Has-Been Heroes (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Adam Riley 26.01.2017

Review for Has-Been Heroes on Nintendo Switch

The Trine series of adventure games from Frozenbyte has been universally acclaimed by fans and critics alike, but rather than just rehash those for Nintendo's new system, Switch is instead getting a brand new experience in the form of Has-Been Heroes. Following on from some slight confusion after Nintendo's Japanese Press Conference where some thought that Suda51 announcing Travis Touchdown's return meant Has-Been Heroes might actually be a renamed No More Heroes 3, this has now been revealed as a strategy-style affair featuring lots of over-the-hill, former heroes, ready for one last hurrah. Cubed3 went hands-on at the recent Nintendo Switch Premiere event to find out more.

At first it did not really look like much was on offer in Has-Been Heroes, with three characters on the left side of the screen (warrior, monk, rogue), slowly moving forwards along their own lane, battling in real-time against hordes of enemies, one by one - real-time until the action was paused, that is, to figure out the best plan of attack. It was all very slow, frustrating, and downright confusing, dying regularly due to the controls being too obtuse. The booth attendant insisted that perseverance was required and that it would click eventually and, thankfully, that was indeed the case. However, even then, the action was somewhat mundane.

Screenshot for Has-Been Heroes on Nintendo Switch

The idea is that different allies have varying levels of defence and offence, with the aim to pit the correct level of hero against foe and eventually progress to the end of a stage. This is done by attacking along a horizontal path and then switching other characters into the gap left behind as one dashes forwards to strike a blow, continuing the attack-swap-wait trio of manoeuvres repeatedly ad nauseam. Throw in some magical spells that replenish over time after use, and beating the weaker skeletal enemies was suddenly not so hard once the pattern of team-attacks had been figured out. Nothing was particularly addictive, though, and not even remotely intriguing, with it quickly turning into a melee of button presses in the hope of defeating the incoming monsters as fast as possible. It all ended up being a pretty-but-boring experience on the whole, with smatterings of frustration here and there. Perhaps the final game will draw people in with its story, but it just seems to be a case of "protect two sisters" by carrying out the same thing repeatedly. There could be a hidden gem in here, but it certainly was not visible in this short demo version.

Screenshot for Has-Been Heroes on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

No matter how well presented the game was, or how intriguing the premise seemed to be, sadly the gameplay element of Has-Been Heroes, from the short hands-on at least, is too slow-paced, repetitive, and not particularly satisfying, even after persevering through the initially frustrating controls. Once it all clicks, it does improve, but then becomes a case of keep pressing the magic attack buttons and regularly switching characters between lanes as quickly as possible in order to attack or simply be killed and start over again. Maybe there is more depth later into the game, but so far it looks shallow and uninteresting. Perhaps a port of the Trine games would have indeed been a better idea after all…




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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


I'm intrigued to hear the thoughts of roguelike fans to see if I was missing the point. I wanted to enjoy it, but the demo just seemed too repetitive without much point to it all. I'm hoping to be proven wrong by the final release.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses


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