This story centres around two of the aforementioned legendary heroes - the grand monk Metacles and the super-strong Crux - and Rogue, who aspires to become a legendary. This trio is tasked with escorting the twin princesses to school, but unbeknownst to them, the road is full of evil monsters. This basic premise is enough to get the ball rolling, and the roguelike journey begins.
The main battle screen is made up of three horizontal laneways, with each hero occupying the lane as an onslaught of enemies make their way to the heroes. The gameplay is similar to the traditional Plants vs. Zombies titles in this regard. However, when a hero makes their attack, the game pauses and allows for one of the other two heroes to switch lanes with the offending hero. This is useful for taking down enemies with very large health or stamina bars, and allows for double- and triple-teaming. Heroes have a circular icon that allows them to attack once it is filled, so keeping an eye on these is key to placing well-timed attacks and combinations.
The lower half of the screen is occupied by the abilities and items sections, alongside the map. The map is where the main movement through the game takes place. Made up of a series of randomly generated nodes that represent a new screen, they can be made up of different areas or battles that lead to the end boss of the stage. The navigation through the dungeon-like levels feels more akin to Odin Sphere. Along the way, treasure chests can be opened to unlock new items or gear, while paying merchants can unlock new abilities for the heroes to incorporate into their arsenal.
Abilities are the biggest game changers, and learning some of the more valuable ones can greatly reduce the overall difficulty of completing the stages. Early on, Has-Been Heroes can be brutally tough to get through. However, as the heroes collect the souls of the slain enemies, they are absorbed into a sphere, which, upon reaching the quota, unlocks new abilities and items that are thrown into the randomly generated pool of options for the subsequent runs. This is a useful gameplay technique, which allows for constant progression, even though the heroes have to start from the beginning with each death.
To further change the gameplay, every time a run has successfully made it through to the end, a new hero is unlocked for future use in the following runs. These heroes add new dimensions to the trio of heroes, and allow for flexibility in changing strategies and the like to ensure that each run feels as unique to the previous ones. On top of this, new environments and stages are also unlocked, allowing new stages to add to the individualised adventures.
The main gripe is that the battles overall feel like a lot has to come down to chance to succeed. While it takes time mastering the craft of switching the heroes between lanes, and combining abilities and attacks to conquer the enemies, the tide of battle can quickly turn with an overabundance of enemies that overwhelm the heroes through no fault of their own. While learning to meticulously defeat the larger enemies can make the remaining battles easier, sometimes getting overwhelmed early on can easily bring about a quick end to the run, and no strategy could have avoided that situation.
The other issue arises when finding an ability or item, the game does not offer any sort of way to see what they do before picking them up. This creates all sorts of issues when trying to decide which hero should pick up said items or abilities, which is further amplified by the inability to switch the items or abilities between the heroes. Therefore, if Rogue needed the item that increases her stamina bar, there is no way of knowing which item would do it until it has been picked up, which is aggravating and nothing short of annoying.