GSQ8: Gunners Heaven in localization hell

Today’s posting from GameSpite Quarterly 8 is a Mike Zeller piece on Gunners Heaven (aka Rapid Reload), the first of many import lookbacks from this issue… most of which are from Mike, actually. I thought I was a pretty savvy importer back in the day, but occasionally someone comes along to put things into perspective for me.

Gunners Heaven is a pretty decent game — nothing amazing, but decent fun. However, it mostly stands out in my mind for the fact that it almost feels like a prequel to Wild Arms: That game’s Rudy and Cecilia are effectively just RPG renditions of this game’s hero and heroine, whose names never seemed important enough to commit to memory. Both titles, of course, were developed by, but I’ve never seen any remarks on whether this resemblance was an intentional nod, an attempt to turn these two kids into virtual stars, or simply a lack of design diversity at the drawing board. And it’s ultimately not an important enough question for anyone to ask, so I’ll never know. It’s a little sad, knowing I’m doomed to die unfulfilled in this small way.

As for the broader outlook at GSQ8, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions as to plans for a digital or PDF edition of the books. The short answer is yes, maybe. A lot depends on what my proxy publisher, Blurb, will offer. There were some rumblings along those lines at the beginning of the year, but I haven’t heard anything further. Hopefully they’ll get their act together. I can go into more detail once I’m not on vacation and don’t have a little kid physically attached to his cool uncle Jeremy for Pokémon advice. Yes, even someone like me can be cool, albeit only in the eyes of a seven-year-old boy who thinks nothing in the world is more amazing than someone who gets to play video games all day every day.

9 thoughts on “GSQ8: Gunners Heaven in localization hell

  1. I’ve been playing Rapid Reload on the PSP a friend gave me, actually! It tries to bring the excitement of Gunstar Heroes to the Playstation while changing just enough to distinguish itself, but those changes and a general lack of inspiration are ultimately what keep it from reaching the same heights as its predecessor. It nevertheless proves that the Playstation has more than enough muscle to handle 2D side-scrollers… it’s gorgeously colorful and well-animated, with tons of screen-filling explosions.

    • Of course PSX can do gorgeous 2D… Symphony of the Night, anyone? The fact that people frequently forget this simply reflects SCEA’s myopic focus on 3D and only 3D for most of the PlayStation’s lifetime.

  2. This thirty-two-year-old kid thinks you’re pretty cool for getting to play video games all day every day.

  3. A good but not great action game is a bit harsh on the game. I think it’s a great game. Of course it’s not going to reach the heights of Gunstar Heroes but it’s still a fantastic game.

      • No. Gunners Heaven is solid, but the level design isn’t nearly as good as the original Gunstar or Super Heroes. it’s one of those games that gets duller as it gets harder.

        Ruka and Cecilia never struck me as all that similar, aside from the hair color. Then again, Ruka and Axel supposedly show up in Wild Arms 2 as the owners of a bar called Gunners Heaven.

      • Wasn’t a fan of Gunstar Super Heroes so yeah I’d say it’s way better than Super Heroes. Saying that, I’m a massive fan of Gunstar Heroes so felt a bit burnt when Gunstar Super Heroes wasn’t that great of a game so might be a bit biased. That thunderblade top down level was pretty disgraceful as well. Still I’m pretty sure I had far more fun with Gunners Heaven a few weeks ago than I ever had playing Gunster Super Heroes.

      • I liked Gunstar Super Heroes, outside of that bomber mission in hard mode. EVIL.

        I did eventually beat it, though, so it’s all good. I have not, however, come close to finishing Rapid Reload / Gunner’s Heaven, so I guess that cinches what I think about the game overall. Still, not bad, at least from an aesthetic standpoint.

  4. Funny how quickly it came out on the heels of the real thing.

    BTW, whatever happened to adding in Gradius Gaiden? Was it just not possible?

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