E3 2012 Impressions: Heroes of Ruin (Nintendo 3DS)

I didn’t know much about Heroes of Ruin prior to stepping up to the kiosk to play, aside from the fact that it was some form of RPG. And since the 3DS is in desperate need of them right now, I’ll take whatever I can get. If I could summarize the experience in two words, I would describe the game as “portable Diablo.”

That’s right, Heroes of Ruin is a dungeon crawl in the same vein as the popular Blizzard titles and I had a lot of fun with the short time I spent with it. There are multiple classes to pick from, such as a spellcaster, dual-wielding gunner, and a savage, but I settled on the lion man that wields the big sword. As you get dropped into the world, you’ll find NPCs with gold exclamation marks above their heads signaling a new quest for you to partake in (again, much like Blizzard’s titles). If you’ve played a game like this, such as the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance games or Champions of Norrath, you should know exactly how this game flows.

Enemies approach, hack them to pieces, pick up loot, rinse and repeat. And it’s just as enjoyable in portable form as it is on consoles or PC. Depending on your class, you’ll also have slots that you can assign to other abilities. My lion knight in particular had powerful melee moves that could only be used once I charged up a meter by slashing with my regular attacks. Some of them could be utilized to remove obstacles in my path as well. You also have the ability to block or dodge oncoming attacks, rather than just standing there taking the heat and letting your potions soak up the damage which adds more of a strategic element to the combat. Having the map and menu on the bottom screen helps clear up any unneeded clutter in the play area too.

While I didn’t have the opportunity to sample it, the final game will have a co-op mode for up to four players to drop in and drop out of at will. You’ll also be able to trade items and partake in daily quests accessible via the StreetPass and SpotPass technologies. Just the community features alone will add a unique twist to the genre, if executed correctly. Of course, you’ll still be able to enjoy the game without participating in any of these, but who wants to do that?

The final game is also said to have randomized dungeons, so no two games will be the same. If Heroes of Ruin is half as good as it promises to be, it may be the go to title to get your portable looting fix. It will release on July 17 for the Nintendo 3DS.

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