RELEASE DATE: 7 JULY 1989 / 1989


A highly polished and arcade-like shoot 'em up, Gunhed shows off some spectacular weapons, super-fast scrolling and tons of sprites on screen at once. The gameplay is familiar, with a selection of different weapons to power-up with devastating effect as you blast your way across a variety of space and land based areas.

Gunhed is a classic, one of the games that really sold the PC Engine to some people. Arcade quality graphics, sampled speech and some of the most impressive weapons you've seen. And be sure that it is a decent shoot 'em up, but it is not flawless. The main problem I have with the game is the pacing. The first few levels are, let's say, not the most exciting in the world. There is something about the timing of the enemy waves that seems a little slow and makes the game appear a bit empty compared to others. It's only when you get quite far into it that the difficulty ramps up and things really begin to kick off. This may seem like a minor gripe, but it does greatly affect my enjoyment of the game, as does the music. I've never really liked the music to Gunhed, it seems a bit too passive and doesn't set the mood for action. Basically this all boils down to two things I expect from a great shoot 'em up. The first is a great initial level to really gear me up for what is to come, the second is a kick-ass level 1 tune that complements the action perfectly. There are many examples of this (Super Star Solder, Nexzr, Spriggan, Soldier Blade etc.), but it's not something that Gunhed does well. I know this is on most people's 'must have' lists, but for my taste it has always fallen a little short of greatness and certainly doesn't compare to the successors from Hudson.

You say...
Gunhed, AKA Blazing Lazers was one of the launch titles for the TurboGrafx, and many folks first look at the new console on the block, and what an impression it was.  Often grouped with Hudson's Soldier series, the title does share quite a few traits, though it is its own distinct entity.  The game is impressive with large bosses, well designed sprites, and an impressive amount going on onscreen with no slowdown.  Some of the backgrounds zip along at a fair pace too.  This game is a classic, and a clear statement by Hudson of their machines capabilities, featuring a lot of gameplay mechanics they would tweak and refine in later games - but as a first effort, they absolutely nailed it.

Turbo Views Review




Gameplay Video Longplay Video from World of Longplays