Glory of Heracles

Glory of Heracles
Glory of Heracles Cover
Platforms DS
Genre Random Battle Generator
MtAMinutes to Action 6
Keep Playing? No
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Glory of Heracles is a DS RPG published by Nintendo and developed by Paon.  It attempts to harken back to the old school of RPGs, leaning toward the SNES era.

The playing of this game by me will discover whether this game achieves that goal, and if that goal is worthy.  Are SNES RPGs still relevant?  Have we moved on, or will the sense of nostalgia be enough to reel us in?

Glory of Heracles was actually a series of games in Japan published by Data East since 1987.  Nintendo acquired the rights when Data East went bankrupt in 2003.  This is the first game to make it to the west; apparently Nintendo is hoping to pull a Fire Emblem.

Minute by minute

(minutes are in bold)

00 - After an impressive anime cutscene with a glorious piece of music, I select New Game and the first half-hour of Glory of Heracles begins.  We get a brief introduction to a bunch of different characters as the credits play.  The graphics are cel-shaded, with an outline around the characters.  It's not bad, but not good either.

01 - There's a man in armor washed up on a beach, and a boy comes running by, being chased by a soldier.  The soldier thinks the man is dead, but after he leaves, the armored man stands up.  The stylus controls his movement, he walks really slowly.

02 - I'm walking on an overworld map, a la Final Fantasy on the SNES.  I walk to a gap in the mountains and enter an area.  The boy runs past again, chased by the soldier who calls him a thief for stealing his sword.

03 - The soldier calls the fleeing kid a girl, and he/she protests.  His/her name is Leucos.  The boy/girl runs into the man in armor (my character) and they both fall off a cliff.

04 - Luecos runs off, and the armored man wakes up and I resume control.  I walk over to a chest and get an herb.  I follow Leucos and see him (I guess) jump off another cliff.  When I get to the edge of the cliff, an icon appears which lets me jump off too. 

05 - Leucos thought I was dead after the first fall (how did he survive then?) and he thinks I'm dead again, which leads to Leucos thinking I'm a zombie.

06 - He (she?) asks me if I'm immortal and I can say yes or no.  I know from watching Ghostbusters to say yes.  Leucos says he's immortal too.  How nice.  He asks my name but he can't remember.  Oh good, the main character has amnesia.

Glory of Heracles Perthenon07 -  Leucos is journeying around the world to figure out why he's immortal.  He suggests that we travel together.  Some mumbo-jumbo about fate.  He gives me the sword he stole from the soldier, telling me it's his father's sword.  Leucos aknowledges the silent protagonist steroetype, saying it looks like he'll be doing all the talking.

08 - Now I get a tutorial telling me how to set up for battle.  The menu interface looks like an ancient shareware PC game, with ugly blue and yellow gradients accented with black and green.  This is not a good thing.

09 - The tutorial shows me how to equip my characters, then I enter battle.  The camera is really, really zoomed out.  Now we're reviewing the art of war.

10 - It shows me how to attack and all that junk.  I have to choose all my characters' actions at the beginning of each turn.

12 - Now I get to save.  Good.  Word to the wise: always save at your first chance. I open a chest and get a couple of herbs and a Toy Helm.  I put it on my main character, even though it says a full-grown warrior wouldn't be caught dead in it.

13 - I get in a random battle.  I. Hate. Random. Battles.  Leucos has an ability called Dispatch, so if the other character almost kills an enemy, Leucos will automatically finish it off.

14 - One problem with this battle system is, if you tell both characters to attack the same enemy, and the first character does enough damage to kill it, the second character still attacks it.  Beating a dead horse, if you will.  The only good thing is, you get magic points based on this Overkill.

15 - I'm fighting three plant enemies, and one spidery thing.  The trees are easy, but the spider is tough.  Even if an attack misses, it does a tiny bit of damage.

16 - The amnesiac armored guy (also known as ???) levels up.

Glory of Heracles Minotaur17 - In another chest I find a toy shield.  I give it to Leucos, even though the description says a barrel lid would be better.  Heh, when you enter battle it gives a piece of dramatic text.  This one says "Two enemies appeared out of nowhere!"

18 - My main guy is put to sleep by the plants, leaving Leucos to fight alone.  He regains HP while sleeping.  That's funny.  He levels up again at the end of the battle, even thought he slept through the whole thing.  He learns a technique that will protect him when he's near death.

19 - There's some kind of ether system that affects magic, but I can't figure out how it pertains to my magic points.

20 - I hate random battles.  They should not exist.  No, they should not.  I can't figure out where to o now, I'm walking around in circles in the woods.  Literally, I can see on the map that the path is a giant loop.

21 - There's an arrow on the map poniting to Doubtwood North, but I don't know how to get there.  This must be something like the Lost Woods.

Glory of Heracles Battle22 - I Overkill a monster with Leucos to regain some magic power.  It's really an interesting strategy, but I'm not sure if I like it.

23 - ??? levels up again.  That's the third level he's gained in just a few battles.  After I walk completely around the woods, some Nymphs appear to pay homage to the hero, calling him Heracles.  At least we have a name now (and confirmed my suspicions).

24 - They ask if I'm lost.  Of course I'm lost!  They offer to lead me out.  Leucos remarks that Heracles is a lot smaller than he thought he'd be, and the nymphs respond by sayingthey sense a herioc spirit inside Heracles, and a female spirit inside Leucos.  Just when I had settled on using male pronouns....

26 - We're in battle, the nymphs are fighting with me.  They each have a different type of spell, earth, wind and fire.

28 - Heracles, Leucos, and all the nymphs leveled up after the battle.  Now the nymps made some of the trees disappear so I could get through.  They said the path was a secret to everybody.  Seems the nymphs get their giggles by making people get lost in the woods.

30 - In the middle of a battle at the end of the half-hour.

Half Hour Summary

 Minutes to action: 6

Favorite Thing:  The Greek mythology spin is nifty.

Least Favorite Thing:  Sometimes old school does not mean cool.

Design:  The characters looked pretty good, but the environments were boring and the battles were so zoomed out you couldn't really see what was going on.  Sound was nominal, and the user interface was awful.  I was literally taken aback at how ugly it was.

Story:  Might be cool, but also seems cliched, with the amnesiac protagonist and all.

Fun:  It was not really that much fun.

Keep Playing:  No.  There are many other better games to play.

Other Thoughts:  RPGs were very popular on the Super NES, but that doesn't mean that the same style of game works today.  Random battles are bad!  Ugly menus are bad!  Cliched story could be forgivable if the rest of the game was good.

The idea of overkilling the enemies to gain magic points could lead to some interesting strategies, but I think it would have worked better in a tactical RPG or a game that was better.

In this case, half-an-hour was most assuredly enough to tell that I did not want to continue playing this game.  Not that it's a bad game (like some I've played), just that there are a lot of other games out there on which I could be spending my time.


Glory of Heracles Leucos