Heroes of Ruin 3DS
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Released on 15-Jun-2012
Heroes of Ruin is an exciting new adventure RPG designed especially for the Nintendo 3DS, combining the high action of role playing quests with the unique social and interactive features that the 3DS can offer.
Heroes of Ruin features:
- Four character classes to create, customise and develop
- Choice of single-player and four-player drop-in/drop-out co-op gameplay
- Trade in-game items using StreetPass
- Daily online challenges and the chance to meet and share with other players with SpotPass
- Trademark 3D gameplay and an immersive story
The story beings in the city of Nexus, where peace is threatened when the city's ruler is struck by a curse that seems to have no cure. A call is sent across the lands, promising untold treasure and reward to whoever can find a cure, and mercenaries from far and wide gather to take up the challenge.
Choose, create and customise your character from four mercenary classes - Gunslinger, Alchitect, Vindicator or Savage. Quest alone and see what enemies and challenges await in the wilderness, including a final showdown with the mysterious force responsible for the curse. Or form an alliance with other 3DS players through four-player drop-in/drop-out multiplayer either locally or online and face these dangers together!
Heroes of Ruin adds social and online interaction to your gameplay like never before. Connect your 3DS console online and download fresh daily challenges, earning rewards as you play. And if any part of your quest is proving a bit too difficult for you alone, connect locally or online and fight alongside your friends. You can even use StreetPass to trade rare and powerful items through an in-game shop where the inventory is updated frequently, and take advantage of social media functions to meet other players, swapping stories, ideas and in-game items.
The Nintendo 3DS has been with us for just over a year now - where does the time go? - and in that time it's really started to come into its own. With an array of features and controls that can't be found anywhere else, the latest games for this handheld feature some classic Nintendo icons as well as creating some new ones, and show that you can have console-quality gaming on the go, and that 3D is here to stay!
Mario Tennis Open
Mario once again proves that he's as adept at sports as he is with a plunger in a game that offers tactical tennis fun previous unseen on a handheld. With a choice of traditional controls or the use of touchscreen and gyro sensors, Mario Tennis Open offers players a chance to really maek use of what the 3DS can do. It also takes advantage of Nintendo's StreetPass, letting you play online with friends or with other players in the local area, as well as the chance to upgrade your player. Whether it's a friendly game or a fight to the championship, Mario Tennis Open and 3DS are a perfect match.
Heroes of Ruin
Heroes of Ruin is the first RPG designed specifically for the 3DS, and takes unique advantage of the handheld's interactive features. You can quest alone or with other players both locally or online using drop-in, drop-out gameplay. There are extra daily challenges online to earn rewards, you can meet and trade with other players using the 3DS social features, and even buy in-game items using StreetPass. And on top of all this, the game itself is fun and immersive, coming from the strong RPG pedigree of Square Enix.
Luigi's Mansion 2
The original Luigi's Mansion was a launch title for the GameCube back in 2001 and has become something of a cult classic. This follow-up promises more of the same, sending Luigi back into a haunted mansion to capture ghosts using his "Poltergust 5000" vacuum cleaner. Promising a more puzzle-based approach than it's predecessor, Luigi's Mansion 2 also makes use of the gyroscopic controls to move Luigi around the mansion, and will finally deliver the 3D ghost-chasing that they didn't quite manage for the original!
There aren't many games that suit a transfer from PC to 3DS, but Azada is just that. Following the misadventures of hapless magician Titus, this is a series of mini-games, hidden object games and escape the room puzzles. This may seem like a simpler, older style of gameplay, but it's one that suits the on-the-go nature of the 3DS and seems a suitable follow-up title for fans of Professor Layton and other puzzle games.
Another Nintendo franchise gets a 3D facelift as Animal Crossing arrives on the 3DS. The use of 3D is said to be subtle, giving a new depth and detail to the animal village, with the bigger changes coming in the form of how much more you can do within the game itself. Customisation has been enhanced for both your player and your home, allowing for more choice in type of house, furniture and clothing. For fans of the series looking to move from DS to 3DS, this "a bit more of everything" approach is really all the reason you need!
Heroes of Ruin is a top-down action role-playing game very much in the same vein as Blizzard's Diablo 3, Runic's Torchlight and other loot-heavy dungeon crawlers. In the simplest terms possible, it involves a lot of hacking and slashing through dungeons in order to collect loot and complete quests.
Developed by n-Space, the studio behind Call of Duty, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and GoldenEye 007 on the DS, Heroes of Ruin doesn't stray very far from the tried and true top-down dungeon crawler formula, and with good reason. The satisfaction of picking up quests, scrounging for loot and swapping items and weapons in and out in an attempt to marginally increase your character's statistics is ever-present.
The meat-and-potatoes gameplay revolves around picking up quests from townsfolk, which tend to send players skipping into dungeons infested with all manner of ghouls, goblins, trolls and other creatures from fantasy lore. Naturally you won't be making small talk with them; the game provides you with a basic primary attack and an additional special one to smack them around with. Knocking an enemy over the head with an attack is rewarded with some lovely animations and audio effects that make the combat fulfilling and help it from becoming stale.
Like all good RPGs, Heroes of Ruin has a robust skill system tied to the various character classes available. Taking the role of the tank is the Vindicator class, who happens to be a lion. This is the class you'll want to pick if you like diving in front of attacks to simultaneously protect friends and deal out large amounts of damage.
The Savage is a less beefy character than the Vindicator, but is better at dispatching large groups of enemies, as his name suggests. To satisfy his bloodlust the Savage is able to aggravate enemies and draw them in close enough to beat them to a pulp.
The Gunslinger is a ranged combat specialist who doesn't fare very well in the thick of combat, but he's kitted out with pistols that are good for picking enemies off from distance.
Finally, the Alchitect is the game's mage class, and a bit of a jack of all trades. She's able to dish out a healthy dose of damage by lobbing spells from distance and also has a bunch of abilities designed for crowd control. Out of all of the classes, the Alchitect feels like the best all-rounder and a great character to start off with.
The variety of classes is a great way to keep the gameplay varied if you're playing on your own, but it comes into its own when playing online. Heroes of Ruin supports four-player online co-operative play, and if you can get a few friends together you'll be able to use the various strengths of each character to take on the tougher dungeons, and also use special abilities in unison for powerful combo attacks.
Running around defeating enemies, collecting loot and completing quests is a familiar but oh-so-satisfying formula. And the moment it starts to wear a bit thin you can draft in a few friends to inject some excitement back into the game. For RPG fans, Heroes of Ruin is everything they love crammed into a tiny cartridge for the Nintendo 3DS. Those who want a portable alternative to Diablo 3 should absolutely pick this up.
- Addictive loot collection
- Satisfying combat
- Fun co-op play
- Some might find it a little repetitive playing solo
- Not the best use of 3D
- Plays it safe by sticking to a familiar formula
- Addictive loot collection
With Diablo III still very much the game of the moment on PC, Nintendo's handheld is the somewhat surprising recipient of a title that attempts to capture the essence of Blizzard's acclaimed dungeon-crawler on the go.
Surprising, that is, because the Japanese company has, quite unlike its console rivals, never really seemed that bothered about online gaming. It's hard to imagine Nintendo itself ever crafting a game quite like Heroes of Ruin, but n-Space and Square-Enix London have nevertheless seized the opportunity to push the connected capabilities of the portable further than anyone else has managed to date.
There's true drop-in, drop-out online questing for one to four players, with the parameters fully adjustable to suit whatever type of experience you're looking for. But the real headline addition is voice chat, included for the first time ever on the system. And it couldn't be easier to use in practice.
With the feature enabled, you simply hold down the left shoulder button and can then speak to any other players in your game. And unlike the surly abuse gamers are all too used to in brutally competitive online titles like Call of Duty, the shared goals and novel sense of camaraderie here has resulted in only friendly encounters in our escapades so far.
You can see clearly the levels of players in all available matches, and join in at whatever experience level you're comfortable with. But newcomers may find they can super-charge their progress with a few wise words shared by the veterans still grinding their way through. That said, you are advised to play through the story solo first if you care about the storyline, as those who've already done it are liable to chatter away over the cut-scenes - a real mood-killer.
There are four character classes to choose from and they conform rigidly to genre norms: Vindicator is a weapon-wielding powerhouse; Alchitect is your magic guy; Gunslinger is the ranged option; and Savage is pure brute strength.
Each feels sufficiently different to control, so with four save slots Heroes of Ruin has obviously been designed with multiple playthroughs in mind. Another aspect that confirms this is the campaign's short length. We powered through it in a little over six hours according to the in-game clock, with a 91 percent completion rating.
That will disappoint those hoping for a far more sprawling adventure to sink their teeth into. It ought to have been less of a problem than it is too, given the sheer range of loot available to collect and trade, allowing players to tinker with their character's stats endlessly.
Is That It?
The issue, unless you are a madly obsessive completionist, is that the game gets very easy very quickly once you've levelled up into the 20s, so there's relatively little incentive to carefully refine your stats. Similarly, once you've completed the story, while you can revisit all locations to hunt for loot, bosses do not re-spawn - so the only way to fight larger-scale battles is to jump into an online game in which the host is tackling them for the first time.
The lack of thought given to the endgame is a shame, as it could have extended the life of the title considerably. But at the same time, with all four characters, you're still looking at well over 20 hours' worth of game time, not counting any subsequent grinding online, so there's no question that the game represents value for money.
Visually, while the character design and artwork are the stuff of routine fantasy, the use of 3D is excellent. The top-down view benefits beautifully from the enhanced perception of depth, and the artful cut-scenes come to life as multi-layered, scaling storyboards. Credit is also due to the rousing orchestral score, which adds classy drama to the proceedings.
So while Heroes of Ruin could - and should - have been more than it is with greater reason to play it for months rather than a week or two, there's no denying that in other areas it's a fine accomplishment on the small screen. And right now, there's nothing else like it on 3DS.
Our Verdict: 7/10
- The best online game on 3DS
- Four distinct ways to experience the game
- Huge scope for upgrading character stats
- Short campaign
- Lack of a proper endgame
- Gets too easy too quickly
When one thinks of Square Enix games, the mind goes immediately to Final Fantasy, Hitman and Tomb Raider - big in size and big on drama. But over the last few months, the publisher has released out three games for the 3DS which really emphasise a fun factor sometimes missing from their more serious titles.
Heroes of Ruin, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance compress a lot of great gameplay into small and energetic bundles. And with the imminent arrival of the 3DS XL... well, those bundles aren't quite so small any more. In fact, Square Enix were so keen to show these games off on the larger screen of the 3DS XL that a community event was put together recently in London, inviting local 3DS gamers to come along, try them out and play together, via social media and other fan-connections. We got the invitation, too, and were keen to see just what an event like this - and the games themselves - would have in store.
There was something of an eclectic mix of people in attendance, with younger female making up a big part of that mix, and all becoming fast friends by the sounds of the chatter that we picked up on - and admittedly joined in with. Well, when you hear someone say they've caught all but nine Pokémon, that's a conversation you want to be part of!
Indeed, there was a great sense of community there - people trading tales, as well as all sorts of items in StreetPass (which also led to the odd jealous comment about the headgear of people's Miis...), and even though there was a lot of playing individually, there was a real sense that these people were playing together. A great atmosphere all round.
Many gamers brought their own 3DS consoles to simply join the fun, but there were plenty of 3DS and 3DS XL units set-up to try out Square Enix's recent output. The nature of the event meant that a full session on each game wasn't going to happen, so we, like the other players, simply dabbled, dipping in and out of each one and seeing just how they looked on the 3DS XL.
First up was Heroes of Ruin, a game which would really benefit from getting really stuck in. The first 'proper' RPG to come to the 3DS really suited the larger screen of the 3DS XL, especially when three of us decided to quest together. There was almost no sense of clutter or chaos when all of us were on-screen and fighting foes together. The pace of the game really flew on multiplayer, which made a later single-player attempt seem to drag a little as a result. The use of the lower touchscreen as your ever-present map was an obvious addition to the genre and became second nature as the game progressed - and provided a hint at how great games of this ilk will be on the Wii U.
To find out more about Heroes of Ruin, check out our full review
Next up was Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, the latest part of the shouldn't-work-but-does Disney/Japanese RPG hybrid series. The thing that really stood out was the use of 3D in the environments your adventures took place in - there was a real sense of depth as you made your way through corridors, round corners and up and down stairs, and the colours and graphics pop from the screen, especially on the 3DS XL. It made great use of both screens for everything from special attacks using the stylus, to inter-level animal rearing using the cameras for a fun AR experience.If we had a criticism, it was that this was game that really didn't benefit from the dip in-dip out gameplay that this session dictated.
To find out more about Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, check out our full review
Finally, we got our hands on Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, the 25th Anniversary rhythm game based on the epic music of the Final Fantasy series. And what a treat! This was just, plain and simply, lots of fun and perilously addictive in the way that only great mini-games are! The gameplay is simple to pick-up and so fun you don't mind that there's not really that much variation, and the graphics are on the right side of cute. Throw out your cynicism and pick-up your stylus, because this will become your new guilty pleasure, especially if you're a fan of the series. Of the three games, this was the one that really didn't matter if you played on the 3DS or 3DS XL - it was equally fun on both!
To find out more about Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, check out our Editor's Choice selection
All in all, this was a fun few hours. We got to try out some great new games and a great new handheld alongside some faithful and enthusiastic 3DS gamers, and a great time was had by all. If you ever get invited to an event like this, don't hesitate to RSVP "yes"!
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The latest games for the 3DS feature some classic Nintendo icons as well as creating some new ones, and show that you can have console-quality gaming on the go, and that 3D is here to stay!…
Heroes of Ruin - Review (13/06/2012)
For RPG fans, Heroes of Ruin is everything they love crammed into a tiny cartridge for the Nintendo 3DS. Those who want a portable alternative to Diablo 3 should absolutely pick this up.…
It's hard to imagine Nintendo itself ever crafting a game quite like Heroes of Ruin, but n-Space and Square-Enix London have nevertheless seized the opportunity to push the connected capabilities of t…
Square Enix/3DS Community Day (18/07/2012)
Heroes of Ruin, Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance compress a lot of great gameplay into small and energetic bundles. And with the imminent arrival of the 3DS XL... …
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