The first thing I said to myself when I began playing this game was “they don’t make games like this anymore.” And to an extent that’s true, but 3D Gunstar Heroes isn’t technically a new game is it? Originally released on the SEGA Mega Drive back in 1993, developer M2 has treated the game to a 3D update for its Nintendo debut, and what a job they have done.
For many developers, porting a game is seen as a chance to make some cheap cash – putting little effort into the porting process in order to increase their profit margins. But not here, as M2 has put a lot of effort into making this port of Gunstar Heroes feel like it belongs on the 3DS.
I had never heard of this game before, and I genuinely thought that I was playing a game that had been built from scratch for the 3DS. That’s how good this port is. The 3D is incredibly stable with the stereoscopic effect really adding depth to the screen, something that many other 3DS titles have failed to achieve.
3D Gunstar Heroes reminds me very much of the Mega Man series. You have a range of weapons to choose from, a bucketload of enemies coming at you from all directions and some incredible bosses at the end of each level. As with Mega Man, it’s also incredibly difficult and only those with the patience will be able to complete this game. Make no mistake, this is a game for hardcore gamers, this is not something that will appeal to the casual market purely because it’s so challenging.
Where 3D Gunstar Heroess succeeds is that it’s difficult but also fun. It can get a little frustrating when you die, but you do want to try again. You want to get that little bit further, try another weapon and see if it helps you beat the boss – you are drawn into the game and the challenge. It’s this perfect balance of difficulty and addictiveness that makes 3D Gunstar Heroes the ideal game for anyone looking to test their gaming prowess.
You have the option of four weapons ranging from a regular blaster to lightning bolts, with further choices allowing you to choose between fixed shot and free shot. The fixed shot allows you to shoot in set directions, whereas free shot grants you full reign over the direction of your shot. Both have their advantages, but I personally preferred free shot as I liked to have a bit more control. As for level design, these are standard Mega Man fare which is fine because with so many enemies on your screen coming at you, the simplistic level design is all you need.
3D Gunstar Heroes may be an old game, but this 3DS update has made this game feel incredibly fresh. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re looking for a challenge and something with a great retro feel then you won’t find much better on the Nintendo 3DS.