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Gunstar Heroes

Developer: Treasure Publisher: Sega
09 September 1993
Gunstar Heroes - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.88 / 5.0
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384 Ratings / 3 Reviews
#408 All-time
#7 for 1993
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1993 Treasure Sega  
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US 0 10086 01077 0
1993 Treasure Sega  
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XAS 4 974365 541033
1993 Treasure Sega  
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XEU 4 974365 610777
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1995 M2 Sega  
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JP 4 974365 133498
2006 Treasure Sega  
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2009 Treasure Sega  
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2015 Treasure M2  
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2021 Treasure Sega  
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Title
This might be one of the most insane games ever created, this is due to the sheer number of explosions that happen in each level given the enemy types as well as the different power ups available to you.

The game is on the shorter side even for a Genesis title, although this is mainly due to how brutally difficult it is (without emulating it of course) as there's enemies everywhere coming at you from different angles. It can also feel like a megaman rip-off at times as you basically go through these sides carolling stages only to be stopped by a boss battle, although the similarities are skin deep at best given how we have two heroes to choose from which of course means this game allows for multiplayer. To further offset the differences it has with megaman, each level has its own unique gimmick from battling on a minecart to having a space battle similar to that of popular space shooters from the arcades. One of the levels even has a board game gimmick so influential that Cuphead famously copied it over two decades later, showing how far ahead of its time this game is. The graphics are gorgeous to look at which is impressive since there's tons of explosions to the point where there's the occasional framerate drop; this is to be expected with the high quality presentation for such an old game. As challenging as the game is, there's thankfully unlimited continues which means you only have to repeat the stage you’re in should you lose all of your lives. There's not much else to say about the game as the bosses are all unique but are also fought twice each as the game copies the boss rush sections from the megaman franchise.

It's a game that's a ton if fun provided you're OK with it kicking your ass and don't mind the megaman comparisons.
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Foxylover92 2021-06-23T00:24:07Z
2021-06-23T00:24:07Z
4.0
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Title
The Hero of 2D Action Games
In 1993, Japanese game developer Treasure smashed onto the scene with a game that people now laud as one of the best, if not the best, Sega Genesis game(s). Does it live up to the hype? Hell yeah.

Gunstar Heroes is a game so technical for the time that it rivals the modern genre of movement/technical shooters and platformers. You got kicks, slides, wall jumps, grinds, throwing, and ducking, all of which the player can use to skillfully blow through levels. It's a simple control scheme (unlike that of its predecessors) that makes it easy to pick up and play and rewarding to practice and get better at.

Gunstar Heroes also boasts unique weapons and moveset options throughout the playthrough. Weapons come in 4 elemental orbs and you combine two of them together to create a unique weapon. The cool thing about this system is that weapons cater both to situations AND player skill level. Homing weapons might be better for players who want to focus on dodging instead, while the close ranged weapons are better for players who like being aggressive. Each weapon types is weaker in some scenarios; homing weapons are weak against large bosses and close ranged weapons are weak against the run' n' gun sections. You get what I'm saying? Hundreds of different ways to mix up runs and replay the game.

The real reason why Gunstar Heroes captivated the hearts of so many action game fan-boys/girls/folk is the charm it has. Treasure games are known for their unique spritework and character design, and GH does not disappoint. Characters pop off the screen on already colorful alien plants of cities and villages. It's a very exhilarating game to play. Imagine, if you will, hundreds of explosions filling the screen at all times, the screen violently shaking, projectiles flying everywhere! Visibility is almost a problem at some parts where you struggle to find yourself in the action, but these moments are rare.

And shining in the center of Gunstar Heroes is the boss design. This game has 30-sum bosses (which is a lot for a Genesis game!) and each one is more bombastic than the last. Not only are they cool to look at, but they're a joy to fight (minus a few) because they complement the player's moveset and capabilities.

The cooperative play in this game is phenomenal as well. It's one of the few games I can think of where it actually FEELS like you're playing with a second player, as opposed to just 2 players playing the same single player game at the same time. There's legitimate strategy to be had, whether it's saving a health up for your teammate or throwing them into the opponent, dealing damage and pissing off your little brother (sorry lil' bro).

The only weak link of this game is that stage 5 and half of stage 6 is much weaker than the rest of the game. The shmup section doesn't need to be nearly as long as it is, and stage 5 could have used a checkpoint. But that's really it! The game is otherwise flawless.

Look buddy, let me give you the rundown. This game has a really good online multiplayer Steam port that frequently goes on sale for $1 USD. Buy the game for yourself and a friend and have a blast playing together for the next hour. You won't regret it!
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KUMA20 2023-03-11T16:21:12Z
2023-03-11T16:21:12Z
4.5
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Title
Gunstar Heroes for the Genesis is a game that proves just how solid of a console the Genesis was for arcade-style action. The visuals and sound are surprisingly bright and the run-and-gun gameplay with variable power-ups offers tons of heavy action. It's a formula that works well, and is certainly one of Sega's console gems.

Gunstar Heroes' story is not important. It's serviceable, but doesn't even need to be known to enjoy the game or know what's going on. You are part of a merc group set out to destroy the Empire before they can collect gems to revive a long-dormant evil. Certainly not the worst story in the world, and it does come up during gameplay, but not anything you need to keep in mind. The key here is to grasp the Contra-style gunning and to find the control style and power-up combo that works for you. From the powerful flame to the helpful homer, finding your favourite way to dish out damage is key to your success in Gunstar Heroes.

The game looks and sounds great on the system. While it certainly won't get any Metal Slug fans jealous, it's a solid entry on the platform with fun animations, massive bosses, and a bouncy soundtrack. It's a game where you want to see what's around every corner, even if it's just so you can blow it up.

The game never felt too difficult for me until the final boss rush. While I found pretty early on that the double-homer weapon combo can do the work for you, it still wasn't always enough for each boss, where some strategy needed to be used instead of simply blowing your way through. The final level (again, the buss rush in particular) gave me some grief, but trial and error, and learning enemy movement and attack patterns, got me through.

Overall, Gunstar Heroes is a fantastic game for the Genesis, the type that every collector must own. It's got so much going for it that stands outside the standard Sonic and other platformers on the system. It's just a wonderful time!
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darcyska 2017-04-21T21:44:57Z
2017-04-21T21:44:57Z
4.0
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Catalog

Captainmidnight Gunstar Heroes 2024-06-15T23:15:41Z
2024-06-15T23:15:41Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
juvenilemoogs Gunstar Heroes 2024-06-15T14:35:23Z
2024-06-15T14:35:23Z
4.0
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
themariofan Gunstar Heroes 2024-06-07T10:07:40Z
2024-06-07T10:07:40Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SumiQueen Gunstar Heroes 2024-06-03T22:15:03Z
2024-06-03T22:15:03Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ukiki Gunstar Heroes 2024-06-02T21:50:20Z
2024-06-02T21:50:20Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Rippeul Gunstar Heroes 2024-05-31T21:47:24Z
2024-05-31T21:47:24Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thenameiswarp Gunstar Heroes 2024-05-22T03:55:44Z
2024-05-22T03:55:44Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
KaiokenX10 Gunstar Heroes 2024-05-17T01:51:57Z
2024-05-17T01:51:57Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Nintendo Switch Online
kaaisu 3D Gunstar Heroes 2024-05-14T07:52:42Z
3DS
2024-05-14T07:52:42Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Josh783 Gunstar Heroes 2024-05-12T12:16:07Z
2024-05-12T12:16:07Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thereitis Gunstar Heroes 2024-05-11T06:18:55Z
2024-05-11T06:18:55Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MadCowMeat Gunstar Heroes 2024-04-28T02:49:42Z
2024-04-28T02:49:42Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Also known as
  • ガンスターヒーローズ
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  • Previous comments (5) Loading...
  • lowplacelikehome 2021-07-14 12:01:54.828765+00
    I remember renting this game when game/VHS shops still existed
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  • shwaneth1337 2021-08-28 03:51:49.037766+00
    God Treasure was such a legendary dev, miss them
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  • Threntall 2021-11-14 10:26:16.822879+00
    its really cool that it allows you to tackle whatever stage you want first, ala mega man
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  • Paracaue 2022-02-21 17:48:13.542946+00
    They were 15 years ahead of the game, so much of the sensibilities you expected from games nowadays were already here in the genesis, impressive stuff
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  • Aurochz 2022-09-21 21:44:34.704524+00
    I remember reading about this and Milon's Secret Castle [迷宮組曲 ミロンの大冒険] in an "underrated games" segment in Game Informer back in the late 90's and I'm still consistently blown away by how good this is. Maybe the game I have most considered bumping to a 5. I think it has the best run and gun mechanics and by a wide margin still.
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  • Sharked98 2023-09-09 17:25:03.085522+00
    Happy 30th!
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  • SUPER_Lonely_Panda 2024-01-15 00:07:30.596257+00
    I don't get it. Flashy but so annoying to play.
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  • Regal_Throes 2024-01-26 06:28:19.837413+00
    Insane how this was Treasure's debut and literally the best non Rocket Knight game on the system.
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