My first experience with this game, was back when it came out that the Saturn was still a serious (albeit failing) contender in the console race. My memory involves his picking this gigantic plant monster, with its whipping tentacles and biting teeth. I picked the little white bunny.
I would hide in the bushes, jump out and kick him, scoring a pathetic 1 hit point of damage against him before leaping back into hiding. It was a long and sad, sad battle, but it was burned forever into my memory as one of the most hilarious battles I've ever participated in.
A year or two ago when I got my own Saturn, I was driven to make sure I could get this game, this "guardian heroes". And it was better than I remembered it.
Another Treasure title that doesn't start with a "bangai", and end with an "o" so you know it's going to be good. You see, being tasked with reviewing defunct games, I have the benefit that, unlike many other reviewers, I can play the games at my leisure and mainly review games I enjoy. But to prove to you, loyal readers, that I'm not a blind video-game enthusiast I forced myself to review Bangai-O, and so to disparage the ideas that I'm anti-Treasure, I now bring you Guardian Heroes.
The game is simple, or so you would think at first glance. A side scrolling beat-'em-up. But on closer inspection you'd find that you couldn't walk up and down the street, simply left and right. If you desire to move down the street closer to the camera, you'd have to hit the Y button, and change "layers" to be more in the foreground. You'd find there are 3 different layers, one in the foreground, background, and one in between. What's the benefit of this? The fights take place in one or the other, and you're never punching at an enemy only to find that he's in fact, slightly lower than you, so you're missing him. Also, now when you're battling it out in the foreground, and you've got a friend helping you out, kicking the crap out of the bad guys in the background, that's what it really is - foreground and background.
For the story mode, there's a great number of character to choose from, each with different skills, and abilities. There's also the ability to use magic of varying capability, depending on what character you choose.
Also, rather than an unspecified meter for health, it uses RPG style hit points, so you can keep a much closer eye on your vitality. Also borrowed from RPGs, are the experience points. As you fight and defeats your enemies and continue scrolling to the right, you'll level up, making your character stronger on the spot. For each level up you earn points, which you'll use in between levels to customize your character, adding the points to their vitality to increase health, or to their strength to balance out if you picked a primarily magic-user, etc.
Furthermore, as you progress you'll get into conversations with allies and enemies, and different options of how to respond will appear on the screen, which will completely change the game depending on which responses you pick. Replayability for Guardian Heroes is literally off the scale.
I haven't even mentioned the whole VS mode yet. The multiplayer isn't confined to story mode, that for certain. Plus, every character you'd seen/punched in the story mode (every single one) is available to play as in the VS mode, including Nando, the bunny. From civilians, and children to the most powerful bosses in the game, there's no character you cant be. You can set the battles up with as much AI as you want to, and even adjust their difficulty levels, plus you can throw in up to 7 of your friends! That right, you heard me, with the Saturn multitap you can have a total of 8 players duking it out!