"Advanced Guardian Heroes" picks up from where "Guardian Heroes" left off, and the story is somewhat complicated and far reaching. In the past, an evil Black Mage named Kanon was terrorizing the world. Kanon sought to obtain the Soul Sword, a blade that contained the soul of the mystical Legendary Undead Hero, a hero who had saved the world long ago. The Legendary Undead Hero's soul was released, but the Hero elected to return to his eternal rest, forcing the gods to ask new heroes if they would serve as the eternal warriors for the heavens. That was long ago. More recently, Kanon has been resurrected and threatens the world once again, forcing the people of earth to turn to the Soul Sword for help. The Soul Sword is able to pull a heroes soul from another world, and a soldier sacrifices himself as the vessel for the hero. The player constructs and controls this new combination of body in soul in an attempt to put Kanon down for good.
--(Not from the manual)
--From the GBA Advance Guardian Heroes instruction manual.
"Advance Guardian Heroes" is a scrolling beat 'em up game with detailed and colorful graphics, great fighting sound effects, and an actual story (beyond fighting to free someone from kidnappers as seems to be the case with all scrolling beat 'em up games). "Advanced Guardian Heroes" would have been great based on these aspects alone, but what makes "Advanced Guardian Heroes" special is the seamless genre mash up that the developers were able to utilize to deepen the gaming experience. Right from the start screen, I knew this game would be something a little bit different because of the character customization. Not only does the player have the opportunity to pick a character, each with varying stats, but the player can then customize their character's experience. I've always been a huge fan of character customization because it compels the player to become more invested in the character, unfortunately, character customization is typically limited to RPG titles.
The player's character will be punching and kicking their way through levels, but the characters also utilizes magic to dispatch enemies, which is very unusual for the scrolling beat 'em up genre. The player also must invest points in their character's Vitality, Mind, Attack, Defense, Magical Attack, Magical Defense, and Mobility, or, if they choose, those points can be invested towards unlocking additional characters for the game. Inserting this kind of skill customization into "Advance Guardian Heroes" definitely ups the replayability, and allows the player to customize their character into the type of gameplay that they enjoy. The skill building also relieves the monotony of grinding through levels for no other reason than to make it to the next. I enjoyed wiping out all of the enemies because I was trying to make a hulk build (high attack and defense), and needed all the experience I could get.
Although "Advanced Guardian Heroes" is a scrolling fighter, a genre infamous for lackluster backgrounds, it does a great job of providing very distinct environments. The player will find themselves climbing the screen while jumping from one falling boulder to another, or fighting on a fallen ship being carried by a river's current, or fighting in a dropping elevator. The environments are also interactive, and the player will often have to destroy boulders or trees to unblock the character's path.
There is a huge range of enemies, all with their own attack patterns and weaknesses. The bosses are especially fun, and can be very difficult. While playing "Advance Guardian Heroes" on Console Classix, I maximized the gaming window and the bosses still looked very crisp. "Advanced Guardian Heroes" has everything I thought necessary to make a fun, addictive beat 'em up scroller, and some things I didn't even know were possible to include in the genre. A must play for any gamer, regardless of what genre they are a fan of.
Players must fight their way through various stages, and sub-stages, using attack combos, counters, magic defense and attack skills, and special attacks. The character also has an Anger meter, which when used, increases the character's abilities and allows the player to regain control of their character. The character only has one life, but may continue from any stage (or sub-stage) that has been completed. When the character does die, a devilish character will appear, offering to revive the character and grant him invincibility. If the player refuses his help, then they will die and restart from the last checkpoint, but if the player accepts the devilish character's help then the character will return to life and be invincible, for the next six minutes anyway, after which the devilish character will return to slay the player's character. It would be a no-brainer to accept the devilish help, except that the player will not be able to continue from any of the stages progressed to while invincible.
While progressing through stages, the player's character will collect crystals. The crystals can be used between stages to level up the player's character. "Advance Guardian Heroes" can be played with one or two players in story mode, and player's can test their skills against each other in Versus mode. Player's can unlock new characters in Versus mode by completing the Story mode.
|B Button||Attack (different attacks are executed depending on the direction button being held|
|R Button||Execute magic / Hold for magic barrier|
|L Button||Toggle through magic|