26, 1996 (Japan)
24, 1996 (USA)
> Once again developer Treasure takes a tried and true formula
and expands on it for the Sega Saturn. These guys seem to
have a knack for breathing new life into genres that have grown stale and
boring. Guardian Heroes borrows heavily from games of yesteryear
(like Treasure's own Gunstar
Heroes and Alien
Soldier), but adds combos, magic attacks, six-player arena
combat (that could actually be a game in and of itself), and RPG elements.
> Even the most ardent 2D nay-sayers are impressed by the graphics in Guardian
Heroes. The character animation is smooth, and the backdrops are
simply gorgeous, but the show-stoppers are the explosions and spell effects.
Perhaps most of the graphical appeal of this game is due to the fact that
so much can be going on onscreen at once with nary a hint of slowdown.
Also worth noting is the character design, which is top-notch. Yes the
cliché cast of characters is here (fighter, ninja, shepherd) but
they are all instantly likable. Even the 'bad guys' have their own quirks
that make them easy to identify with. The only problem with the graphics
is the pixelization that appears on the character sprites and magical effects,
but it doesn't detract from the overall experience of the game in the least.
> Here is where Guardian Heroes makes its departure from
the standard fare. Basic punch/kick commands are there, but now it's possible
to string together sequences of moves and magic spells that can do hundreds
of hits. Treasure has taken care to program this game so
that it can be enjoyed by the novice player, but will reward one who is
willing to master the nuances of the game. Magic is performed by bringing
up a tiny icon menu and selecting the appropriate spell, or executing Street
Fighter-esque joypad movements. The multi tiered combat (a la Fatal
Fury) idea is applied nicely allowing the player more freedom to
dodge attacks, though it is sometimes difficult to tell where your character
is in relation to the enemies. Unlike most games in this genre, the one
on one (or 3 on 3) combat feature was definitely not an afterthought. Balance
is not really an issue here, because it is possible to tweak Your character
so that even a little village boy can stand a chance against the last boss
of the game. Don't expect to get bored with this one for a while, because
there are about 50 selectable characters.
> I really couldn't get into the tunes of Guardian Heroes.
The music sounds anime inspired, but nothing very memorable really. The
sound effects are well done with all the prerequisite grunts, groans, yells,
and thumps of fighting.
> All the elements that make up Guardian Heroes add up to
one hell of a gaming experience. The main quest is long and difficult with
(many) multiple endings. The six player option boosts the replay value
of this game even higher, and is a great way to include everybody in the
> Treasure is a hardcore gamer's company, and that's a fact.
They take classic gameplay and improve upon it. Guardian Heroes
is a prime example of that. It delivers intuitive controls, great graphics,
and is simply a blast to play.
9.4 | Graphics: 9.6 | Control: 9.7 | Sound: 8.5 | Fun: 9.9