the first chance you get, leap into the ship. At the second section you will face the flying fortress itself. Destroy as much of it as you can but be sure to keep the health high as the upcoming bosses are quite difficult to beat. Get yourself underneath the first one and keep firing while avoiding incoming bullets.

The aircraft mini boss is also a bit challenging. Hang yourself onto the wings and shoot it. The actual boss comes afterwards and you need a lot of those pure retro gaming reflexes this time. Hang on the wings of the aircraft and you will have no major problems avoiding his charge and special flames. When he hangs on the wing, blast him well as he more vulnerable here. Don’t worry much about a potential fall, because you will simply jump back up automatically and only loose a small number of hp.

A game inside a game:

The stage starts straight-forward but then the player finds himself/herself inside a maze. Inside the maze-dice-maze you throw the dice and face the following blocks:

Item block: provides with items (including hp).

Fight block: fighting with mini bosses and equivalent.

No gun block: makes you face an opponent without using your gunstar.

Way Back: moves the hero back to square one.

The bosses are simple; they all fire from above and need no real skill to beat. After clearing this game you will face the boss (Black) which is not hard at all. Black has a big tank-like mecha called Beat Stepper. It chooses between four colors. Each one has a different weapon that emerges from the blocks with the same color. The boss itself is weak, but its powerful weapons may prove to be a match. He never defends or dodges your bullets, so find a sweet spot and shoot it until Black is destroyed for good!

Yellow Kidnapped:

Well, she had to ruin everything, didn’t she? Yellow got kidnapped and now you most go to the emperor’s palace to get her back. This last stage is too much like the first one but with more soldiers and the boss is just begging for you to destroy it. All boxes are destroyable, so don’t try any crazy jumps, just blast them as you advance through the final level.

Smash Daisaku has no special moves or differences from your previous encounter. Shoot him, he will run out of hp, regaining again, keep shooting and eventually he will release Yellow.

Outer Space:

A Shooter’s delight! Press A to warp and B to fire. The Timeron comes as the mini boss and it is kind of a joke, just shoot it dead. Afterwards, a horde of asteroids appear. You may blast or avoid them as you prefer. The boss of this stage is no other than the Seven Force. There is also a mini boss called 1000mm gun, but it only shoots slow projectiles.

The Seven Force can be quite difficult as it uses all its forms in a narrow place. Remember the warp and you will be safe. It is definitely not invincible, but requires patience and a little strategy. Keep in mind that whenever it dashes forward you can just press the pad back and shoot it from your rear.

Inside the Ship:

You will first face the core guard system when trying to stop the ship. The sequence is in a 3D mode and looks awesome! The boss will extend its arm to attack you, so just avoid it along with any incoming beams and return fire. The next section is the core itself coming out to hit you. It hurls gamma smoke balls which can be avoided simply by sliding through them. Continue to shoot at the core to deplete its health.

Once the snake-like second section is clear, the runner appears. Avoid its punches, and never stop shooting as it takes a lot of time for it to bite the dust. This is because it runs out of reach, but it should make no or little damage to you if played properly. After this, the core is finally defeated and we can move on.

All the Bosses Again!

You will face all the bosses again as their leader and his minions watch you from a screen! I wonder if the Gunstar Heroes crew played the MegaMan series back in the day, since there are similarities?

First up is the Duck Battalion in its new mechwarrior machine. It fires bullets diagonally, but they are no major problem to avoid. Jump to the other side and shoot until one of them goes down. The other one will grab the Vulcan cannon and attack you with relatively low hp. A few seconds of gunning is all that it takes to bring him down.

Eventually you will come to face Pink Lobster. Jump around its claw, press up and shoot. You may lose some hp, but she will be defeated in no time. If low on health you can stand in a corner and fire until she draws near. When she prepares her strike, just slide to the next corner and repeat this strategy.

There is some pretty harsh fighting up ahead! Remember that you can climb the floors, because it is a good strategy to beat Orange as he is a tough cookie. Climb up and down to avoid him, and when he executes his twin dragon strike, simply slide and shoot. He will become stunned after taking a hit of 120 hp, but he is also invulnerable for a split second, so time the attacks well and he will be defeated soon enough.

Black returns in a new edition mecha which is quite easy unless you have very low hp. The beams are predictable and easy to avoid (except for the turning wheel beams) as well as the explosive mines. Destroy them before they hit you and move to the sides to evade the middle beams coming out from Black’s mecha.

Finally Green, the other gunstar who is controlled by the enemy, tries to put an end to your rampage. This fight is though because Green inflicts a lot of damage and has tons of health. Jump up and down the ledges to avoid his rounds and stay away unless you are going to throw him. Even if he reflects your bullets, keep shooting at him, he cannot reflect them forever.

Now when all resistance is beaten, only Grey stands in the way… but the crystals had a different idea. They defeat him for you, so now you have to face the great Golden Silver instead. This massive being is impossible to hit straight on. Don’t waste any time or bullets at him, but aim for the jewels and Golden Silver’s powers will diminish. You can slide into golden silver or grab and throw him to create a safe zone in between, which gives you extra time to shoot at the gems.

After a while the gems will come closer and encircle Golden Silver. Jump into the wall and gun them down as they are trying to hit you. This boss is just has a lot of hp and predictable attacks, so just stay calm because the fight can take a while. Enjoy the ending, sit back and take it all in – you have just completed Gunstar Heroes.

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