|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Paon||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan. 21, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
My only other real criticism with the game has to do with the mini-games that are used to power up spells and skills. I love the idea of engaging the player in this manner during combat, but the mini-games themselves are uninspired and, as a result, not all that interesting or challenging. The concept is a good one, however, and I'd love to see the developers be a bit more creative next time around.
In terms of presentation, Glory of Heracles easily lives up to the standard associated with being a first-party Nintendo title. The visual style is attractive, and the game world exhibits a high level of detail. Character models look great, though they could animate more fluidly. Buildings and other environmental objects are all immaculately rendered, and there were no noticeable issues with the framerate. Overall, the game has a very pleasing aesthetic that works well on the tiny DS screens.
Of special note is the game's interface. Much like the import darling, JUMP Ultimate Stars, the menu system in Glory of Heracles is wonderfully conceived. There are loads of sensible options, great touchscreen interactivity, and a comprehensive glossary, covering everything from the battle system and terms, to the people and mythology of the game. There's even a battle log during combat, and it's surprisingly useful for keeping track of status effects of party members or the weaknesses and resistances of enemies.
Adding to the power of the presentation is a strong aural production that adds quite a bit of excitement to battles. The music will likely remind many RPG fans of past Dragon Quest adventures, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The arrangements sound great, and they're matched up nicely with the story elements and gameplay. The sound effects are all really topnotch, providing plenty of visceral feedback.
At first glance, Glory of Heracles doesn't really seem to bring that much new to the table, and getting over the first hour or so of tutorials and introductory material might prove to be a chore for some. Stick with the game, though, and you'll reap the rewards of a fun and funny adventure. The story and setting aren't particularly unique, but the witty dialogue will suck you right in. Though the game certainly has its shortcomings, there's plenty here to love. The ether system is an inspired device, one that keeps battles balanced throughout. If you're looking for gameplay that turns the genre on its head, this isn't that game. It is, however, another great addition to the now massive RPG library on DS.
CCC Freelance Writer