8-Bit Hero Review
Dungeon crawlers have been around since the dawn of man. Ok, maybe they haven’t been around that long, but they have been around for a long time now. You probably know the drill by now too. Grab a sword, enter a dungeon, and beat up some enemies! Most of these games don’t have too much going on story wise, but if the gameplay is solid, we don’t care. 8-Bit Hero is a new dungeon crawler for the Wii U eshop. Is its gameplay solid or should we exit this dungeon now?
As I mentioned before, dungeon crawlers are not known for their stellar stories. 8-Bit Hero definitely follows in the tradition of most dungeon crawlers: the story just isn’t that good. There are some cut scenes that try to have a story, but honestly, I have no idea what was going on in this game. The cutscenes just got in the way of the gameplay. Speaking of which, since the story isn’t very good, does that mean that the gameplay saves the day? Well…
8-Bit Hero harkens back to old school dungeon crawler games were you are only given so many lives and the enemies are super tough. Then there’s 8-Bit Hero’s combat, which is pretty basic and boring! You press one button for using your sword and assign other items to other buttons as you get the them. I also found the game’s difficulty to be pretty punishing and didn’t like how far back you’d have to go when losing a life. Losing all your lives means having to repeat a level completely over. You can buy a lot of lives from the game’s store at the world map, but I never found that I had enough lives. The only good thing here is that once you beat a level, the game saves and you can move onto the next level. 8-Bit Hero is a super frustrating game, but thankfully the game’s controls are not frustrating too.
Because 8-Bit Hero’s combat is so basic, its controls are also simple and easy to pick up. The character you control does move a bit sluggish via analog control, but otherwise, things work fine. You can play with more than one person at a time in this game and I had a chance to try that out. The two-player mode in this game works good and because the game is so difficult, you may want to ask another person for help. You can play with up to four players, but I didn’t get to experiance that (perhaps the game would be even better with four people). In my play experience, we used the Wii remote as the secondary controller. Walking around with the D-pad feels slightly better, too bad that option isn’t available via the gamepad. The controls on the Wii remote are simple and work well too. The Two-player mode is neat and I’m sure some people will like it a lot. Its too bad the game doesn’t make use of the Wii U gamepad much.
8-Bit Hero has Off-TV play if you’re playing alone, but you have to go into the menu to switch screens and I found that annoying. The gamepad screen is completely black when playing via the TV or playing multiplayer. It’s a shame that the touch screen couldn’t have been used for the game’s inventory, maybe a map for the level you’re in, or just off-tv all the time. 8-Bit Hero, as a whole, is a pretty basic game. Probably the best thing about it is its graphics.
8-Bit Hero has pretty good graphics. It has a unique cardboard look to its characters and environments. The world map you start at looks like a pop-up book and I thought that was pretty cool. 8-Bit Hero basically has the look of an 8-bit game without being an actual 8-bit game.
The game’s soundtrack ranges from good to annoying. The music is chiptune like so I suppose how much you like the music depends on how much you like retro music. I thought some of it was good and some of it wasn’t. I also thought that the sound effects were just ok.
8-Bit Hero isn’t the worst dungeon crawler I’ve ever played, but its not a great one either. The gameplay here is too basic (with no real Wii U features in sight other than off-tv play) and the story doesn’t give you any reason to keep going. Some people will like the challenge that the game offers and will dig the multiplayer mode, but most people will want to avoid this game. I think it’s a real shame too because the game has very nice graphics and good pick up and play controls. I would recommend this game to hardcore dungeon crawler fans only. 8-Bit Hero is a neat game that could have been so much better.
Thanks to Sean Garland for providing us with a review copy of 8-Bit Hero. The game is available now on the Wii U eshop.
- Very good graphics
- Good controls
- Nice Multiplayer mode
- Off-TV Mode
- Poor Story
- Gameplay is Too Basic
- Lack of Wii U features
- Soundtrack is a Mixed Bag