Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Gunstar Heroes

Retro Game of the Day! Gunstar Heroes

Gunstar Heroes - you know 'em! You love 'em! You wanna blow stuff up with 'em! Today is a special day here on Retro Game of the Day as we pick apart one of the Best Games in the history of All Games Made, Ever. Released by Sega for Genesis/MD, this was legendary developer Treasure's first game to hit the scene, way back in Q4 1993.

This was one of those fresh titles that you heard about and knew little of - the screens looked great, the name sounded rad, and though it was a dodgy idea (new developer on an aging console when SNES titles were looking mighty hot), it was worth a shot. And it paid off. Gunstar took cues from games like Contra, mixed in some Mario meets Mega Man charm, made love to Street Fighter II', and pushed the limits of what gamers had come to expect out of a system like the black slab o' plastic that Sega put under their TV sets.

Simple premise as usual - grab your gun, and your buddy, and kill everything and save the world. As noted, a Contra-style affair but cranked out on LSD, with super-mutato bosses and everything constantly trying to obliterate you from every angle. You could hold two weapons - lazer, rapid fire, homing, flame - and double-up (make a weapon twice as strong) or mix the weapons into a hybrid. Also, you could grab and throw enemies all over the place. It was a good feeling to lay waste to your foes!

Everything in this game screams quality - controls are tight, the music is dorky, sinister, and groovy all at the same time, there's WAYYY too many bosses (mid- and end-) including the magnificently creative shapeshifting Seven Force shown above - Each level has it's own theme (mine carts, missile ride, etc) the graphics are much more colorful than should look possible coming out of a Genesis. This was THE BUSINESS, indeed.

For newcomers, there's not much I wanna say on Gunstar, it is something you must behold yourself. This game ranks right up there with the likes of Mario and Sonic and Megaman as among the most memorable, most lovingly-assembled action games of all time. Sme would say it's a shame that it only appeared once before all but vanishing into obscurity (a sequel would surface many years later on GBA but.. it's not the same thing!) The game is timeless and remains a favorite today, and so it shall for the ages-

Headcase Games is pleased to announce that our very first app iFist has been approved for sale in the iTunes App Store! After a couple months of getting this thing started, Ben and I are finally ready to unleash our first game into the world. "Much like Treasure's first effort, iFist will be remembered for decades to come--" Okay maybe it's not the quite the same thing, but I think you all will be pleased to see some quality software coming down the pipe from us shortly - we thank you for your support!


  1. http://www.danielthomas.org/pop/classics/gunstar.htm

    I'm very flattered and humbled to see my Gunstar Heroes screenshot copied all across the internets. I used to put such care in snapping shots for my game reviews. Is that something that the videogame press even cares about anymore?

    I do agree that the GBA sequel wasn't as good as the original. Perhaps there was just too much hype or too much time. I think the Advance's small screen was an issue, but 2D arcade games had been kicked down to the portable ghetto by that time. I'd like to see something in this vein projected onto a tv set, the way games were meant to be played. The Wii would be the obvious candidate for that.

  2. Sorry dude. It's a daily game review - I can't go making original pics for every single game I cover (and I am doing this free of charge!) So it is much easier to find appropriate/ interesting ones that someone else has taken the time to grab (which I appreciate) - you understand..