Gunstar Heroes (E) (Sega Genesis) on May 17, 2009
Best Shooter Ever
I have fond memories playing this game in my childhood; the explosions, high frame-rate, vivid, saturated colors, epic bosses that just never die; frankly I credit this game with my lifelong fascination with video games and subsequent college major.
On the Easy mode, the game (if you know what you're doing ie played it your whole life) can be beaten in just under two hours, good for casual gaming.
Now, the Normal mode, let alone the Hard mode, are an altogether different story. They are so challenging that even the most hardcore gamer must bow down and pay respects to the brutal stages filled wall to wall with enemies.
The game has infinite replayability because of the differences in difficulty (from easy enough to get through it to so hard you scream... in a good way), the first four stages can be played in any order you choose. At the start of the game you can decide whether you want "fixed" or "free" shot; fixed shot means that when you shoot (and you will be doing plenty of it), your character stops running and you can fire in 8 different directions with the D-pad, whereas free shot will shoot while running - but that can make things tricky now and then.
you can choose between four different gun types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and you can combine two different guns (or the same, if you prefer) together to create a special gun; giving you somehign in the ballpark of 16 different weapons to play with.
And one last thing: I don't know care what games you have played in the past. This game will have the most explosions in a game you will ever witness. It's just beautiful.
Gunstar Heroes has been heralded as one of the greatest games on the Genesis, and indeed, the early ninties. It pushed the Genesis to the limit, showing the world everything the system was capable of.