review
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POSTED 31/10/11


GUARDIAN HEROES

SEGA
Xbox 360/XBLA

Sometimes the things that appear simplest can be the most complicated. Still waters run deep, or summat.

It’s much the case with this throwback to the glory days of the SEGA Saturn. So that’d be approximately November 22, 1994 to November 23, 1994. Yep, sadly after the all-conquering Mega Drive, the grey box that continued SEGA’s rings obsession (Saturn, Sonic… it can’t just be us?) went down like the opposite of a cottonwool bulldozer.

Back on topic, Saturn fave Guardian Heroes initially looks like another Street Fighter/Final Fight/Streets of Rage/Double Dragon/[insert fave side-scrolling beat-’em-up here] cloney thing. Indeed, it plays that way if you just mash. You may progress OK doing the ham-fistededness, but you’ll miss the intricacies those developer cleverclogses Treasure instilled.

Sure, the genre staples are present, but there are extras. You fight on three planes. No, not things with jets and wings and stuff, rather you can move in and out of the screen both for defence and convenient assaultationality. Slick combos exist for those willing to try a little patienceness. As for fighters, basically anybody you destroy within story mode will subsequently be controllable, meat puppet style. Well, perhaps pixel puppet style – and there are around 45 of them, from teensy bunny-wunnies to gargantuan, hulking brutes that hog mucho screen real estate.

It’s all swaddled in RPGish drag – but it's unobtrusive (save for endless fricking dialogue screens, although deliciously overwrought lines like “damn their iron deviltry” amuse). There’s more earn-points-then-level-up-your-dude (or dudette) and get hacking/slashing/jumping/spelling than anything too leaden.

GH shows its age, despite a revitalised look and controls. The music is, however, perfection. Meanwhile, sometimes so much flashes about it’s easy to lose your character, especially as everything’s so 2Distic. As for the arcade mode, all we’ve got is “WTF?!”
 
Remember nostalgiaholics, big shoulder pads rule!

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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.