Unruly-Heroes-Review Unruly Heroes Review

   28/01/2019 at 18:36       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - PS4, Xbox One, Action, PC, Switch

Review By Ashley Fiddes.

 

Unruly Heroes is a 2D puzzle platformer developed by Magic Design Studio.  The story, not that there is much of one, is based loosely on the Chinese Novel Journey to the West and sees you team up with the monkey king - Wukong and his three followers, Sanzang the wise, Kihong the greedy and Sandmonk the sensitive as they assist the goddess of mercy against the demon army and attempt to turn back the tide of darkness.  

The game is set across 4 different worlds, with you traversing through levels (of increasing difficulty from deceptively easy to brutally hard) before fighting a final area boss.  Getting through each of these levels means utilising each of your four heroes unique skills to pass through light puzzling mechanics as well as some difficult platforming.  Thankfully, the difficult sections are usually well checkpointed and when they are not, you have (at least) four attempts to complete the section as the game allows you to switch to another character once your current member has died.  You can also, after an approximately five second wait, revive your dead comrade by hitting their spirit bubble.

Movement across all four heroes is different and each has their own strengths and weaknesses which means that using the right hero in a situation really can make the most difficult section delightfully easy, though I found myself defaulting to using Wukong out of personal preference (even when it would have made my life easier to switch characters).  

Each of the standard (non-boss) areas has 100 coins and a scroll to collect.  The coins you collect can be spent on skins for the four characters, which in truth are mostly unimpressive but thankfully, the challenge of getting the coins is its own reward.  Additionally, reaching a certain number of coins is one of the three objectives required, with minimal deaths and under a certain time limit, that reward you with a gold trophy for that level.  The real reward though is in finding the secret scrolls in each level that unlock a piece of artwork that is viewable in the extras menu.  I have spent a fair amount of time looking for these scrolls as the art is truly amazing.

The boss fights are three stage fights that take the unique mechanic of the area and twist it in unexpected ways, the underworld kings is a highlight in this and although I won’t spoil it here, it is well worth the price of admission alone.  

Most of the story is told through the straight talking, though slightly ditzy, goddess of mercy who appears at various points in the story to explain what is happening, though I found it quite disappointing that the response to the goddess was mute agreement to do as she wishes from the four ‘unruly heroes’.  I actually found the enemies to be pretty interesting characters and that helped reduce the overall disappointment in the story arc.  

Whilst the difficult but fair gameplay and the interesting puzzle mechanics were enough to see me finish the game, the art style and the incredible world design has seen me go back again and again in an attempt to find all the hidden scrolls and attempt to get gold trophies in all the levels. 

There is an additional PVP mode that is a simple platform fighter where you and three others via local or online can pick one of the four heroes and battle it out on select stages.  It is a fun diversion from when things get a little too stressful but in truth is not the main draw for the game and unlikely to keep my attention for long after I am finished with the single player campaign.

My final comment on this game is to say that I have not had this much fun with a non-Mario platformer since Rayman Legends and I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to take up the challenge.

Stars
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