September 23, 2021

Xbox One X

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Treasure’s most fascinating game is also its most imperfect

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I don’t know of many perfect video games, but Gunstar Heroes is surely one of them. 25 years on from its initial release, it’s every bit as intoxicating now as it was back then. Maybe even more so, in fact; it’s rare to come across something so utterly pure.

The work of seven former Konami employees who’d just started on their own with the all-new company Treasure, Gunstar Heroes is also rare in being a game made with absolutely no compromises; where every idea the team had made the cut, and where pretty much every idea landed.

And so you’ve a run and gun shooter with some profoundly brilliant concepts: weapons that can be blended together through some strange alchemy; bosses that shake the screen and undergo outrageous transformations mid-fight; enemies that can be picked and thrown into crowds, scattering the mobs like big fat bowling pins.

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