Published on November 26th, 2013 | by Kristian Ivanov2
Hello Hero Review
This game is a rather interesting experience. Every once in a while, we all want a simple and mindless game which takes just a couple of minutes and doesn’t require much thinking or attention. A while back SquareEnix tried to bring us a simple game by the name of Final Fantasy: All the Bravest…which failed to offer anything worthwhile. Many months later, I came across Hello Hero. My first thoughts was that it was going to be the same as SquareEnix’s game, except with some social features…but turns out, I was wrong…so wrong.
Before I proceed, I just want to get this out of the way….this is by no means a complex or strategic game. The battle system is pretty much automatic and the only thing you can do is tip the scales in your favor using the characters’ skill set…the rest depends on your party members, their level and equipment.
Your party can consist of up to five heroes. When you start, three of them are pretty much given to you by default, and you’ll have to complete a couple of missions to get more. At the end of each stage, you have a chance to get either some gold, an item (equipment) or a hero. The type of hero in particular is linked to the zone you’re currently playing in. In the Red Mushroom Forest, you’ll be encountering plant heroes and enemies, while in the Sweet Cookie Farm, it’ll be mostly parties…and the occasional cat and mouse. Each hero you obtain comes with a variety of qualities. Most importantly, the hero class: Dealer – strong attack; Tank – high defense; Healer – support; Hybrid – versatile (can take on any role). This is useful to know since you can position each party member in a certain place in your ranks, so you’ll obviously want the characters that can take a beating in the front and the supporting ones on the back. Other things you’ll want to keep an eye on are the character’s skills – each can have up to two, but surprisingly the skill variety is not as big as I hoped. They consist of the standard “slightly more damage” or “minor stat increase”. While I have seen some enemies with more interesting skills, I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of trying out anything cool myself due to low-tier character drops. The last thing you’ll have to pay attention to is the character’s actual stats – attack damage, defense, health and dexterity. Those pretty much determine which character is better for each task…but unlike the skill set, these can be altered in one of two ways:
- Upgrade – each character you obtain can be upgraded up to five times by sacrificing other characters you own. Upgrades give you a +10% to each of your character’s stats. There is always a risk to fail, but here they made a really cool system where if you fail, you get upgrade points, which when stacked up, give you a 100% upgrade success chance one time on that specific hero.
- Items – each of your characters can carry two items (armor and weapon). These can vary between basic gear, to legendary relics of great power (no seriously, I have a weapon that gives a bigger attack bonus than what the hero does on his own!).
That’s all there is to know about the actual characters. Now back to the stages. As far as I can tell there are eight “worlds”, each with eleven stages: six regular levels, three mid-boss levels, one final boss and one that’s always locked (until you beat all worlds I suppose?). It’s a straight line when it comes to progressing – beat one stage – move to the next. There are no branching paths…but you can repeat any stage you already beaten (to farm characters or items). Getting bored of the same thing? Well, try one of the other modes! The game comes with a whole bunch of them:
- Boss raid – help everyone else in the server take down a huge boss to win some fancy rewards.
- Dungeon – a single stage, which resembles the mid-stage bosses in the regular mode. As far as I can tell it has better rewards (but it’s also harder).
- Arena – challenge other people’s parties (AI controlled I believe) to win honor points. The party you fight is randomly selected, though I personally keep running into really weak ones.
- PvP – challenge another player. Same as the arena mode but the other player actually controls his/her party, which would make it much more challenging.
- Time attack – I haven’t unlocked this mode yet, but I’ll assume it’s a timed challenge and the further you get, the better ward you get (my speculation).
There are also “quests” in the game, but they’re pretty much on the same level as Eternity Warriors 2 – “defeat X number of monsters”, “perform X number of upgrades”, “lose in the arena X number of times” etc., which will grant you some extra currency to buy more cool stuff later. For a game as simple and casual as this one, I have to say, it offers a pretty nice variety of things to keep you busy.
This is easily the game’s highlight. Everything in this game just throws creativity right in your face (except the menu, but I’ll get to that later). The character design is on-part and arguably better than what you’re seeing from SquareEnix’s portable titles lately. Just the amount creatures and overall difference in themes is impressive…and as far as I can tell, it’s their first game (or at least I couldn’t find any others they made)…that’s quite the achievement. The level design is ok for the most part. It’s just a straight line your heroes go through, but the backgrounds are pretty neat looking and the worlds themselves are nice and colorful, which to me is always a plus. When it comes to the graphics themselves, don’t expect any HD with particle effects and amazing detail…it’s just “good enough” to please the eye but far from being a GPU assassin. On a 4.3” screen like the one I use, even when you zoom in the camera, the game still looks good enough.
The music is probably the only real downside to the game’s presentation. There seem to be two tracks playing through the game (one for the menu and one for battles). They’re ok tracks, but some variety for the different worlds or different game modes would’ve been appreciated.
One thing I need to say though – the menu caught me off-guard. At first sight, it seemed pretty confusing to figure out what’s the main focus of the game and it took me about 30 or so minutes to actually figure out what everything is and how it works.
This is a free to play game…so as you might expect – IAPs are a thing. Here is where I expected the game to completely disappoint me. As soon as I saw that there are three currencies (gold, honor and gems), I remembered all the other games of this type and I thought after a few levels I would be stuck…but then I saw something really interesting.
In the options menu, there was a check-box labeled “disable in-app purchases”. I very rarely spend money on free-to-play games, so I thought I should just mark it to avoid any nag-screens. Later as I kept playing, I noticed how the game actually didn’t require IAPs at all. I’m well over half-way through the main missions and so far I haven’t encountered anything that required many hours of grinding, or spending real money…in fact, the game is quite generous with the currencies – if you’re running low on something, you can spend 15-30 minutes and stock up enough for nearly anything! The IAP items themselves are just the gems, which can be used to later exchange for other things, or buy random characters and items. Price varies depending on how much you buy: 30 gems (equal to one rare/legend character) – $2.99, 110 gems – $9.99, 1500 gems – $99.99. Also occasionally there seem to be special offers, like “buy X or more gems and get free hero or item”.
I have no idea who it was in Fincon that handled the monetization and balancing, but that person deserves some credit for one of the best handled IAP systems in a free-to-play game I’ve seen…and if this really is their first game, they made quite an entrance in the game industry in my eyes.
It’s really hard to conclude on this one…if you take it as an RPG or dungeon crawler, it’s an incredibly shallow game. Obviously it’s not meant to compete with games like Dungeon Hunter or Zenonia…but if you take it as a casual or collectable game (pokemon’ish?), it’s actually pretty great if you ask me.
There are a lot of game modes to fit your needs, you can play with friends, art design is fantastic…music is a downside, but stages are short so you won’t notice it that much…it’s a free to play, fun casual game and you should definitely give it a try. That’s all I have to say.
Summary: A pretty good casual game, standing out with very creative art design and fun gameplay.