Sometimes, there are fantastic games that surprise us, not so much because of their quality (but also), but because they arrive without warning and turn out to be a very original experience. An example of this, of course, is the title we bring you today; one that had been launched long ago in Japanese territory (with the name of Work x Work ) and that, although in the beginning there were no indications that it was going to reach our lands, it has ended up doing as who does not want the thing.
Being developed by FuRyu (known for creating The Caligula Effect: Overdose or The Alliance Alive, among many other renowned role-playing games within the genre niche) and being published in the West by Marvelous Games (whom you will know, for example, by the franchise of Senran Kagura or that of Rune Factory), the game we are referring to, despite having passed over the radar of many people, has a set of names behind certainly remarkable that has forced us to tell you about it in depth.
That”s right, this time we want to talk about Heroland, a small title that, of course, hides behind it much more than it seems. Why do we tell you this? Do we create a good game? On the other hand, does it deserve your time? Join us once again so we can answer these and many more questions!
Touch how cute!
The narrative of the game that concerns us is very special for several reasons, being one of the most outstanding that comes from the pen of Nobuyuki Inoue and Nobuhiro Imagawa , whom many will know for having been strongly involved in the work of worship that is Mother 3 . So what exactly is Heroland about?
To start, we must clarify something: in principle, we are not the hero of this story, but we have to make other people feel that they are. Starting from that base we dive into the world of Heroland , an amusement park of the most picturesque (and that hides more than a secret) in which our unfortunate protagonist, nicknamed Lucky , goes in search of employment to try to cope with his precarious situation and put bread in your mouth at the end of the month.
Of course, the life of the currante is not easy , and working side by side with the other employees of the park (ranging from bossy bosses to the poor monsters that inhabit the dungeons) we will have to deal with many things; Working piecework, guiding visitors along dangerous paths, and, above all, dealing with clients the sea of annoying and picturesque , among which we would highlight a little prince who comes to Heroland to prove his worth in order to climb positions in the line of succession of its domains, where it occupies the eighteenth position to ascend to the throne.
Yes, all those who visit Heroland come to the place because they are looking for something to aspire to; even our protagonist. However, the development of the characters that make up the adventure (as well as the serious moments) are quite punctual because, above all, the narrative of the title focuses on comedy , which is extremely well accomplished and is dressed in a strong social criticism of many labor situations, and even socio-economic systems that are very present in contemporary times.
With fun references to popular culture of the most diverse (from Evangelion to the furries) that even dare to break the fourth wall (there are few jokes that refer to our character can only speak through different response boxes to choose, among many other things), all thanks to a more than excellent location (in English, of course), the cast and script of Heroland are the strongest point of the title without a doubt, with conversations that have made us release more than a laugh and that have driven us to continue with a game that, despite having great positive aspects such as the one mentioned above, is also frustrated by other shadows that ballast the experience a bit and that we will describe in the next section.
The gameplay that Heroland presents to us could be described as such as a two-sided coin , since although it is tremendously original , it does not hold much the type and it ends up being certainly tedious after taking a few hours in the adventure. Then, you will ask yourself after we tell you this, how exactly is the challenge hidden in the title? Good…
Remember how we told you before that in this game we are not the hero, but a mere employee? Well, the mechanics we find support that same principle. Certainly, to advance our adventure, what we will do is guide our clients (which, in addition to having our own hero and friendship levels as well as weapons that we can assign them, we can choose to our liking to create good combinations , although this This is not always the case because for many missions we will have to have certain members in our team compulsorily due to narrative issues) through different dungeons, which are actually tableros with event boxes (where comedic conversations and situations will happen) and battles (with their respective boss and consequent loot), where we will not act directly, but will command our clients , the hero aspirants, dictating what to do each some time.
Without a doubt, the fact of not being part of the action and simply being a mere director of punctual orchestra is innovative , however, throughout the large number of hours that the game lasts, it is certainly something that becomes a bit Tedious in the long run . However, you may ask, yes, our function is to support and direct, but how exactly?
To begin, we will have a support bar , which, when full, we can use to execute an action, which will go from giving one order to one of our clients (such as recommending that you protect yourself, or use a special skill), going through using objects that are useful such as potions of life to get the group out of a bind and ending up raising flags of different colors that will mark the strategy to be followed by everyone (one green to tell them to do what they want, one yellow to prioritize the defense, one blue so that they do not spend skill points and use only normal attacks, one red to use skills to butt, a black one so that they concentrate on a specific enemy and a white one, of course, to give up and whistle). Thus, all the battles of the game will be developed along these general lines, and the speed of the situation may be increased slightly so that the automatic movements are not too heavy.
That way, our ultimate goal in the game will be nothing other than getting customers, our heroes, satisfied at the end of each dungeon, either because they feel they have done a good job as we have given them objects left by the supposed enemies. (Remember, also park workers) to be defeated. After all, our purpose is to be paid to survive (why do we get to the island if not?), and the happier they are, the more salary we will get. This is how things work.
When the geniuses come together
If we have to describe the project that is Heroland from an artistic perspective , without a doubt it is a title that we could define as a conjunction of artists , not only because of the presence of the teachers Nobuhiro Imagawa and Nobuyuki Inoue (also responsible for the section visual of the title, which, as you will have noticed, superimposes three-dimensional designs with the classic sprites so full of personality to which we are accustomed), but by the fact that it also has in its talent portfolio with Takahiro Yamane as director (known for having worked in the acclaimed Fantasy Life ) and with Tsukasa Masuko, one of the most famous composers in the history of the video game, known primarily for bringing to life the music of numerous installments of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise .
Before finishing this section, we want to make a brief paragraph to talk about the technical section of the title, which, as expected, is quite acceptable and has not given us any mishaps during the adventure. On the other hand, in terms of dubbing, note that the game does not have any, and that is that the characters speak with the typical voice worthy of our favorite neighbors of Animal Crossing and other titles like that, something that helps to enhance that tone Comedian present in a perennial way.
Returning to the above, yes, as unlikely as it may seem in a title like this, the composer of many of the most famous Megaten marks the sound section of the adventure with one of his most varied works to date, which, from a personal perspective (and as odd as it sounds in the first instance), it has strongly reminded us of other titles of a rather different cut such as the music we found in Yo-Kai Watch. Don”t you believe us we leave you with a trailer where you can listen to a title song so you can judge for yourself!
There is no doubt that with Heroland we are facing a game as special as its one of its kind. Its history is fun, its characters are full of charisma and its location in English is more than exquisite, as well as full of all kinds of references that those who enjoy this type of titles will capture. However, its gameplay, although original, ends up getting tired sooner rather than later, even causing some impotence on rare occasions. That way, if you don”t have good control of English and don”t have acidic comic stories, we can”t recommend this title.
However, if you have enough language level, you like the strategy and conjugate with the target audience offered by the game, Heroland is a worthy and lasting experience that will help you kill a lot of your free time. Also, what can we tell you, listening to the music of Master Tsukasa Masuko is always a joy!
That way, after all that has been said, there is only one more question to answer, are you going to send your resume to Heroland and work as a piece while you meet crazy characters and live crazy adventures? The final answer is only yours!
Heroland will go on sale next January 31 both in digital format through the eShop of Nintendo Switch and in physical format at a price of € 39.99 , with a duration that exceeds 40 hours , with texts in a perfect English and occupying a total space of 658 MB.
Finally, if you want to take a look at what the physical version of the title contains, we leave you with a video provided by Marvelous Games so you can watch it for yourself:
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