Thanks to Ratalaika Games for the review code
Title: Heroes Trials
Release Date: 01/22/2019
Heroes Trials is a 3D overhead action adventure game, not unlike Adventures of Mana or Secret of Mana. As a matter of fact, this whole game looks an awful lot like those remakes, but much more cheaply made. While the game is colorful, the character designs are dull, the environments are generic, and the enemy designs are just as bland as they come.
I’ll be blunt, this game just looks hideous in general. It hits all the bad notes of your average mobile quality action game, and there isn’t even a single good aspect of sound that could possibly redeem this game’s presentation. Stock sound effects ahoy, the aforementioned ugly look of the game, bland UI and loading screens, and just the most generic of generic music you could possibly think of. When the only bit of praise I can give this game is that the game uses bright colors, that’s not saying much.
Heroes Trials tasks you with guiding two soon-to-be warriors into completing their trials, with the game laid out in time-based missions. You have a world to explore in order to clear these trials, but you won’t be able to go off the beaten path for too long, since each trial leads directly to another, with each of them being timed. The faster you clear a trial, the more stars you gain by doing it, but really as long as you just clear the trial before time runs out, you should be good.
The two heroes also have completely different playstyles, with the male warrior using swordplay with a shield to defend from enemy attacks, while the female mage is the stronger one of the bunch by far, sporting ranged magic attacks that deal varying amounts of damage to certain types of enemies, usually far more than the standard sword swing from the male. In fact, the female’s ranged attacks are far faster in general, making her moves the preferred method for taking out enemies, causing the male character to feel nearly worthless in combat due to how easier it is to hit enemies with the mage.
Unfortunately, while this sounds like a decent action experience, if a bit unbalanced, the game is just an utterly dull experience to play. Even with the power of the mage, the trials are utterly boring, with most enemies doing little outside of trying to ram into you. There’s really no benefit from trying to do things out of order, nor is there much fun for most of the adventure. Aiming and hitting enemies is also a huge pain, since you don’t seem to turn right away. For example, if you’re facing left and an enemy is coming at you from the right, you won’t be able to press right and immediately face them to counter attack. Rather, you turn around slowly, and this just leads to you getting hit or missing the enemy most of the time.
You can buy an upgrade that lets you dash with the back right trigger, but your characters are fast enough already that it honestly feels trivial and just a way to let you spend the money you have, which if you don’t by a certain mission, you’ll get robbed and lose your funds. It’s Point A to B in the most vanilla way possible, and dungeons consist of nothing interesting outside of beating up enemies to get keys to reach the boss room, with little to even make them feel distinct from one another besides the occasional gimmick or change in environment.
The bosses are a bit more clever, with one of them requiring usage of both characters in order to break their shield, but most of the ones you’ll encounter are just beefy enemies that you kill by mashing the circle button and dodging their moves. It’s easily one of the most boring attempts to imitate the Zelda formula I’ve ever played, and I dropped it after beating several bosses and dungeons and feeling like nothing was changing or getting better, even with the upgrades I was finding in the process.
In conclusion, Heroes Trials was just an utter bore. Little of interest, barely anything to write home about, and the limited fun I had with the ranged character doesn’t save the game from being really shallow and uninteresting. The whole game feels like a reject mobile project from five years ago, with little polish and nothing that I’d miss if I had a life where I never played it to begin with. Sad to say, but action RPG fans should look elsewhere, and maybe pick up a better game like Kamiko or Oceanhorn.
I give Heroes Trials a 3 out of 10.