Heroes of Ruin is one of those games everybody asked for and nobody bought, much like Steel Diver. The concept of a 4-player online loot game on a handheld is pretty exciting. The game definitely lives up to the idea and is quite a fun romp, but there’s a few things holding it back from greatness. Recently myself, Matto, Bill and Pro Daisy completed the game Pietriots-Style over a few weeks.
Grub’s Heroes of Ruining
First and foremost, combat is satisfying and the game looks GREAT. The 3D effect is so well done – things actually look blurrier and ugly with the 3D slider off, even the text is somehow clearer in 3D. The main town is very vibrant and lively with NPCs. I played as the Vindicator, and I felt like I was holding a lot of power in my sword. The impact is felt with each hit, with chunky clashing sounds ripping through the speaker along with the enemies’ flesh. That’s important because it’s pretty much all I did in the game.
Heroes of Ruin’s biggest strength is how well everything is organised. I really like the ability to look at an item on the ground and instantly sell it to an invisible merchant. It’s like a “discard” option that gives you gold, and it made us all keen to approach everything we saw. It’s constructed in a way that nothing is a burden.
The online aspect is GREAT and reliable. In fact, the game’s connection held up even when Skype decided to die. “Skype,” you say? Doesn’t the game have its own voice chat? Yes it does, but it’s quite terrifying. “BLARGHRAGBLBARHABLRF” is about all I could make out of Bill’s attempt to communicate through the 3DS speakers. Apparently that means “add me back into Skype you fucks“. There was one instance when a BOSS decided to drop out of the game, and we were all left standing there awkwardly in a room. There were a few glitches along the way, but nothing we couldn’t recover from.
Here’s the flaccid part, and it bugs me. The game is mind-numbingly easy and short. The entire game is about 12 hours long without many sidequests except one that repeats over and over. HOW MANY VENOM SACS DOES THIS GUY NEED? N-Space hinted at DLC, but that was before the game bombed. Do they still think the game is worth supporting? I hope so, because that DLC could make the difference and put the game on a lot more peoples radars. Completing the game at level 27 leaves a bit to be desired. Oops, looks like I’m out of Mana – throwing it over to YOU! Matto / Bill / Pro
Matto’s Heroes of Ruining
Heroes of Ruin’s online co-op is basically the game’s biggest star, and as a whole it shows that there is some promise left in big name western developers developing something good for the 3DS (high ho 2013!). Ok, n-Space isn’t big but they had some great ambitions for this game, which while not flawless was enjoyable from start to finish.
In a nutshell, this game is World of Warcraft shrunken down to 3DS but is made far more accessible; you have your choice of four classes (I chose Gunslinger) each with their different skills sets, strengths, and weaknesses. Move around with the Slide Pad, attack with ‘B’ and set your skills to ‘Y’, ‘X’ and ‘A’. There is also some handy touch screen icons to show skill trees, current quests, and all the fun junk of a action-RPG!
And its great fun with friends! Granted, slowdown gets really bad (though this is pretty much a given with this type of genre), but not enough to drag the entire experience in the mud. It’s hilarious havoc, and even if you split up on the several dungeon maps you are still in a way working together to find quest items and treasure.
Replay value, however, is kind of limited. Sure, you could retry the game as a different character, but quests and the like remain the same. While Square-Enix and n-Space offer free quests via Spotpass, they are kind of mundane. If something like Xenoblade Chronicles is possible on Wii with its kind of content, surely 3DS is capable of delivering a meaty online RPG experience. Right?
Am I right, Monolith?
Bill’s Heroes of Ruining
I’m just going to say, before popping into my Heroes impressions, that MonolithSoft has actually already done a fantastic co-op ARPG experience in Soma Bringer for the DS, but Nintendo of America decided not to localize it. But these impressions are (sadly) not about MonolithSoft games. It’s about Heroes of Ruin, a generic romp through your average fantasy world full of monsters and laughable villains wanting to take over the world.
Now everyone has already said pretty much everything I wanted to say on the positives this game has to offer, so I’m going to play the whiny asshole that says nothing but bad things about it. Especially because Pro was getting on my ass about getting these impressions done.
Online is functional, but the framerate gets absolutely atrocious at times, even when there’s really not that much going on on-screen. Thankfully, it’s equally atrocious no matter if you are playing with 2, 3, or 4 players. If you do find victims to play the game online with, for God’s sake use Skype, considering as Grub mentioned, the game’s voice chat is laughable. There’s tons of armor and weapons to collect that actually have different designs, but I hate how the shopkeepers are divided by class instead of by weapons/armor, as if the designers were like “Oh man, this town is pretty empty, let’s just separate everything to make it seem like there’s more!” It especially makes no sense when everyone can buy from the same shopkeeper at the same damn time anyway. Finally, the game was UNBEATABLE in our 4-player co-op because *SPOILERS* THE FINAL BOSS DECIDED TO LEAVE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BATTLE, ESSENTIALLY DOOMING OUR PARTY TO A WORLD OF LIMBO. ON MULTIPLE ATTEMPTS. COME BACK HERE, YOU BASTAAAAAAAAARD! *END RANTING SPOILERS*
Do I sound impressed about the game enough? No? Probably because the most interesting aspect of the story was seeing if “Impatient Noblewoman” would ever go take that bath she was adamant about getting ready to have over the course of the entire game. I know that baths were not nearly as frequent back in Medieval times, with nobles relying on dousing out their stench with gallons of perfumes, but surely someone would take a bath in the time it would take a few jolly adventurers to save the world from ultimate doom, right? And while I’m thinking about it, I’ll be right back. She’s bound to have taken that bath by now!
Pro Daisy’s Styling Savvy
… Is it my turn? You guys never give me time to shop. Like how Bill always shoots the crates from a distance and picks up the rupees before I do, even though you’re maxed at 99,999 without realizing it. The 3 fidgeting Heroes are already ganging up and throbbing around the gateway NPC to start the next mission.
“Proooo, u ready?”
“Pro, what are you doing?”
BACK OFF. I’M TRYING MY NEW SHOES. Ugh, loot-crazed war-mongering…
Why don’t you guys spend your cash for once? Get yourself some dazzling shoulder pads. Padding your bank account in fear of Hero Unemployment? Not my problem – this girl’s got priorities.
As William the Gunslinger already indicated, the shopping district in Nexus just isn’t fit for a maiden. No dressing rooms, no mirrors, and the sweaty shopkeep always gives me hungry looks (are the guys treated this way?). The worst part was their catalogues took forever to scroll thru (all categories, linearly), and the they never showed me how the outfits look before trying them on – outrageous! And unlike the individual class shops, the accessory shop maintained a disgracefully thin inventory – HOW are you still in business!? As for the merchandise, the style and quality of my gear steadily improved until the closing chapters of the adventure, when the design of my new robe took a complete nosedive. Why on earth did they stock this? My final quest should’ve been “kill the merchant”.
One of the surprisingly useful (abusive) functions turned out to be the trading system. I recall one instance halfway in our campaign, my wallet was a little light after purchasing a gorgeous breastplate and mage belt combo, and I was short by about 2,000 rupees to get the matching boots. I HAD TO HAVE THEM before starting the next mission (why were my funds insufficient? ASK BILL – perpetrator of inequality in the Hero Workplace. You red-cloaked cockroach). Seeking a worthy buyer among my comrades, I offered my worn set of shoulder pads for sale at 10,000 rupees. Our Vindicator, Sir Grub of Dog, was a such darling. He ran all the way across town to respond and paid me in full. It did take him a moment to realize the item didn’t fit him, but maybe Mrs. Vindicator could appreciate them; no matter, I got my boots!
To my teammates, I must apologize for the frame rate, especially during boss battles. My approach to combat wasn’t well suited to frontline activity, so I couldn’t help but rely on the awesome magickal power flowing from my staff; too much power for the 3DS, apparently. The system showed difficulty trying to render seizuring enemies trapped by my stun grenades and others captivated by my Eau De Seduction frangrance. Most often I simply spared no time for the handheld to breathe while showering all that is wicked with infinite divine lightning. Killing things by hand just isn’t… fashionable.
Aside from surprise gameplay mechanics in occasional bosses, our habits stayed the same. Kill monsters, pickup goodies, level up, unlock abilities, beat the boss, level up, GET MORE CASH, go SHOPPING, then see how good I look. Final boss is dead; game is over; and there’s nowhere else to go. It would be nice if there were new opportunities (and merchandise) inviting us to do it all over again – hopefully in another town with a better business sense.
Oh, you guys are done? I missed all that; was busy sharpening my sword. With my brave roar, it’s my duty to conclude this writeup. Heroes of Ruin did leave us hanging: we got a resolution to the story but there’s nothing left to play with. It’s time to blow this town and find a new challenge in another cartridge. I’m going to disappear into thin air and leave the article hanging like this. It’s good enough, right? Stay tuned for DLC, but only if this review does well.