Some years ago, I visited a Swiss castle that had an honest-to-goodness dungeon. It was drab and depressing — which, I guess, is kind of the point of a soul-sucking dungeon. One glaring omission I noticed, however, is its criminal lack of oh-so glorious loot. That’s when I suddenly heard a little voice in my head.
“Jason, buddy, I think you’ve played one too many dungeon crawler games.”
Since then, my gaming diet has been quite devoid of dungeon-style RPGs. That is, until now. First came the release of the dungeon-crawling juggernaut known as Diablo III. Torchlight II is gearing for a release this year as well.
Even Nintendo 3DS owners got their own slice of the dungeon crawler pie with Heroes of Ruin. I recently had the opportunity to try the latter and I must say that this actually turned out better than I thought it would, though it still has its share of issues.
Just like riding a bike, the gameplay for Heroes of Ruin will be easy to pick up for dungeon crawler fans. You kick off things by picking one of four character types: the paladin-style Vindicator, magic wielding Alchitect, berserker-like Savage and the firearm wielding gunslinger. As with most action RPGs I’ve played, I decided to roll a mage. That’s why folks call me the Magic Mike of video gamers — at least they do in my dreams. Once you get your character all chosen and gussied up, you can sic your avatar on all sorts of foes while collecting loot to your dungeon-crawling heart’s content.
The gameplay itself is pretty solid with basic attacks mapped to the B button and skills assigned to the rest. Folks who were bummed by Diablo III’s lack of stat allocation can divvy up their points to their heart’s content upon leveling up in Heroes of Ruin while having the option to choose between various skills. In addition to having offline single-player, the game also has several multiplayer options. This includes easy drop-in and drop-out play as well as both 4-player local and online co-op. It even has voice chat so you can impress other gamers with your silky smooth, baritone voice or feel a chill up your spine when you realize that the player controlling the sexy Alchitect sounds like a 10-year-old boy.
While Heroes of Ruin does several things right, however, it also does some things not so well. Its graphics, for example, are on the plain side. The main game is also a bit short and does not offer a “New Game+” or extra difficulty option. Although you can replay the areas you’ve cleared, you won’t be able to re-fight bosses you have defeated unless you join the game of a player who has yet to beat said boss. This ends up affecting replayability despite the addition of daily challenges.
Heroes of Ruin certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but the good news is that the game has a demo available. If you're on the fence, I recommend giving it a test run first to see whether the game floats your proverbial boat or not.
For more about portable games and apps, make sure to check out our Portable Gaming Hub.HEROES OF RUIN
- Platform: Nintendo 3DS
- Cost: $40
- Final rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
- Official site:www.heroesofruin.com