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Review: Class of Heroes 2

Jul 25 // Brad Rice
[embed]29172:2661:0[/embed] Class of Heroes 2Developed by: AcquirePublished by: MonkeyPaw Games and GaijinWorksRelease Date: June 4, 2013MSRP: $24.99 What better school to go to than one where you get to study the fine art of being a hero? At Crostini Academy, that's exactly what you do: work your way up through school by battling monsters, saving damsels in distress, and running all the mindless quests for teachers that you could imagine! As an intrepid group of students at Crostini, you can pick up tasks at the Library's bulletin board, where teachers and students can request work for a hero (such as yourself) to do for them. This serves as the main form of interaction and plot development throughout the game. The quests will range in the requirements, but fall under familiar categories: fetch quests, boss battles, item deliveries, and collecting dropped items. There are others as well, but these are some of the more common tasks. I'll admit early on that I haven't completed the game -- I've logged 40 hours in the game, but it's still just a drop in the bucket compared to getting 100% completion. One of the main reasons for this is that despite a majority of the quests being easy or simple to complete, there are always battles that prove to be major roadblocks unless you've leveled up quite a bit. So, I grind. A lot. Perhaps to an excessive level. But that behavior becomes addicting, as quests will frequently drag you into dungeons that provide serious challenges. Several academies make up a network of schools that serve as landing spots and provide you with quests, a place to rest and recover, and robust shops. If you're into the whole "alchemy" game mechanic -- combining raw items to make gear -- then the schools provide that as well. In between the schools are dungeons and towns. The towns provide small areas of relief, providing an inn to recover at and a shop to buy items in, but little else. The dungeons, meanwhile, are where you spend the bulk of your time. They are square-based maps with random encounters, traps, and treasure. Combat in the dungeon has your party split into two rows of three: fighters up front and long-range fighters and spellcasters in the back. From there? It's turn-based combat. It takes a lot of trial and error to get your party right, but it's worth investing the energy early on into building the right players. The game hands you a variety of races, balanced towards fighters, spellcasters, or right in the middle. Adjust their abilities slightly, and pick their classes. It allows you to gear the party closer towards your fighting style, and have characters that you're slightly more invested in because you created them. Depending on who you are, this is either a big plus or a real roadblock: the game doesn't hold your hand going into it. You are essentially thrown into the game with the expectation that you've either already played Class of Heroes or read through the instruction manual. I did neither, and it took me a few days to realize that Gaijinworks had extensive paperwork on their website. It makes the adventures much less maddening, and turns it into an easily addictive romp. My biggest criticism of the game sits with the plot, because many of the scenes we see throughout the more casual encounters feel like throwaways. The weakling turns to the badass teacher to try and win their respect. The little guy tries all the get-heroic-quick schemes. The evil girl always getting in your way is easily flustered and a push-over. A lot of it falls into familiar tropes, and while the translation of it all is good, it's not enough to keep me reading every line. The more central plot is well-written, and it's clear when that stuff is coming up, but I don't feel as though the plot is something to really attach yourself to with this. The visuals are surprisingly good, coming from a game that originally debuted in 2009. The character drawings are just fine, owing a lot to the fact that that all the battles and cutscenes are done with still images rather than animated sprites or character models. The music is pleasant but far from memorable, and puts you in the right mood for the game. When I sit down to play, I found the hours go by pretty quick. And by the time my battery dies on the Vita? Then it's a real struggle to just set it down, and not pull out the plug and keep playing for JUST another hour or three. The gameplay is great and it makes for the perfect game to while away the hours, but don't expect this to be more than a popcorn game: lots of fun and plenty delicious, but it doesn't carry any real nutrition. If you've got a Vita, and are big into RPGs, then Class of Heroes 2 is a good way to fill a void between big-named titles. You can always put it down and pick it up again in a flash. 6 -- Alright (6s may be slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy them a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.)   
Review: Class of Heroes 2 photo
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