One of the more underrated games of all time, Gunstar Heroes gets a second chance thanks to the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console. For 800 Wii Points (the equivalent to about $8.00), players will get to experience an excellent action game; they will see why Gunstar Heroes has been hailed by many as a cult classic.
Gunstar 9 is a planet protected by the Gunstar family. One day, the villain Smash Daisaku kidnapped and brainwashed the eldest brother. It’s up to the two younger twin brothers to rescue him. The story may be ridiculous but it doesn’t hurt the game in any way since the game is more about kicking ass than telling a drama.
Gunstar Heroes’ graphics holds up surprisingly well for a game released for the Sega Genesis in 1993. This is due mostly to the excellent artwork. Most importantly, the game runs super fast and smooth (even with a bunch of enemies on screen at once), even in cooperative mode.
Unlike the graphics, the sound did not age so well. The music and sound effect felt over-saturated; the sound quality is not very good compared to today’s standard. You’ll be annoyed with it while playing the game.
If you have ever play the Contra or Metal Slug games before, than Gunstar Heroes will be very familiar. Players run across the 2D stages, shooting enemies along the way; occasionally, they are interrupted with boss and mini-boss fights. The stages are varied; each contains their own personalities and play styles. Bosses also vary and are a lot of fun (and tough too).
Although it sounds simple, Gunstar Heroes is actually one of the hardest games ever made. Don’t be surprised that you have to retry a stage over and over again. The difficulty is not artificial though as the controls are tight and responsive. Gunstar Heroes just throws a lot of enemies and tough bosses at you. The game just has an old school difficulty to it; with enough practice, anyone should be able to beat it.
To counter the difficulty, you have plenty of weapons to play with. Your arsenal includes chaser, fire, force and lighting guns. You can combine two of these guns to create powerful new ones (for example, combining chaser with lighting will give you a powerful homing laser); this will result in a total of 16 combinations in addition to the four main ones and melee attacks.
Furthermore, you can play with a friend in cooperative mode. Not only will the game be a whole lot easier but it will also be tons more fun (you can even use your partner as a weapon by grabbing and throwing him at the enemies).
In spite of its old school difficulty, Gunstar Heroes is a great action game (especially if you are playing cooperatively) with an excellent array of bosses, stages and weapons.
Gunstar Heroes is a perfect showcase for the Virtual Console. It is a rare classic that many players in the past never got to experience. Now, with the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console, they can finally play this masterpiece.