REVIEW: Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics

Monday, September 26th, 2016

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Title Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics
Developer Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
Publisher Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.
Release Date September 12, 2016
Genre Roguelike RPG
Platform Steam,PS4, Vita
Age Rating Mature
Official Website

It’s been a while since I checked out One Way Heroics on the PC, but I remember I had a great time with the game despite it being a bit difficult. The randomness of the world coupled by some awesome classes to choose from and some fun combat made it one of my favorite PC games to date. When Spike Chunsoft announced they were publishing a more updated version of the game called Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics I knew I had to check this one out. The big question is “was it as fun as the original?” Let’s find out!

The story follows our young hero trying to save the land from the ever consuming Shine Raid. The Shine Raid is a light that dissolves everything in its path as it slowly moves across the land, and in this case is on the left side of the screen. The King has ordered you to defeat the fallen angel, Alma, in or order to halt the Shine Raid’s advance and save the world. However this will only be the beginning.

mystery-chronicles-one-way | knight

If you’re looking for an  engaging story with plenty of deep characters and lots of awesome events, you’ve come to the wrong place here. The story here is very minimal, but that doesn’t mean it is bad either. It pushes the narrative of the gameplay, which is move right and don’t get consumed by the Shine Raid. There is some interesting dialogue between you and a few NPCs, but you’re mostly gonna be playing this for gameplay and not story. There were a few localization issues at the time of this review with grammar and syntax, but Spike Chunsoft has a patch on the way to fix those problems.

I have to say I love the retro style look of this title. The sprites for the world and enemies look amazing. The character portraits are nicely done as well, but I felt a few of the additional characters felt a bit out of place in the world. The game runs at 30 FPS which is a downgrade from One Way Heroics Plus which ran at 60 FPS. There is also an odd pause at times when the game seems to be loading in more of the scrolling world. I have to say, with 8GB of RAM in my system, I would’ve never thought it would need to stop and load during a non hardware demanding game like this one.

mystery-chronicles-one-way-| perks

In the audio department, this one is kind of a mixed bag. I thought the music was generally pretty good. Lots of fantasy type music with brass to send you off on your adventure. The voice acting, however, is another story. You have a fairy with you named Memoria, she is one of the most annoying characters in gaming history. You’ll be praying you had Navi back within a few seconds. Now I thought “well the English VA is bad, so I’ll switch over to Japanese audio and that will help.” Nope. The Japanese VA is just as bad. Now there isn’t a lot of this either way, but it definitely takes away from the experience.

Now let’s talk about where this game shines; the gameplay. This is a Roguelike, meaning when you die you start the game completely over again, and the world is randomly generated. I really loved that the game randomly generated your quests as well as the world. This makes every quest feel fresh and unique. You will start by choosing a class that suits your play style best. Magic users and archers can take enemies out from a distance, while fighter classes can get more up and personal with the enemy. Each class has unique moves to help you out of sticky situations as well. The choice is yours, and you will unlock more classes as you progress through the game. I enjoyed seeing what all the different classes could do, and how many different ways the game could turn out depending on your setup.

The game is always scrolling right since the Shine Raid on the left is eating the world slowly. Enemies and terrain will appear randomly on the map, and you will have to navigate through them as best you can while gathering items, weapons and armor along the way. As you move on the map your endurance will slowly drop. Feeding your hero will restore this meter, but if your endurance falls to zero you will take damage to your HP with every step. Your weapons and armor will degrade over time, so you will want to carry extras in you inventory. There is a weight limit on the items you can carry so you will always have to be mindful of this. As if all this wasn’t bad enough, the developers decided to add traps to this version of the game. This game needed those like I need a hole in my head. They serve no purpose other than to make an already difficult game even more unfair and frustrating. I don’t mind the difficulty and dying a lot; that comes with territory in this genre. However, I think the game should attempt to be somewhat fair, at least.

mystery-chronicles-one-way | gameplay

If you die during a quest the game will start from the beginning once again. That doesn’t mean your previous quests were for nothing. You can store weapons, armor and items you’ve acquired in your Dream Vault. This will allow you to carry these items over to a new run. You will also gain Genesis Stones at the end of each quest, with the amount you gain depending on how well you performed. You can use these stones to unlock additional classes, skills and other upgrades. There is one other type of stone you will gather on you journey, Dream Stones. These stones can be used to customize your castle. The benefit here is that you can add additional NPCs that will give you helpful items each time you start a new quest. Adding Court Chef, for instance, will grant you access to a portable grill to cook meat during your journey. It’s pretty fun to build the additional rooms and add the NPCs just to see what they all do. It should be noted that there are save elves found throughout the world that will save your progress during a quest, but you will not receive rewards for that quest more than once if you continue after dying.

one-way-heroics-| crossover
While I cannot say Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics is a bad game I think there are some issues holding it back. The voice acting is pretty rough and framerate downgrade on the PC version is unsettling to series fans. The other minor complaint I have with the PC version of this is there’s no exit button. I mean seriously, you didn’t think you would ever need to exit the game at any point? Things like this make me think this port was lazily done. Even with these issues, just like the previous release this game is still a lot of fun. The combat has great depth and strategy and is simply a blast, and there is a ton of unlockable content as well. There is a multiplayer element to this game, but I was unable to find a single person playing it during my playtime. I spent around 12 hours with this one and while I don’t think it is as good as One Way Heroics Plus, I still think that at the $9.99 price tag there is a lot to enjoy here.

Review Score

Game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.