i’ve been enjoying my experience with games by treasure, including gunstar heroes which i’d played about a year ago. i’d heard good things about guardian heroes (some of which was in the context of code of princess for 3DS which has been called a spiritual successor) which originally was released on the sega saturn. physical copies of the game are fairly rare, so i opted for the XBLA version which comes with various enhancements but which, thankfully, also provides options to play the game more or less as the original. (incidentally, this marks the first game i’ve finished on my two-year-old xbox 360. finally! ha. :P)
this review at gameinformer.com gives a run-down of the game and its new features. the game is definitely more interesting than your average beat-’em-up, helped in no small part by the variety of street fighter-like moves. there’s some awkwardness in choosing which spell to cast and giving orders to your AI buddy, and i’m not quite convinced that jumping between the three planes (a la virtual boy wario land and mutant mudds) really adds much to the experience, but in general the controls are smooth and the gameplay is enjoyable. the game is colorful and the graphics and characters are appealing, and overall it has a somewhat similar feel to gunstar heroes despite having nothing much overtly in common. hardcoregaming101 does a good job of making the connection, though, when it says, “Guardian Heroes is not technically related to Gunstar Heroes – it does, however, share the same spirit, where ‘spirit’ is defined as ‘the incredible feeling one gets from causing extreme amounts of destruction with relative ease.'” the game also has a nice replay factor built in, in the form of several distinct characters to choose from and branching storylines. not a game that i felt compelled to drain every last drop from, but i was happy to have a nice short ‘n sweet experience via a single playthrough, and i’m looking forward to coming back to it … eventually!