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[ARC] Gun Master

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:18 am
by Pretas
For a game that riffs so heavily on Gunstar Heroes, it sure is odd that Gun Master is so obscure. This was a Japan-only release developed by Metro, an otherwise unremarkable developer with almost no information about them. Their last credited game was Truck Kyousoukyoku in 2000, which Namco published. They also developed stuff for Banpresto and Mitchell.

The entire game is a long series of boss fights, with grunt enemies included in some of them. You start out in an easy practice fight against grunts and can then fight a huge variety of bosses in any order, which are all ranked by difficulty. Your character can fire a pistol in any direction, is capable of guarding, melee combos and throws; and has some fighting game-like commands for specials (still trying to figure out how to do Bloody Dance). So it's pretty complex and unique for a 1994 action game, even with its very obvious inspiration.

All the bosses are very creatively designed, with no recycling, and full of personality. Unfortunately there are some serious flaws that keep it from being a forgotten classic. Your gun is pretty weak and ineffectual at stopping enemies, so you have to rely on melee most of the time. To make this worse, you can't combo attack while crouching, only shoot your gun, which gets very annoying. Some bosses are just plain unfair, like the flying lion guy fought in constant freefall. It wouldn't be so bad, if you didn't move so slow while falling and your hitbox wasn't huge. So it unfortunately joins its cousin Gunners Heaven in the "mediocre clones of Gunstar Heroes" category.

Anyone have more info about this game or its developer? Can't even find a flyer. It doesn't feel like it was made by ex-staff from another major company. Unfortunately MAME emulation is still imperfect: it plays fine but freezes a lot.

Re: [ARC] Gun Master

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:53 pm
by Macaw
I wouldn't call this a Gunstar clone at all, I didn't even make any connection until you mentioned it. Maybe there are some vague similarities, but the fighting mechanics are like a beat em up, and the shooting is nothing like the contra-esque run and gun style at all.

Great game indeed though. The stuff you have problems with doesn't bother me at all, using melee is super fun with all the moves, especially using stuff like the descending heel kick to start combo's. The gun is weak normally but your pretty much supposed to be mostly using the hadouken motion gun shots for long range stuff, which fit nicely alongside the melee combat.

The command for Bloody Dance is shown in the ending staff roll if I remember correctly. It does suck the game still freezes up randomly in mame...

Metro were similar to Mitchell, in that their output was random as all shit, with the various titles probably developed by mostly different teams before the dudes jumped again to another company.

A Gunmaster was on sale a couple years back with the instruction cards that pretty much no one had ever seen which I posted in one of the emulation threads, here it is:


Re: [ARC] Gun Master

Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:48 pm
by CIT Seven Force
The game gives me major Data East vibes. Wouldn't be surprised if there is some staff overlap.

Re: [ARC] Gun Master

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:52 am
by Shou
Like some Mitchell games, this game is more common in Asia ex Japan. That auction is 1 of 2 times I have seen it for sale within Japan.

I did get a copy of those instruction sheets :)

Re: [ARC] Gun Master

Posted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:49 pm
by Pretas
I think I figured out Bloody Dance. Back, forward, jump does a dashing series of kicks enveloped in flame.

I really don't see how you can deny the similarities to Gunstar. Gunstar Heroes also had a focus on melee attacks in conjunction with gunplay, including air kicks, slide attacks, and command move power dashes similar to those in Gun Master. Both games also have a kick attack that triggers when climbing up onto a platform. The gunshots in Gun Master look an awful lot like Gunstar's Fire weapon, and the character designs are pretty close to Han's art.