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An Awesome Throwback and a Glorious Game

Before we start, I should admit I feel ashamed I didn't get this out sooner, but that's mostly due to my computer dying. Still, I'm pretty much the last guy to arrive at the biggest party of the year, and there's only five minutes left before everyone leaves. This game already has a dozen reviews, all glowing with praise. Do I really think I could fair any differently by remarking it's magnificence? Do you, the reader, actually need me, or ANY of these reviewers to tell you just how incredible this game is? If you do, then here's hoping that I can convince you of just how great Heroes Realm is, and how great it's creator is.

Now then, on to business... *ahem*

This is the best, best, best, BEST roleplaying game I have played so far on RMN to date! Believe me I've seen some really, REALLY good, creative and original titles. Actually, you could argue that this is one of the most unoriginal games out there, since it's heavily borrowing aspects out of Final Fantasy V and Dragon Warrior IV.

No, really, five chapters, different heroes, saving the world, if I was the sort to hate on roleplaying games, I would hammer on this topic and how it's not very innovative. But since I'm not one of those sorts, I would probably TELL that kind of person to zip their lip and get back to one of their sports/FPS clones and enjoy their originality. This game is good BECAUSE it uses the good stuff from classics. If you were an RPgamer growing up in the Nintendo and SNES era, you know how good this game is. Let me count the ways how it renders bliss for the player.

Awesome Factor #1: Can I Borrow a Cup of Sugar... And All of Your Valuables?
Some RPGs try to pull this off today, but there's no better example than what Heroes Realm provides for House Raiding. It's ridiculous, it's great, and it encourages a gamer to explore. New games will just hide some action sequence or treasure chest around, but damnit, that's not enough. I want to go through all of their furniture, their shelves, their drawers, their pots and buckets, EVERYTHING. Who knows what kind of stuff they hide in there? And this game pulls it off splendidly! I truly commend Kentona on going through the time and effort of going through each individual shelf in this game and giving it a line of dialogue as well as the occasional secret treasure. THAT'S dedication. Now, perhaps others would find this monotonous or busywork, but me? I grew up with this with games like Breath of Fire, Lufia, and Final Fantasy 6, looking in drawers and clocks for potions and equipment. I never get tired of pilfering these poor, unsuspecting NPCs of their treasure. Hey, if they're not stopping you, it's not a crime! :D

Awesome Factor #2: The World is in Danger, Perfect Time For a Road Trip!
I love side-quests. It's not because of the promise of a reward or a chance to grind, it's basically a break from the seriousness of a game's plot. Sure, there's danger afoot, but you still need a chance to breathe! A moment to relax... But you don't want to stop playing the game, you just need another direction to travel, a distraction, if you will! Ranging from simple tasks to engaging and entertaining, these side-quests are perfect to bulk up your character's strength and funds, but also grant you that needed breather between carrying the fate of the world and staving off the forces of evil. I don't know why, there's just an appeal to getting rewarded for your efforts, no matter how miniscule.
Oh, and for those that HAVE played the game; Bessy the Wondercow. <3 And that should bring us to the next awesome factor:

Awesome Factor #3: Cheer Up! It's Not Like The Earth Is In Peril- Oh Wait
Back in the good ol' days, roleplaying games weren't as absorbingly deep and depressing as what you find in these JRPGs of today. Yes, they WERE deep when they needed to be, and had sad moments that makes the player weepy at appropriate times, but it also knew how to be a light, fluffy experience at times as well. You had your hilariously bad translations, your Japanese jokes that become inappropriate and yet somehow funnier, and the king of Spoony Bards and Sons of Submarines, Ted Woolsey. While this game is a throwback to our childhood, it also knows we've grown up since then, so it throws in plenty of jokes that us 'big kids' can take. Chances are, some of you have already snickered about a certain horse-turned-innkeeper and his remark of exactly how he felt.

Awesome Factor #4: Praise Be To The Maker
What makes a good game not only involves proper gameplay elements, but a good developer behind it. There are sadly some glitches in the game that have yet to be resolved, although that one drawer with the infinite clothes in it made me laugh... But that's beside the point! What makes this game even better is that Kentona is there with you to help! Immediately when I went through a quest that seemed impossible to complete thanks to a glitch, he offered his assistance and fiddled with the save file, and then BAM! It was fixed! You don't see big game companies actually step down to the gamers and personally fix the errors in your game, a privilege only reserved to the independent developers around here can give you. Thanks Kentona for being such a good sport!

Now, those are just my favorite parts of this game, but there's still so much that makes it incredible. The job system is nicely done, outlining what class is good for what and how they'll develop for the curious eye. Considering how many party members you can have, you can literally make one of EVER job class. It's not only possible to experiment, I'd be damned if I didn't say you really SHOULD. The skills are wide-ranged and for the most part useful in their own rights. While you do have the main four heroes, you shouldn't depend on them entirely to pull through the entire adventure for you.

There's also the exploration factor, as you could obviously indicate by the huge world map that Kentona provided. No, really. It's HUGE. HUGE! HUGE
!! Through the first four chapters, you get to explore one continent on its own... But once you reach the fifth chapter, all bets are off. You have the entire world at your disposal, and while that may sound bewildering or confusing, it's really not. RPGs should ENCOURAGE exploration, to eliminate the feeling of linearity from the gameplay. It lets you feel like you have a choice of how the game will go, like the power is in your hands and it's up to you how to make it happen.

Now, I don't want people to think I'm just here to glorify this game and make it sound like it's the best thing since sliced bread. There ARE flaws, and I'm (begrudgingly) willing to tell you about them.

There are glitches to the game, as I've said before. Some of them are small, some of them are big. I could mention some, but you can easily read up on them on the game's website! I did discover some new things, however, such as a glitch where when you wake up at an inn your character only faces down, but that can be fixed by climbing down a rope which forces you to face up. There's also the fact that you can kill a certain boss after he transforms but before he heals himself automatically. That can't be fixed in game, but I've sent all my experiences with glitches to Kentona himself, so I'm certain he'll see to it that it's all taken care of. None of this is game-breaking stuff... Well okay some of it is, but it's not beyond repair.

There's also the flaws of some NPCs... You remember the old days on your slow-as-crap NES where you tried to walk out of a room but some stupid NPC will keep walking back and forth blocking your path? There's that here too, and while some NPCs will walk quickly back and forth, there are some sooooo sloooooow that I actually had to wait a full five minutes before I could get out. IN OR OUT LADY, IN OR OUT. *ahem* But that's beside the point.

Lastly, and I know that many bashers and flamers will hang onto this... The plot. Four heroes, child of light, blah-blah-blah. We've seen it before a hundred times, even in some of the games around here on RMN! You can actually predict what'll happen next as far as the majority of the storyline goes. Linear storyline aside, you can't hate on a game so long as it has good gameplay elements, and I stand by it. I don't care how played out the idea is so long as I'm actually having fun PLAYING... And you know what? I AM!

This game isn't perfect, but it's pretty damn good. If you're a fan of the classics or you're just curious about how games of the old days played out, then this is the perfect game for you. If this review didn't sell you the deal, check any other for this game. Majority rules, this game is AWESOME!


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Thanks for the vigorous (if not overwrought!) praise for the game! I am glad that you enjoyed it and that you were willing to play through all X many hours this game takes to complete.

As a small rejoinder - I liked the story. While it may not be a deep compelling narrative with heavy characterization, I think it does a pretty good job at being an interactive story. To me, it was a good way to experience the story (vs. just reading one). (Also, they are the four heroes because they kicked ass (best hunter/mage/monk/ninja of their land) and not chosen by the gods or something).

Thanks for the review!
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