League of Heroes, by Gamelion, is an action-adventure title that has found a new home in the 3DS eShop. The title can be found on iOS and Android devices, too; can the medieval-times inspired game transition over to Nintendo’s 3DS handheld?
Visuals – 6.75/10
League of Heroes isn’t anything special to look at, but it does have some nice qualities. Some character designs are very well done, while others are uninspired and a little dull. Most of the general enemies the player fights (trolls, wooden monsters, etc.) aren’t anything spectacular, but the main bosses and special enemies in the title all shine.
Overall, I was pleased with the look of League of Heroes, simply because the color usage was done well, and there was a nice attention to little details. I laughed when I first defeated a “Jackalope” monster; he fell over holding his tender area, with a look of shock on his face. I found [odd] enjoyment in small visual details like stepping on bugs (which are purely aesthetic in nature) and seeing the destruction my feet would leave behind. When enemies are defeated, they don’t simply disappear, but rather, lay on the ground until the end of the level. These little visual details really helped to pick up the slack the character and level designs fell short in.
Something else that was a little disappointing were the animations. Nothing really stood out as exemplary, and many of the movements looked clunky and awkward. This isn’t saying the controls weren’t good (they were just fine), but the look of the characters walking around, or the swinging of weapons just didn’t seem very smooth.
I will say that the optional weather and real time effects (ie – time in the game depends on the actual time, dictating if it is daytime or nighttime) are done very well. My favorite weather effect was when it was overcast or foggy. They really helped to give depth to the game, since it is played from an overhead perspective, and made the land in the title come to life.
Speaking of depth, one thing I was severely disappointed in with the visuals was the 3D implementation. I ultimately had to turn it off, as it began to throw my perception out of whack. There were some things that should’ve been “deeper” in the background (such as bodies of water) and others which should’ve been more in the foreground (like the actual land your character walks on). It was a bit off, but thankfully the general visuals without the 3D give the proper perspective and depth.
The visuals in League of Heroes aren’t the most fluid and consistent, but there are enough smaller details to make them enjoyable overall. There are also some very nice boss character designs, and decent usage of the color pallette.
Audio – 6.75/10
Much like the visuals, the audio in League of Heroes is a mixed bag. Many of the general audio cues are well done, save for some repetitious one liners from characters in town. The different sounds created by whatever your weapon hits are nicely done and have variety, the voice overs are sufficient, and there is enough variety in sound to keep the title fresh enough.
I did get a little tired of the same lines being spoken by characters in town, especially since just walking near them triggered these voice over cues. I also got a little tired of the music; not because it wasn’t good, but simply because there wasn’t enough variety. In fact, the compositions in the title I really enjoyed. The music also fits the feel of the game, utilizing a celtic/folk-like sound that worked well as music to accent the gameplay. Without enough variety, however, I grew tired of the same tunes played over and over again.
League of Heroes does a sufficient job in the audio department, with lack of variety being the main underlying shortcoming. This, by no means, greatly affects the player’s experience with the game, and adds enough to the title.
Gameplay – 6.5/10
This game is a grind-fest, and honestly, I did have some fun with it. I’m not quite sure why the title is League of Heroes, since there aren’t any multiplayer options, and the ultimate goal in the game is to gather more loot. That’s it. The player gathers goods in town, then ventures outside the gates to slay more monsters and gather more loot; ok, so I suppose you are saving your town from monsters, but it’s still all driven by loot.
Once leaving the town, the player can choose from a general mission, a timed mission, and a boss mission. The general missions can be chosen at any time and are simple “defeat all monsters” quests. The timed missions are similar in focus, but usually have more interesting enemies found in them; the catch is that once one is completed, another isn’t made available until hours later. This was particularly frustrating, as it showed a little bit of the mobile game roots. The boss missions were, by far, my favorite quests, and were home to some very nice monsters. These missions can only be accessed once reaching a specified character level, unfortunately.
The protagonist can be upgraded via helmet, armor, boots, special potions, and new weapons. There are also specific side-quests, of sorts, that can be done while progressing with main missions, in the form of errands by your master or collecting for the old lady in town. These help to gather more money, which can purchase the above mentioned upgrades. I was pleasantly surprised by how many upgrades there are, and was continuously trying new combinations as I leveled my character up and took on harder monsters.
Grinding to level up my character and purchase new equipment was rather fun for me, but what really drug the gameplay down was the lack of actual progression. You never really get past the three-move combo you start with at the very beginning of the game, and each level feels exactly the same with a few different enemies – outside of the great boss missions. After about an hour or two with the game, I felt like I had experienced all there really was, even though there were more missions to continue doing.
I did have some fun with this title, and it wasn’t bad by any means, but the lack of progression and variety in missions made this a good game, when it could’ve been a great one.
Entertainment Factor – 7/10
Honestly, I had some fun with League of Heroes, despite the repetitive nature found throughout most aspects of the game. I leveled up, gathered loot, bought new equipment, then repeated. I had a decent time with the game.
There are no online capabilities outside of Miiverse, and there isn’t a multiplayer mode to add any different types of gameplay. There was decent usage of the touch screen, but the 3D in the game wasn’t utilized very well, as I mentioned beforehand. Outside of these, though, it was a decent romp through a fantasy world, and I had fun playing in short 15 minutes gaming runs, which fits well on a handheld system.
League of Heroes isn’t exactly what I expected it to be, and there doesn’t seem to be any real progression from a three-hit combo that is established from the start of the game. However, I still had fun grinding away and leveling up my character. I recommend this game if you’re into short gaming sessions that don’t require much thought, and if grinding through levels and equipment upgrades is your thing. League of Heroes is out now on the 3DS eShop for $4.99.
Overall – 6.75/10