Gunstar Heroes Review
- Insanely action-packed platforming at its best.
- Lots of weapon combinations to explore.
- Customizable firing controls.
- Tilt controls almost entirely pointless.
- Poor button positioning.
Gunstar Heroes is a true platforming classic and having a version you can play on the go is great, but the controls leave a lot to be desired.
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Sometimes it's hard to keep the torch of my youth alive and fondly remembering oodles of time being wasted on a game like Gunstar Heroes fills me with joy. Unfortunately nostalgia can be a brittle thing and when poor controls make an already challenging game even harder, the warm buzz of the past is quickly usurped by frustration.
SEGA's emulated titles for the iDevices have been difficult to enjoy as there's nothing quite like having physical controls to maneuver with the exacting detail required in many of the Genesis' platforming titles. While the virtual buttons do a respectable job of allowing you to play Gunstar Heroes, the accuracy required to survive without burning through continues is just not present and players will need to compensate by abusing the game's weapon-merging system (pro-tip: homing/lightning combo with Gunstar Blue is seriously OP).
Thankfully, just about everything else about Gunstar Heroes is just as you'd expect, keeping all of the amazing platforming action that helped this title to gain a Rock Star level of fandom. What helps this title to stand the test of time is it's truly intense action gameplay that is paired with fluid movement that allows you to grab, climb and maneuver with ease while firing in 8 directions at the same time. Add in a weapon-pairing system (players can choose to merge any two combinations of 4 basic weapons) and you've got yourself a true winner.
It's hard to dislike Gunstar Heroes, but at best the controls are ill-advised and at worst in the case of the tilt controls, seriously harmful and bordering on pointless. If you're a die-hard fan you'll be able to overcome these limitations with time and practice, but Gunstar Heroes still a hard game to enjoy at this time.