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Heroes of Ruin gives you the option of selecting one of four separate heroes that will undertake the quest to save their nation’s ruler, Ataraxis, from a fatal curse. While you will only choose one character, you can quest online in an ad-hoc mode which will allow you to play with 3 other players. This comes in quite handy, since the loot system can drop gear for every class, allowing you to trade gear with people that can actually use it. Heroes of Ruin also utilizes something similar to an auction house, which uses the SpotPass to work. The game also supports drop-in/drop-out play and a very smooth voice chat feature that is quite pleasing for a portable title, in fact I was actually caught off guard at how well it worked.
Features aside, the gameplay of Heroes of Ruin allows the game to actually stand out. That’s not to say it’s a flawless pinnacle of what a 3DS game should be, but it is pretty damn close. While adventuring in Heroes of Ruin, you will find yourself fleshing out your character’s skill tree. When you first start, there doesn’t seem to be many options available to customize your character but after a handful of levels, you will really have to start weighing out the pros and cons to exactly what your character should choose next on their skill tree. Admittedly, I made a few mistakes, which made a few areas of the game slightly more difficult than it should have been. Without a way to refund your skill points, making the right choices early can really make things move much more smoothly down the road.
The game’s biggest issue is in the weak graphics that it has, resembling something that looks more like an early era Gamecube game. This was actually rather surprising since I have seen some very impressive graphics on the 3DS already. Everything seems to feel chunky and painted on, while textures aren’t as sharp and lack true definition. Don’t despair though, although the game’s graphics are it’s biggest flaw, every single bit of the actual gameplay compensates for it.
At a gameplay level, Heroes of Ruin plays out like your typical action RPG. You have skills which use your mana/stamina/rage etc, which are mapped to the face buttons. You adventure around different dungeons, dispatching your foes and picking up any useful loot that they drop. Most fights are actually par for the course but the occasional rare monster will really throw a curveball at you. I was tearing through an early dungeon, only to run into a rare enemy that 3 shot me since I was being overconfident. The wheel isn’t invented in this game, yet it is an absolutely enjoyable take on a genre that is normally reserved for the PC.
With that being said, I enjoyed Heroes of Ruin. It isn’t the best game that is available for the 3DS but it is certainly a solid pickup that’s performance is well above average. If you have an itch for a Diablo-esque game while you are waiting for the release of Torchlight 2, you really should take a look at Heroes of Ruin.
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- Balanced gameplay with enjoyable mechanics
- Multiplayer is even more enjoyable
- Quite a bit to do and to explore
- Graphics felt quite chunky
- Making a poor decision when leveling can be very frustrating