Friday, March 24, 2017

88 Heroes (REVIEW)

Do you know what today is? It's "88 Heroes" day!!! The day '88 Heroes' hits the PSN store! For those of you who have not read my preview article on the game you'll find that '88 Heroes' is a fast paced pixel platformer that incorporates the number 88 into it's gameplay in various ways. The story, which is short in nature involves an alien threat known as Dr.H8 who is threatening the Earth with total destruction via 88 nuclear warheads from outer space. His ultimatum includes a demand for 88 quadrillion dollars by a deadline of 88 minutes, or the impending doom will become a harsh reality. Unfortunately for Earth the regular heroes are busy elsewhere, so they send in 88 hero wannabes in their place. Everything from a an ominous hamster in a ball to a basketball player will have to use their odd abilities or lack thereof to traverse 88 stages filled with varying enemy, and non-enemy related obstacles in 88 minutes in order to face off against Dr.H8 in a final battle. Needless to say the fate of the world lies in the hands, paws, tentacles, or whatever of these 88 misfits.

From the televised viewpoint of Dr.H8 you will be guiding randomly selected heroes through Metroidvania style stages filled with traps, hazards, and enemies that are there to keep you from getting to the exit door, and into the next stage. Every time a hero dies it will be taken away from availability, and the next hero in random order will replace it giving you another chance to speedrun through the current stage in hopefully under a minute's time. Supposing you collect enough coins though you can regain a single lost hero at a time improving your chances of beating Dr.H8 at his diabolical plan. In total there are 4 base levels with their own theme, each of which are divided into stages totaling 88. At the end of each level you'll face off against a boss, and must defeat it to progress further into the game. Ultimately ending up at a final fight against Dr.H8. If you can make it that far.

From Dr.H8's viewpoint you'll get to hear him banter on, and ridicule your progress, or the lack thereof. You'll also get to seem him heckle his alien assistants as they offer him tea, or update him on the heroes' progress. It's a comical experience from both the heroes', and Dr.H8's perspective. In fact the heroes themselves bring to the game their own brand of humor from their designs. When you first start off as a hero the game offers up a dialogue screen poking at the parody of the character. You'll find plenty of 80's parody characters, as well as characters that mock popular movie icons. It's a truly laugh out loud experience that most 80's teens will understand.

Graphically the game is simple yet well polished for such a pixel project. All pixel animations, and creations are each crafted uniquely adding to their personality which is also reflected in individual voice-overs. For a game of it's pricing '88 Heroes' definitely earns it's place as a recommendable purchase through the overall presentation. Even the soundtrack is brimming with quality akin to games of the retro era. It's a nostalgic, and innovative nod to an age of entertainment that many of us gamers can appreciate. As an indie it also stands on it's own two feet as something that has not been done before.

The Verdict, as it were ...

This game literally had me laughing out loud at times. In my playthrough I recognized every parody thrown at me, and loved the initial cycling through playable heroes to see who or what were included in the zany roster. It's ingenious how the hero abilities, though limiting at times, can be used by crafty players to get to the end regardless of said limitations. Nothing is impossible if you learn the heroes, and the added fact that the game has an extra mode for selectable solo hero play helps to hone said skills. I definitely liked the additional unlockable modes which in themselves provide even more stream worthy content for those looking to entertain their Youtube, or Twitch audiences. It's a fun filled gaming experience I can get behind, and easily recommend as a purchase worthy product! Just know that there is a physical edition with even more content than the digital version. Either way do not miss out on this gem of an indie!

88 Heroes (PREVIEW) -

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