Hero must die. Again Review

Hero Must Die. again is a remastering of the 2007 title, Hero Must Die, an anti-RPG in which you are granted five days to tie up the loose ends left behind after a hero gives his life to destroy a great evil. The opening scene of the game depicts your hero, who you grant a name, and a benevolent angel who prompts you to remember the last moments of your life: you and your party storm the Demon Lord Guille’s castle, but upon reaching the entrance to the throne room, you’re told to come in alone lest you never see the love of your life ever again. Cue fight scene, after which it’s revealed that you’ve defeated the Demon Lord at the cost of your own life. Because of this great feat, God has granted you five more days to finish anything left unaccomplished in your life, though with each passing day you will grow weaker and weaker. And here at the end is where your story begins.
This opening scene versus the ultimate baddie acts as a combat tutorial for what is rather, vanilla turn-based combat. Your hero only has a handful of skills and this already small pool diminishes as time passes in game. The ultimate spell you use to defeat the Demon Lord is still available for an absurd amount of time, considering the steadily weakening hero premise, and as such combat becomes a joke. There are a good variety of monster types, all of which can be one or two-shot by this AOE spell that only costs a tiny bit of mana. And even if you run low, you can buy items to replenish it using the 999,999 gold with which you start out–a sum that is difficult to exhaust without actively trying to do so.

Hero Must Die. again’s world is broken into a series of nodes, each of which can be explored. Movement is limited to left or right rather than omnidirectional, and areas are broken into interconnected “rooms”, like a metroidvania. Within them, you’ll find NPCs, monsters, and treasure chests as well as various interactive spots where you can fish or use a special item. Most NPCs don’t have anything interesting to say and many of them reuse the same character model, but the ones who do are unique in appearance and will have a quest for you. Completing quests for particular individuals nets you a new party member, making them worthwhile to seek out.
Your hero’s primary goal is to find his lost love–a woman about whom he isn’t able to remember a single detail for one reason or another. Whether or not he finds her is entirely up to you. There are plenty of other people who want the help of a hero (which is incredibly selfish considering everyone is aware that said hero has only five days to live) and taking on quests means racing against the clock. Quests can be quick, requiring only that you buy an object and bring it to the quest giver or it can be a multi-step affair that requires you fight a particular enemy and travel halfway across the map.

Whenever you execute commands, a fixed amount of time will automatically pass. Several hours pass when moving from node to node and sometimes you have the option to travel via a cart, which saves time but will cost money. Your hero will forget skills as time passes, as mentioned, and he will also grow tired. This, to me, was one of the worst aspects of the game as it squandered your already limited amount of time by requiring you to rest. Resting resets your status back to “normal” and it took a chunk of time despite the fact that the change in status was a minor annoyance that didn’t really seem to have a rhyme or reason–much like the constant reminder that my armour and weapon felt heavy. These reminders were supposed to serve as a way to show my hero was steadily weakening, but I was never unable to use that equipment, nor did my combat capabilities significantly diminish beyond forgetting skills. This could have been done so much better, whether that meant dealing significantly less damage so that fights weren’t a joke or making it so that equipment and other “end game” aspects are no longer available to you.
Not every single task can be achieved in a single playthrough, meaning you’ll need to strategize how to best manage your limited time and which quests you’ll take on this run. This makes it so that you need to play through multiple times in order to finish everything. Assuming you’re willing to play through again. There’s nothing particularly memorable about Hero Must Die. again’s story as it leans on a lot of RPG tropes and the ending comes far too quickly. What you accomplish during your playthrough(s) determines the size of your funeral attendance in the closing scene, which serves as kind of a quantifiable way to see how much you’ve accomplished. Actions taken during one playthrough will carry over to the next.
Hero Must Die. again’s music isn’t anything to write home about. The graphics also aren’t the best, resembling the sort of higher end fidelity seen in phone apps rather than consoles. Gameplay also isn’t fantastic, making this an overall average experience.

.Bottom Line.

With a poorly defined exhibition of growing weakness and a rushed sense of time passage, Hero Must Die. again fails to deliver an adventure worth  playing through multiple times. Hero Must Die. again is an unremarkable (anti) RPG and the asking price is unreasonable considering the smattering of better titles for less available on the PS4. Get it on a sale or skip it entirely.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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Hero must die. Again Review
  • Gameplay - 5/10
    5/10
  • Graphics - 5/10
    5/10
  • Sound - 6/10
    6/10
  • Replay Value - 4/10
    4/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)
Overall
5/10

Summary

“Today is Monday. At the same time on Saturday Morning, I will come for you again. Spend the five days you have wisely.” Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

Pros

  • Interesting concept.
  • Monster designs varied.
  • Strategy required in order to get everything done across playthroughs.

Cons

  • The game crashed the first time I played.
  • Weakening of character poorly executed.
  • Poor pacing
  • Replayability leans heavily on willingness to wade through all the same text and bum rush finishing quests.