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No glory for 'Heracles'

Feb 11, 2010

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Glory of HeraclesWhen one thinks of the exploits of mythological hero Heracles ('Hercules'), visions of larger-than-life adventures and daring feats of valor come to mind. Heroic exploits featuring damsels in distress, monstrous baddies and exotic locales.

'Glory of Heracles', a role-playing game for the Nintendo DS, is like shadowing good old Herc as he cleaned out those darn Augean Stables. The developers cannot fool anyone. There's just a whole lot of shovelling going on and a whole lot of crap.

As our story opens, Heracles takes a header out of Mount Olympus. At roughly the same time, a mystery man you are in control of, wakes up on Earth with no idea who he is. Coincidence, you say? Hmmmm.

An expert networker, the mystery man is making friends in no time. There's Leucos, an immortal girl posing as a boy. She gives him her father's sword so he can kick some butt. There's the narcissistic Axios, an immortal who is adored by women and scorned by men everywhere. Most confusing of all, there is a Heracles…or is he really some sort of clever imposter? Hmmm.

Glory of HeraclesOn a quest to uncover your real identity, you and your companions travel across Greece to Mount Olympus itself. As you might expect, things are never as simple as they seem. Using the customary turn-based combat system, you match might against pirates, giant bugs, primeval monsters and some darn ugly brutes on land and sea.

When you are not mixing it up, there's very little else to do. The gameplay and main quest are both stringently linear. Wandering off the beaten path rewards you with nothing but more of those irksome random monster encounters. Side quests? What are those? Now, that's just crazy talk. Hush your mouth.

'Heracles' does try to enhance the combat by empowering players with specialized skills and elemental magic powers but none of these ideas are inventive. They don't really change a thing. While in the towns and villages, you can locate alchemists, blacksmiths and polishers so you can customize your heroes with more sophisticated weaponry, armour and magic though. This ability to really modify your party will come in handy later on when the game shifts into an unexpected overdrive, and there lies the game's principal shortcoming. For the first 15 hours, you will whip through 'Heracles' like nobody's business. Then, the scales are tipped and the hurt locker opens. There are the dreaded multi-part battles and bosses who are vastly superior to you in every way. By the time you are presented with those challenges though, the will to press on is gone, sucked out of you by the mind-numbing gameplay of the first half of the adventure. 'Glory of Heracles' is all muscles and no brains.

 

Glory of Heracles'Glory of Heracles'
Format: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: PAON
ESRB Rating: E10+
Official Site: www.gloryofheracles.com/

Rating: 4 / 10

 

 
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