Gunstar Super Heroes E3 2005 Hands-On

We went to Sega's booth for some hands-on time with the sequel to Treasure's classic side-scrolling shooter.

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Gunstar Super Heroes is the long-awaited sequel to the classic Gunstar Heroes for the Sega Genesis. We played two levels while we were in the Sega booth, and it looks like Treasure is going to great lengths to preserve the run-and-gun gameplay of the original.

When we started the game, we were given the option choose between a blue character and a red character. After choosing, we watched a cutscene that played out with large character portraits and dialogue boxes similar to those in the Fire Emblem or Advance Wars games. The text was all in Japanese, so unfortunately, we couldn't get a good read on the story. According to Sega, the character you choose determines which path you'll go through in the game.

The gameplay of Gunstar Super Heroes will be immediately familiar to you if you've played any of the other side-scrolling shooters for the Game Boy Advance. The game feels like a mix of Metal Slug and Mega Man, with fast-paced shooting and cartoony sci-fi enemies.

The enemies are plentiful, and it takes a heavy dose of firepower to bring them down. Fortunately, firepower is in steady supply in Gunstar Super Heroes. During our time with the game, we saw guns, a melee attack that featured a blade, a ground slide, and a dragon punch-type uppercut.

The levels look nice, with special effects in the foreground and background. In addition, the levels have a varied design to keep things interesting. In one level, we were on top of a small ship that we could spin with the D pad. As the screen spun around the character, enemies swarmed around the ship, and we had to shoot them while trying not to get hit. Other levels are more straightforward, with basic platforming sections interspersed throughout. Of course, as in any shooter, there are big boss battles as well. One of the bosses we fought was a large monster who picked up a small ship and used it as a crushing implement.

Fans of old-school shooters have plenty to get excited for with this sequel, since it looks like Treasure has kept the top-notch animation and fast-paced gameplay of the classic Genesis game fully intact. Keep checking this gamespace for updates as Treasure and Sega prepare to release Gunstar Super Heroes for the Game Boy Advance.

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