Review by BrainDog
"Words cannot describe how fun this game is."
I have been looking for this game for a long time. I have owned a Saturn for quite a while but never got many great games for it when it came out. In an attempt to make this system worth owning I set forth to research what the great game for the system were and to systematically collect them. Of course games like Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force III were immediately put on the list, but I had to do some digging to even discover that this game existed. I discovered this game by reading about another Saturn: classic Radiant Silvergun. Radiant Silvergun is a classic 2D shooter made by Treasure, a company that specializes in 2D action games. Since Radiant Silvergun is EXTREMELY rare, I began looking for other Treasure games that was both easier to find and extremely fun. First off, all Treasure games are extremely fun. Secondly none of the old ones are easy to find. After months of looking I finely came across one being trade into a store while I was checking out. Immediately I put the item I was going to buy away and asked the salesclerk to buy Guardian Heroes before former owner had even traded it in. Little did I know that the little bit of luck I had on that day had enabled me to purchase one of the best 2D action games ever.
When I first brought Guardian Heroes home I was very unimpressed with the game. The cover art didn't appeal to me and the description of the game on the back of the box didn't make the game sound great either. But, I was still open minded about the game. At first playing the game didn't grab me either. I couldn't follow what was going on and the moves seemed repetitive. Then, when I figured out the special moves, combos and I realized how deep this game is I was hooked. I played it for hours on end and I stayed up for hours deeply enthralled with the game.
The graphics in this game are quite good. The characters have an anime feel to them and if you have ever played any other Treasure game you know what to expect. The characters are crisp and detailed, as are the backgrounds. The magic moves in this game are animated quite well and everything moves with fluid animation. Truly some of the best 32 bit graphics I have seen. The only gripe I have with them is the slowdown that occurs when the action on the screen gets hectic. Though it doesn't happen to often, it is there and it is annoying.
Sound generally adds nothing to a game for me. Normally I just turn down the music and listen to the radio, but not with this game. The music is catchy and well done, it really adds to the gameplay experience. The sound effects tend to get old after a while, but it is nothing to serious.
This is always the category where Treasure games shine. At first this game seems like another mindless beat 'um up. But, when you realize that the game is really a fighting game on a much larger scale the game becomes so much more. The fighting area is divided into three horizontal plans that you switch between by pressing L,R, or X. When your on a plain your character controls just like that of one from a fighting game. pressing UP makes the character jump, you have different strong and quick attacks, combos and even special moves. Another thing that makes the gameplay stand out is that Treasure added an RPG twist to it. By landing attacks you get experience points, once you gain enough experience points you gain a level. In between each stage you get a number of points based on how many levels you gained during the stage. These points can be put into different categories to raise different stats of your character. This system forces you to always be in the thick of the battle, instead of letting the computer character do all the work, so that you can gain levels. Because if you don't, you won't make it far in this game. The gameplay in this game is really well done.
Story is generally never the strong point of any action game, but this game is an exception. But, I don't want to ruin it for you so that is all I will say.
If you ever find this game I strongly recommend you buy it. It is the best game I have purchased in quite some time. The game is a great single player and multiplayer game. Up to 6 players can play this game at once (with the help of a multitap). I really can't say enough about this game. It is truly a classic and one of the best games made for the Saturn. Maybe one of the best games for any system.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/07/01, Updated 07/07/01
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