Book Review Guardian

awright, awright, i get it. yes, there wasa treasure game released for the saturn that completely passed by me – mostly because noone in the entire county where i grew up had a bleeding saturn – that was a spiritual predecessorto code of princess on the 3ds. and by “spiritual predecessor,” i mean “almost exactly thesame game.” and yinz’all called me out on it. and for good reason – guardian heroesreally informs one’s understanding of the later game. but, in the immortal words ofcheech marin in ghostbusters 2, “better late than never.” as in code of princess, the game’s aboutside-scrolling, slash-’em-up action, taking place on three separate planes between whichyou can can jump freely. playing as one of

the guardian heroes attempting to take downa corrupt kingdom and its puppet dictator, you’ve got a variety of attacks availableto you by different button combinations… y’know, just pause this video, open thecode of princess review in another tab, and watch that. seriously, i figured there’dbe at least some difference between the two games… and there is. code of princess looksbetter. that’s about it. the mechanics, down to how combos work, are almost identical,though guardian heroes seems to lay a bit heavy on the dizzying effects. that said,a game that’s similar-if-not-identical to code of princess is still, by all accounts,a really good game. especially this remastered version for xbla, which allows up to fourplayers locally or online.

but where guardian heroes stands alone isits willingness to offer a solo player a helping hand. clad in armor. and full of bones. see,that legendary sword from the opening vignette isn’t just some macguffin with a blade,it actually makes its former owner rise from his grave to give you a hand. which, whenyou get right down to it, is one of the greatest innovations in the genre, and one that itssuccessor didn’t maintain. what did carry forward, though, was the deathmatch-styleversus mode, where up to four players can take pretty much any character or enemy intobattle just for kicks. and punches. and magic, which ends up using the right stick as a button.there’s also a secondary command for line jumping hidden beneath the left stick, which- given the often-frantic nature of the action

in this game – can lead to unexpected or unwantedshifts, kinda like how in persona 4 arena the same button press defaulted to the “throw”command. aside from that, though, the controls feel responsive, even if some characters justhave to pose for the camera after particular combos. but they deserve to pose. they snookeredol’ tj, after all, with their stealthily being on the saturn as opposed to a consolepeople actually owned. and you, dear viewers, get to watch me eat crow. now stop pointingand laughing and pass the tabasco.

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