Developer: EA
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Heroes Lore 3 is about as big as it gets for mobile gaming – in Korea. In the land of many RPGs and Starcraft celebrities, the Heroes Lore series has been absolutely dominating the mobile gaming market. Ever since EA’s announcement that they would be porting the game to the American market, the question has been whether or not the title would translate well to our fast paced 3D market.

If you’ve ever seen a screenshot of Heroes Lore 3, you’ll know right off the bat that you are looking at an RPG that belongs on the Super Nintendo. The graphics are all cutesy and static, the sound is decidedly retro, and the little dialogue bits just reek of 1993. Many gamers loved that classic era of gaming though, so it’s not a stretch to understand the popularity of the series.

Like any epic-RPG, the story in Heroes Lore has rival factions, sinister villains, plot twists, conflicting internal dialogue, and a strong female character. The game also has a decidedly political stance against guns, war, and the like, but it’s all wrapped so nicely into the game that folks on either side of the debate won’t notice. Missing in the game though are huge lapses in knowing what to do, overly confusing upgrade systems, and impossible level bosses. Thankfully, the creators of Heroes Lore tidied up the package and created a simple menu system and a world that is easily navigable, but still large enough to seem, well, large.

There are some gripes that detract from the experience a bit, most of which involve an annoying movement system. The on screen action is controlled with a virtual D-Pad and virtual buttons. In theory, everything works quite well (the buttons are a bit small, but that’s only a little gripe), but the character movement is annoyingly sticky. In tight spaces, you tend to stick to walls, unable to progress until you figure out exactly where the game wants you to walk. After some plugging away you’ll always get to where you need to go, but these sticky walls really need to be fixed in an update. Also annoying is the all-to-often combat that occurs at the beginning of the maps. Once you enter a map in Heroes Lore, the only way you want to go is forward, as side to side movement will often take you to the previous map, and an enemy hit or a combo that makes you back up a bit will do the same.

Aside from the few nagging issues, Heroes Lore is an incredibly deep RPG experience (over 30 hours of gameplay) that will surely satisfy anyone who appreciates a good, old school RPG. It doesn’t have isometric views or Unreal Engine graphics, but it does have a solid story (only slightly hokey), great RPG elements, and a ton of game to play. While it probably won’t catch on quite like it did in Korea, I’ll bet that there will be a solid following that will eagerly be anticipating a Heroes Lore 4 (and maybe parts 1 and 2).

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