Gunstar Blues

I have important news: Gunstar Super Heroes is only $10 at Toys R Us. If you have even the remotest, vaguest, slightest, subtly lingering fondness for games that let you shoot things, blow them up, and feel good about it all, you must buy this.

Yeah, it’s short and the less useful weapons from the original Gunstar are gone, but Super Heroes is still an amazing little game, and one that I’m still playing regularly even though I bought it back in 2005. It’s very much like one of those classic action titles that’s worth picking up again and again, not for high scores or actual progress, but just because it’s fun. It’s fun to ride a scampering robotic minecart through a gauntlet of bombs and gunfire, it’s fun to jumpkick your way to the top of a pyramid, and it’s fun to destroy tiny, innocent villagers’ homes for power-ups. It’s also perfect for playing in short bursts on the subway, since you can access any Gunstar sub-stage once you’ve cleared it. Just skip that fucking helicopter level.

I’m still surprised that Gunstar Super Heroes didn’t catch on, considering that today’s gamers are so desperate for decent old-school action games that they’ll praise mediocrities like Ninja Five-O, Scurge: Hive, and Sigma Star Saga. If you can bid sixty goddamn dollars for a game duller than Wrath of the Black Manta, you can spare ten bucks for Gunstar.