Random Heroes Review

Our Review by Carter Dotson on August 20th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NOT QUITE HEROIC
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League of Evil creator Ravenous Games has a new platformer with longer levels, but something gets lost in the style change.

Developer: Ravenous Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPod touch 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Fans of the League of Evil games may have only one lament with those fantastic trial platformers: the levels are so short!  Random Heroes from Ravenous Games is there to wash away the lament. This is a more traditional level-based platformer. Taking place in a steampunk universe, players control a hero who must shoot the green-skinned freaks because they're just generally a nuisance. They're walking around repetitively, and some of them have laser cannons which are probably illegal. So, the goal is to shoot them and get to the end of the level. Along the way, coins can be collected to unlock new outfits with character upgrades, and to buy better guns. Better guns = more dead freaks.

The pixel art style from the original League of Evil is back, and it's a welcome return. the characters stand out in curious ways from the steampunk style which is otherwise consistent, but it almost fits with the theme of the game created by the title: these are random heroes, after all. Occasionally a robotic super cop will be shooting mutant freaks with a shotgun. It's to be expected. Continuing a proud tradition in other Ravenous Games titles, Random Heroes supports iCloud saving. It may not load the save initially on a second device, but reload the game on the initial device, choose to use the device save, and then syncing should work properly between devices.

The key issue with Random Heroes is that in making the levels longer, Ravenous took out a lot of the replay value by just making the levels completion-based. There's no clock to race against, or stars to collect, and without those metagaming aspects propelling the player along, there's just something missing. Having even just some kind of reward for killing everything in a level would be welcome! The levels in the League of Evil games were great because they were so multifaceted, but here, they're just kind of boring. Even with upgrades to collect, I found myself not very compelled to propel forward.

Yet, because past titles from Ravenous Games were able to do just what this game is lacking, I find myself hopeful that possibly a future update will add some much-needed depth to this game. I don't get to shoot freaks as Abraham Lincoln very often.  When I do, I want the experience to be as  enjoyable as possible, and Random Heroes isn't there yet, as of its initial release.

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