#307 Guardian Heroes

Posted: 19th May 2017 by Jeroen in Games
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603rd played so far

Genre: Fighting
Platform: Saturn
Year of Release: 1996
Developer: Treasure
Publisher: Sega

The genre of fighting games is pretty broad as used here, and has a tendency to overlap with the action genre. Here it isn’t the one-on-one fighting you might get from, say, Street Fighter, but it’s closer to the brawling of Double Dragon – and in this case, it sounds like, with more areas to explore.

In a way, just reading up on the game before starting, it seems like there’s some RPG elements – battling with different characters while moving through a story heavy world – far more story heavy than I’ve seen in the perfunctory cutscenes in most fighting games. I need to see whether this is one that can hold my attention better than most.

Our Thoughts

That introduction gives you the broad strokes of what the game is. It starts with a cutscenes of our main characters in a tavern, which gets invaded because of the sword they picked up in earlier adventures.

You get a choice of which character to play, each with its own characteristics. This already feels like it sets it apart, adding RPG elements to the beat em up. You gain experience points as you play, allowing you to develop the characters further. It already makes the game feel more varied – even if, for base simplicity, I went for the big strong guy without many abilities. Just beat them up, really. But at the same time, leveling up did make a difference – investing a bit in speed was immediately noticeable.

The story also branches based on your actions, something I didn’t really explore too much, but that also wasn’t signposted that much – I only found out about it by reading guides afterwards. It’s a nice reward for replays, just not something I’ve been seeing much of.

I think what got me is that the game wasn’t the easiest – partially as I had to adjust to the controls, which always seems to stump me with these games. I hadn’t quite learned it, and I felt I wouldn’t do so any time soon anyway.

Final Thoughts

Guardian Heroes is probably the best in the genre I’ve played, one that I enjoyed for the most part. Sure, I ran into a difficulty wall after a while, and need to properly revisit it, but it felt a lot of fun to play up to then. The graphics are more cartoony than I’m used to, not trying to be realistic (or gorey) but more looking like a fun adventure cartoon.