Saturday, March 25

88 Heroes Review

    Year 1988, the evil alien Dr H8 wants eight octillions of dollars to the human government, and if they do not give it to him in 88 minutes, it will detonate eight rockets towards earth. It's a dangerous mission ... it's a shame that all the heroes are busy, so they send (by bus) a delegation of 88 useless, abstract, quirky and kamikaze heroes to save the day. This is the argument, and how you can appreciate there is no specific protagonist, in fact the alien is antagonist and protagonist at the same time, always present on screen surrounded by his minions.


    There are 88 levels to complete, before the 88-minute Judgment Counter reaches zero, we have at our disposal a template of 88 characters to overcome each phase in less than 88 seconds. Each hero is unique and his death too, because it is permanent. If all the characters die, is the end of the game, if they exhaust the 88 minutes also is the end of the game. Unlike other titles on 2D platforms, lives are limited and global time is too. It´s not at all advisable to die foolishly or to waste seconds, because they turn against us. The self-guard records all the deaths produced, the levels completed and the time spent, very useful to continue the game another day and avoid traps to keep the heroes about to die. It isn´t necessary to complete the 88 phases of the pull, it would be exhausting! But neither you can select them at will or start a new game in a certain world. It´s played from the first screen to the last, always in order and without failure, because otherwise everything will be lost and will have been in vain. The latter is relative, of course, because even if we can not defeat Dr H8 we always get something of benefit, such as perfecting the domain of each hero, memorizing the phases, their tricks, shortcuts and traps. Basically we train and improve. That is the essence of classic games.


    The 88 levels, are divided into four thematic worlds: the office, the sewers, the volcano and the space station, with their own traps, enemies and rules. For example, in the sewers, you have to pick up a key, to open the exit door. Enemies are really absurd, from robots, vacuum cleaners, psychedelic skulls, kamikaze cats, terrorist ducks, ghosts to fire-throwing frogs. The greatest enemy is obviously Dr H8, who will attack us directly at the end of each world and to be defeated with ingenuity and skill.
    It´s essential that the physics are precise and consistent, because they are the sustenance of the gameplay. You have to play with care and with head, because each element has its properties and its operation. Be it decoration, floor, wall, enemies or traps, it´s destructible, just as each character has its speed, ability to jump and own control. Sometimes it´s size and speed are inconvenient. That is why it is important to take a previous look at the map before moving forward to avoid surprises. The controls are precise but still there are bugs punctual as the character's gait stops momentarily. An error that can be fatal at certain times.

    Graphics & Design

    As you can see, the color is essential. The characters, enemies and scenarios have a retro and carefully cared for detail, without that rough air that other indies have. Every gesture and face is appreciated, its movements are fluid and natural. The aesthetics is 16bits but has pixelart dyes in some characters, enemies, objects or destruction, because when someone dies or breaks the pixels jump happily across the screen. The set is very cheerful, like a cartoon series from the 90s. Both the design of Dr H8 and the 88 heroes is fun, original and endearing. It´s not uncommon to recognize the numerous references and parodies. In fact the game is a great tribute to video games in itself.


    Bitmap Bureau has again demonstrated that it has a good hand to create challenging and comic games after its successful Super House of Dead Ninjas. It has they own style and gets you to want a second part of 88 Heroes, or a TV series, or a comics, or whatever, because the entire universe of the game, has a lot of potential.


    Post a Comment

    Please be respectful and no spam.