By Jeff Neuenschwander / October 27th, 2012
|Title: Glory of Heracles
Console: Nintendo DS
Release Date: January 18, 2010
Rating: ESRB E 10+
In my opinion, movies and video games are quite similar. And I’m not just talking about being art mediums. I mean in terms of what types are out there.
Looking at movies, you have your blockbuster, explosion-filled movies that cost a lot to make (Transformers), movies with pretty much everyone under the sun (Ocean’s Eleven, The Expendables), fantasy movies (Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia), comedies (Old School, Thank You For Smoking), artsy films that you never hear of until Oscar weekend (The Artist, The Reader), zombie films (Zombieland), and the direct to DVD movies (Barbie’s “Insert any adjective” Adventure).
Video games are pretty much the same. You’ve got your explosion fests (Call of Duty, Battlefield), games with everyone under the sun (Super Smash Bros., Marvel vs. Capcom), fantasy games (The Elder Scrolls, The Legend of Zelda), comedies (No More Heroes, Rayman), artsy games (Journey, The Last Story), zombie games (Silent Hill, Resident Evil), and stuff that just takes up space and will be in the discount bin soon enough (half the Wii library).
So where does a game like Glory of Heracles fall in? Obviously, it’s a fantasy but is it good enough to be worth your money or is it just something that takes up space?
Glory of Heracles is a turn-based RPG that dives into Greek mythology. You play as a nameless immortal character, even though the nymphs believe that you’re the great Heracles, son of Zeus. Joined by other immortal characters such as the tomboy Leucos, the pretty boy Axios, the arrogant Heracles, and the child mage Eris, you…
Wait, let me check that again… Okay I did get it right. There are two Heracles’s in the party.
So, you and four other immortals go on a quest to figure out why you’re all immortal. On the way, you’re destined to destroy devices called Taphoi and Craseis alongside General Heracles of the Trantian army.
Yes, there is another Heracles. There’s also a fourth that appears in the second half of the game.
So, along with the five amnesiac immortals and four cases of mistaken identity, there are three Taphoi you have to destroy in order to prevent two sets of Gods from going to war for sole reign over the world (Reverse straight FTW). The Craseis also come into play as Daedalus, creator of the Crasis stones, fears that the Gods may strike him down.
Enough of the backstory; let’s get to analyzing.
I found the story to be entertaining. It can feel clichéd, but I had no problem with it. I would have a problem with it if we got another Glory of Heracles game and it had a similar plot device.
Combat is turn-based, as I said, with the five of you going up against as many as ten enemies at a time. You have regular melee attacks, magic, and skills. Magic is done using MP and ether, which has counters at the top of the top screen. The five types of ether that gets used is fire, lightning, ground, water, and dark. Both you and your enemies will use the same ether pool. If you don’t have enough ether, you’ll lose health, with the stronger magic potentially knocking you out.
Skills are also in the game, using MP. These skills can range from skill boosts to defending to range attacks to strong attacks and multiple attacks.
Also, you don’t earn skills or magic a way that’s normal to RPGs. You have to pray to statues of the Greek gods to earn skills. To get magic, you pray to statues of Prometheus. You’ll then gain the use of the skill after leveling up.
Another thing I liked about the combat was powering up magic and skills. You have an option to either auto attack at whatever power the game chooses or manually increasing power with a quick time mini-game. I know a number of you are probably groaning out there after reading that but I like it. If you complete the mini-game, you can max out your skill or magic as high as 250%. Miss once on most and it will stop powering up at whatever level you reached.
You can also set your party in different rows to potentially protect weaker units (or a strong mage). Setting up someone in the back row keeps the enemy from using a melee attack on them. If they want to attack your back row, they have to use MP. However, if everyone is in the back row, they will all move to the front. Also, not only will they not be able to melee attack your character but you won’t either. So choose wisely how you want to set-up.
I also enjoyed seeing the mythology in the game, even if it didn’t make sense where they placed all of it. I already talked about Daedalus and Heracles making an appearance. You’ll also get to see Cassandra (who tries to give you a prophecy but you can’t understand it), Achilles (who is the only person that believes Cassandra), the titans Prometheus and Oceanus, and even the Trojan horse as it makes its way to Troy.
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