Who remembers Guardian Heroes? Not many, I bet. If you do remember it, I can almost guarantee that you’ve already downloaded the game on XBLA and may have already beat it at least once, if you put it on easy. This game offers updated graphics, new game play modes, and online play, but does this make the game worth the 800 points ($10)?
The first thing you’ll notice is that you can now choose between the Remixed game and the Original. There are some minor, but important, differences. The original is just that, unchanged gameplay and graphics in Story mode. The Remix, on the other hand, offers some upgraded graphics, controls, and some improved mechanics. This update feels like less of a new game and more of a patch because it really fixes some of the problems that the original game had. The thing is that if you just played the remixed game, you’d probably not even realize what has changed. Even the graphics don’t feel new, and that’s a good thing. They did a great job of replicating the game in a way that feels like it is right. But if you must know, I’ll let you in on the differences.
Lets start with the UI and graphics. The characters look almost cell shaded (although they’re not) and the UI has been altered to work better with the HD resolution. Your stats, along with the stats of the enemy, are well placed and look good. Again, it feels right, you probably won’t even think a thing was changed! The characters move fluidly and the moves and spells look good. The Original setting feels dated, the menu and characters are bulky, and the spells, although still powerful, don’t look that good.
Even more than the graphics, the game play update might make you question if you ever played the game differently. The first is an additional move, being able to dash backwards with the press of a button. This works in a few ways, first being to just dodge and get out of the way of your enemy, but pressed repeatedly will render you invincible, but also use up magic. Once your magic is at 0, you can still dash backwards, but it’s slow and only once before your character stops for about a second.
A small tweak that I think made a big impact is that you no longer get dazed when you run out of MP’s. This is good, especially for characters that don’t focus on magic. I noticed in the Original, if you didn’t focus on MND, you could easily run out of magic while in a tight spot and probably die. This is more so the higher the difficulty.
Another very welcome change is the adition of a “hard” attack. This replaces the button that was Magic in the original and adds a slightly stronger, but much slower, basic attack. This is still the button you use to perform your magic attacks, but the Magic thought bubble is now separate and has it’s own button. After playing through the Original mode, I think this may be the best update of all.
Also included is the ability to push back enemies, counter, and recover. They’re all basic moves that are included in pretty much any game now days, so the addition fits well. These moves may be less important at first glance, but to get all the achievements, I think they’ll be invaluable (Beat the game on Hard without continuing).
Another addition that you probably would never guess wasn’t in the first game, unless you’re like my brother and mapped out each and every level yourself, is that when you go to choose a dialogue choice, it’ll tell you which level you will go to if you choose it. This is only unlocked once you’ve been to that stage once, though, but at least you know what to choose to unlock a new stage.
The added mode is called Versus mode, which is a mode where you can fight up to 12 at once in a large brawl. Which brings us to Online play.
I haven’t had any experience with this yet for a few reasons. For one, it’s the first day the games out and I only know one person who loved the game as much as me to buy it without reading anything about it. For another, I can’t seem to connect to a game in the Versus mode. There was only 1 game going at the time I tried to get on and it would always kick me out. I have never had any problem connecting to other games, so I’m not sure what the problem is here and I plan to try out some more later.
All in all, it’s still a great game, the new Remixed mode offers a lot of great improvements that just feel right. Grab a friend, online or on the couch, and you can easily spend hours beating this game over and over. Even if I never play online Verses mode, I won’t be disappointed and my recommendation will stay the same. Whether you’re a long time fan or new to the game, you’ll enjoy this beat-em-up RPG.