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The Gunstar franchise began in 1993 with the release of the original Gunstar Heroes on the Sega Genesis. Treasure's critically acclaimed series did not see another release until 2005, when Gunstar Super Heroes was released for the Game Boy Advance. The original game has appeared on numerous other consoles since release, including the PC, Game Gear, Virtual Console, Xbox Live Marketplace, and PlayStation Network. In addition, Gunstar Heroes was released as a part of the Sega Ages series (specifically Sega Ages 2500 Vol. 25 Treasure Box, which also included Dynamite Headdy and Alien Soldier) for the PlayStation 2.


 Gunstar Super Heroes was especially acclaimed by Nintendo Power.
The Gunstar franchise has become well-known for its fast-paced gameplay (Treasure as a company is well-known for their fast-paced shooters, such as the previously mentioned Alien Soldier, Bangai-O, and Sin & Punishment). The gameplay of Gunstar Heroes and Gunstar Super Heroes is very similar. There are several differences between the two, but otherwise the basic concepts stay the same.

The weapons of the Gunstar franchise are one of the series' well-known features. In the original game, weapons could be combined to create new weapons, although that feature is removed in the sequel. Melee attacks are also available (there is much more versatility in Gunstar Super Heroes), and the occasional boss can only be defeated by using melee attacks.

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