Hero X (Windows)

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Developed by
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Written by  :  Kasey Chang (4623)
Written on  :  Apr 25, 2004
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars

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Cheap game, cheap production, not much gameplay

The Good

Lots of superpowers, runs fine on older systems, controls are pretty intuitive, the plot is decent with a few twists, varied missions

The Bad

Most superpowers, while have different names and different visual looks, have nearly same effect. There are only 3 physical attacks: punch, heavy punch, and kick. Throwing objects is worthless as you can't move while holding an object. No "lightpole bashing" possible as you can't pickup lightpoles and such. You can KO an enemy but an KO'ed enemy cannot be attacked until s/he wakes back up, making the fight frustrating as you wait for the bad guy to get back up. Some superpower combinations too powerful.

The Bottom Line

HeroX can be described as a budget clone of Freedom Force. You play a single superhero with up to three superpowers (pick wisely!). Decide on the powers and the look of your hero, and step into Smalltown USA. Professor will help you on your quest to rid the evil from Smalltown.

Your hero has two measurements: amount of "power", and "life". When you're out of "life", you drop unconscious and you wake up in hospital (and lose the campaign). When you are out of power, you cannot perform a superpower action that needs power. Fortunately, both regenerate after time without the use of any power-ups.

The game essentially has you move out from your "lair" (professor's lab) periodically to combat evil in various sections of the city on special missions. Sometimes, in between, you can also cruise the streets in search of minor evil (some toughs terrorizing citizens, for example), but that is optional. After finishing a few missions, you may gain a new superpower. Continue with your missions until you find the evil plot and destroy it!

HeroX, while having relatively crisp graphics, is at heart a lousy "game". Your attacks are limited to either "ranged attack" through a superpower, or the three physical attacks: punch, strong punch, and kick. It doesn't matter who you fight or how many, you're limited pretty much to button-mashing.

What's worse, the heavy punch and kick can knock-out (KO) opponents, but a KO'ed opponent cannot be attacked. Thus, you have to wait until the opponent wakes up before continuing the fight. And if you KO him again, the cycle repeats... Making a fight much longer than it should be.

Thrown objects are useless in combat. While you COULD throw items at enemies, and they DO cause damage, you cannot move while holding an object, which makes it almost impossible to aim properly. Best you can do is throw the item to the advantageous position and pick it up again, then throw it from there. It is also possible to be "stuck" holding the item while enemy attacks you.

Many enemies are also very stupid... just stand back and hit them with your ranged attack, and they will go down after a couple hits. They won't dodge or anything.

Other than that, the game is actually sorta fun, as you do fight supervillains and their minions, and the minions do vary quite a bit, from run-of-mill gangsters and frat boys to nasty killer cowns and killer cheerleaders. The envrionment is also quite sharp and lots of ground to go through. The superpowers are varied so different choices will affect your play-style significantsly. Do you shoot at enemy from a distance, or use superspeed to get up-close and personal? And so on and so forth.

While the game advertises over 50 superpowers, the actual number is quite a bit less since many of the powers are quite similar (though look different).

With repetitive (and boring) combat, HeroX lacks the polish to be a good game, and is relegated to just budget status.