Friday, 13 July 2007

Bojack: For The Love of Guardian Heroes

Released On the Sega Saturn in 1996 and devolped by Treasure, Guardian Heroes still stands the test of time and remains one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I have ever had and believe me when I say there aren't many of those experiences.

Some of you may remember a rare coin-up classic by the name of Gunstar Heroes (also developed by Tresure), well what we have here with Guardian Heroes is a tried and tested formula by Treasure of taking a boring and dated genre of game and breathing new life into it for a new generation of gamers. What the developers did was to take the now old and basic gameplay element of Gunstar Heroes and add new elements such as anime styled graphics, combos, magic, a rpg based character upgrade system, a six player multiplayer arena mode which could of been a game in itself, and last but not least the 50+ ways to play the game through the "choice of path system" which could unravel 7 different yet still unique storylines. The story of course is quite typical by todays standards, man gets magic sword, man and friends must rescue princess and free the opressed city and its townsfolk whilst kicking seven shades of shit out of any thing that moves on your quest to do so, which may sounds like it could get quite boring quite quickly but thanks to the brillaint gameplay and accessable controls Treasure have overcame that problem.

Starting off with the graphics Guardian Heroes posesses some of the most detailed and smooth character animations seen in a 2D game aswell as georgoues backdrops and excellent spell and fighting effects. What most impressed me about the graphics was how much was happening on the screen without a drop in framrate, u could easily be fighting off 20 to 30 enemies and not experience any slow down. My only problem with the graphics was the pixelization of some of the characters and enviroments when the camera would zoom in close on the action but in all due respect i see alot worse on some games 11 years later. Next up are the controls and this is where the game took a different stance on other 2D scrolling games, gamers could pull of combinations of attacks and magic that could rusult in a triple figure combo, this could allow novices of the game to find the combat accessible from the off start but could also reward those gamers willing to master the moves for the 50+ playable characters. And the mulit-layered enviroments allowed for dodging enemy attacks allowing for different ways to approach battlles. My only gripe with the game i found was the sound. All the fighting and character effects where executed fine but i have a slight hatred for the music used in these sort of games, luckily i didnt find it too distracting from the game.

All the new elements Tresure worked into Guardian Heroes resulted in an enjoyable and fulfilling gaming experience from start to finish, the main quest is a fairly decent length not to add to the fact that there are over 50 ways you will need to play the game to unlock the 50+ characters which gives this game excellent replay value, you could find urself spending nearly a 100 hours on this game and not realise it. There is also the six player Arena Mode for you and your friends to duke it out on, in an age where online gaming was non existant in home consoles this sort of multiplayer action was as good as it gets. Treasure managed to deliver on all fronts with Guardian Heroes and created a game thats is a blast to play from start to finish for any gamer young or old.

Guardian Heroes will always remain a timeless classic to me and not many games will give me the good memories i had with friends, family, and even myself while i played this game. All we need now is to get this game released on Xbox Live and show the gamers of today what they were missing. Pull your fingers out Microsoft you got a money maker here.


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