Review by GMitchell

Reviewed: 03/06/02 | Updated: 03/06/02

A true treasure...from Treasure

At first, Guardian Heroes really didn't look that interesting to me. I'm not particularly a fan of anime, and the style was leaping out at me from the box cover and from the bits I'd seen
on display at the local software place. I played it for a couple of minutes, and I really couldn't dig on the 3-d planes on which 2-d characters stood, and the battle system wasn't nearly as easy as say, Final Fight or Streets of Rage, so I wasn't immediately drawn in.

But oh, am I glad I pressed further and bought the game based on friends' recommendations. OH am I glad.

Guardian Heroes is, to sum it up, a masterpiece of grandiose proportions. It's both simple and complex in a combination that's like peanut butter and jelly. For frenzied parts, there's lots of good ol' button mashing to be done. For other parts, there's judicious use of evasion, spell-casting and defense. And there's a great story. And there's tons of characters, all of whom are completely different from one another both in personality and in abilities. And it's a great multiplayer game. With multiple endings, and multiple paths. And there's an infinitely replayable battle-theatre thingie that lets you customize battles with any of the characters in any setting you want, keeping you playing well after you've beaten the game enough times to open all the characters and see all the endings. In cred i ble.

But here's the details.
Graphics are not really the highlight of the game. They're all 2-d hand drawn, and they do get pixelly sometimes when a character comes close to the screen. But the hand-drawn art is (even to me, and anti-anime guy) really great, and the characters are all cool and hilarious when they need to be.

Sound is rather a frenzy. There's generally a whole ton going on, and too many sounds to individually account for at any given time. You can, however, make out particular character voices after playing for awhile, and it is pretty amusing to hear the various battle cries.

Control is simply awesome. At first, the Fatal Fury-esque plane jumping can get to you, but it only takes a little while to get used to this hopping around. The defense, spells, attacks and other controls are all mapped perfectly to the Saturn controller, and are second nature in a few minutes.

And man, will this game keep you coming back. Playing with a friend or versus a friend really invests you in its world, and it's a big party favorite. Even on your own, mashing though battle after battle that you design is intense fun...for YEARS. The true mark of a classic - Guardian Heroes is hard to beat as a beat-em-up.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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