Published on July 15th, 2012 | by Shawn Long, Features Editor
Heroes Of Ruin 3DS Review
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes.
Heroes of Ruin has been on my radar for a while now. Since it was first shown, the gameplay reminded me of a Diablo-like experience, while the talked about online features reminded me of a cult favorite of mine, Phantasy Star 0 for the Nintendo DS. Numerous delays have made many gamers question what the holdup was, but luckily the final product is a solid title, even with a few minor quirks.
The story of Heroes of Ruin is thin, but there. The main goal is to lift the curse set on Ataraxis, the leader of the town of Nexus, the main hub of the game. Nexus is where you will deal with vendors, accept new quests, talk to townsfolk and is the gateway to the various regions you will be thrust into.
You start by choosing which class of hero you wish to be, and the game features four. Gunslinger is the class I chose, which features gun-based combat and bombs. The other three classes are Vindicator (Swords), Alchitect (Magic), and Savage (Hand to Hand). You can color customize the characters to your liking. All treasure found in the land is character specific, so not everything can be used by everyone. Each character also has a specific set of skills to upgrade, allowing the player to customize their style of play.
The heart of the game is within the gameplay, and for the most part Heroes Of Ruin does a good job. Quests range from story-driven to side quest, each with a reward. The variety of quests is anything from finding a document within a level, to defeating a set number of enemies in an area. At times, you may look through your quest documents and realize you have a lot going on, and complete things without evening realizing it. Also, at times quests are a bit vague, and you will be wandering around aimlessly through a level trying to figure it out. It doesn’t happen very often, but it would have been nice to have more clear, concise quests.
Developer n-Space created the game with a strong online component, in which players can drop in and out of your game at any time. A good thing is that if you are the host, you can choose which quest to make your main quest, and most of the time your counterparts will assist you in that. There is no level restriction for public rooms, so you may end up with a very high leveled character helping you which is nice, but does detract from your experience. You can choose to close your room at any time, or boot people out which is also nice. At times, the game does feel a bit easier when you have multiple people with you as opposed to fighting by yourself, which is a bit unfortunate with the difficulty balance. I would have liked to have had enemies based on the rooms average skill level, and not just the areas skill level.
Another excellent feature is the constant voice chat available. By simply holding down the “L” trigger, the microphone goes live with all party members, making communication very easy. Need some back up? Call for it. It’s nice to see the time and effort that went into crafting the multiplayer experience, and from a technical standpoint it is one of the best ways to communicate with another player on a handheld console. StreetPass is also used in this game, with an emphasis on trading. Using the “Traders Network”, players can trade in game items with other players, allowing for a bit of commerce in the title.
From a visual standpoint, the game is a bit of a mixed bag. The town of Nexus is well crafted, teeming with life and color. Some of the areas you battle in do feel a bit drab and lifeless in remote areas, and some low poly textures rear their ugly head. Character models are nicely done, and some of the bosses/enemies are very big and intimidating. Expolsions and weapon effects are nice and crisp. The cut scenes are done in a comic book style which is decent, and the voice acting is mostly well done. Framerate wise, the game is excellent when solo or with one to two people, but a full room can experience some overload, especially on the larger boss battles. Nothing too detracting, but it’s enough to notice.
Rounding out this package are daily and weekly challenges direct from Square Enix. Hop online and you will see what challenges are available, which adds some extra life to the title. Square Enix has promised that they will do this for the first year of the game, so you will really get your money’s worth out of this title. I finished the main quest in about eight hours, but all of the side quests, extra looting, rare items, and multiple characters will extend the life of the title by a lot.
While not a perfect game, Heroes of Ruin is a solid 3DS title that any fan of Diablo, RPGs, or old-school action games would enjoy playing. The well done online system, fast and furious action, and customization make this a game that stands out from the pack of 3DS games as being geared more towards an old school gamer. A demo is available on the Nintendo eShop as well, so if you are a little hesitant try it out there. Heroes of Ruin may have taken a while to come out, but for the most part, it was worth the wait.
+ Impressive Online Features
+ Tons of Quests to Complete
+ Excellent Variety of Enemies
– Framerate hiccups with too large of a room
– May be a bit overwhelming with all the Quests