Neo, a jester and a redneck. Yes that is random, but are all really heroes?
Random Heroes is an action platformer with focus on killing enemies before they do you harm. There are a couple of challenging jumps found across the 30 levels, but not even close to those found in League of Evil 1 and 2. Those looking for the next great platformer, or speedrun experience can look away now. Actually I found this to be really disappointing, as there is nothing to go back to. No timer to beat, and no bonus items to find. Given how great Ravenous Games were at getting me to come back for more in League of Evil it is a surprisingly shallow experience playing Random Heroes.
For an action platformer it also features some of the least clever foes I have seen lately. Most just run back, and forth on the same platform until I have killed them. Others shoot if I am too close, and come from the right direction. Otherwise they just amble away from me, as I blast them in the back. The enemy that offers the most resistance is also the one I found most annoying. A kind of trap door enemy that draws at you, and you can blast it once before it folds down again. Repeat until one of you is dead. Other challenging foes are the drones chasing you down, and you have to find a good spot to take them down. All in all there is a minimal amount of AI in this game.
There are three boss battles in the game acting as ends to the three worlds available. I found them all to be pushovers, and quite frankly I was disappointed. Given how many levels of the same jumping, shooting and backtracking I had done between bosses I expected something more. Without spoiling too much I can just say that the first boss for example can be taken down with the stock pistol without taking any damage.
The level design is a bit samey, and after beating every single level I can’t say that any stood out at all. Every level features a couple of moving platforms, a bunch of ladders and a whole lot of enemies. If you take a path to the left you might find some extra money, and a health pack or two. To the far right the door exiting the level can be found. Once this basic level design is learnt it is a breeze to run through most levels without much hassle.
The controls are good, and as the game doesn’t demand better than good it works well. Had this been a quicker, or more challenging game I would have had to clobber the controls for not being that sensitive, or precise. For now it is ok having a large area of the screen being interpreted, as the button I am tapping. Not nailing every jump plus shoot attack is also ok since the enemies don’t adjust anyway, and allows me to line up another attack.
The money you find in the game can be used to buy new costumes giving better health, agility and damage stats. More vital to succeed is to buy new guns, and I could beat the entire game getting the best guns, and costumes without using IAP. Of course this means that I had to find good spots to grind for cash, but after that I ran through the entire game from start to end in less than two hours. Now there is no real reason to replay it besides beating a couple of more Game Center achievements.
The presentation is not far from that found in League of Evil, and being soft for retro done good I like it. Enemies look menacing even though they aren’t. There is a good variety of monsters, and even though there isn’t any clear storyline I feel inclined to kill them all. Strangely enough the game feels quite different to play depending on the costume you wear. There are some slight stat alterations, but most of the difference is in how the costume fits in depending on my experiences. Playing with a redneck trucker outfit gave me a definite bayou is getting attacked feel, whereas using Neo took me to the Matrix.
I am a big fan of the chiptune soundtrack, but at the same time taken aback at the weakness of the sound effects. It would have been cool to have more power to them than the bleepy weapon sounds available.
Random Heroes is a nice distraction for a couple of hours, but it lacks any lasting appeal. The limited amount of repetitive levels paired with pushover enemies, and bosses means that most average games can beat it within three hours. For those with a hardcore itch to scratch there is nothing here to find, no speedruns and no impossible jumps.
Random Heroes $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Derek Doucett / Ravenous Games Inc.