Handheld Adventures Part 5: Advance Guardian Heroes for the Gameboy Advance Review

Treasure, Treasure, and more Treasure. It seems like I have been talking about the company Treasure for some time now, with Wario World and Astroboy Omega Factor. I admit, though, they do have a couple of bad games, but which company doesn’t? This game I am reviewing isn’t all bad, but they could have done better for a sequel to a great Sega Saturn game. The game is named Advance Guardian Heroes for the Gameboy Advance. Like I said above, this game is a sequel to the first Guardian Heroes for the short-lived Sega Saturn Console. Make sure you read about the first game, or else you will get confused with this one. So, is this sequel as good as it could be? Or is this only half complete?

Basically, the story takes place after the events of the first Guardian Heroes where half of the heroes went, to become the sky’s perfect warriors as the others declined the offer. Now, an evil force is using the powers of the Guardian Heroes to rule the land once again, and revive the undead warrior to use for his army. However, a small resistance force is trying to revive the undead warrior to help fight against evil. As is the case, the good guys find the undead warrior first and revive it. It is up to the powerful undead warrior to stop the evil forces that want to rule the land. So, yeah, the story can get confusing if you don’t know anything about the first game.

The game play style is like a lot of games Treasure makes, a side-scrolling beat ‘em up. This beat ‘em up style has more in common with Final Fight and Street of Rage, where you’re not stuck in one row like in Splatterhouse 2. You get to choose from 3 different main heroes who don’t look any different, besides stats and what magic powers they have, like the one I chose has multiple fire attacks. You basically have your punches and kicks and mid air attacks. You also have a range of magic attacks. They range from rapid-fire attacks to a ground-to-air attack to even a giant laser beam. Well, that’s the one I got, but there are others like one of the characters uses lightning. You also have the power to jump to target plat forms if they have a target sign on them. The only thing you don’t have is a block attack. You also have a small rpg element where at the end of each stage you get to upgrade your characters stats with jewels. An interesting fact is that when you die, a shadowy figure tells you he can bring you back with an invincible body if you give him your soul. If you accept, you will be invincible throughout the rest of the game, but you won’t be able to collect crystals or save your progress.

The graphics, like all of Treasure’s games, are really nice-looking, but they could have done a better design for the characters. They are not all bad, but they could have done better. It is kind of cool though to see the heroes from their last game make an appearance along with other little secrets. The music is also fun to listen to, but it won’t blow your mind like Astroboy: Omega Factor or Gunstar Super Heroes. It is also cool to know that you can hook up with a second player and fight alongside each other. Beside, is there any other way to play a beat ‘em up? I don’t think so.

Now, it is time to pick up your undead warrior and fight the bad parts of the game. Like I said above, the graphics are nice, but they could have done better. The game play can very repetitious and boring from time to time, because you don’t really fight new enemies, and since you fight different colored and sized enemies. The difficulty can be changed to fit your liking, but medium just seems impossible to get through without dying. After dying, if you accept an invincible body, you can’t save your progress, meaning if you don’t want to go through the same levels over and over again, then you need to not die, which is hard unless you’re on the easy mode. The final boss fight is tedious and disappointing, also, since you have to be specific with the last attack and it’s very annoying. The magic attacks are cool and all, but since you can’t use a sword or a shield, you will be using the magic attacks a lot more than your fists of fury, which kind of gives the game no challenge.

All and all, this game is hard to recommend for people wanting to buy a good Gameboy Advance game. It has its good parts, but there are bad parts that almost overshadow the good parts. All I can say is, rent it and try it out for yourself. Let’s just hope Treasure can make some great games in the future, like another Wario title or maybe a Gunstar Heroes for the Wii or something.

This game gets a 6.5 out of 10.