A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Some of the game’s themes include honor, the duty to fight evil, and the notion that courage and determination is all one needs to change the world for the better. Nice ideas, but combat is used unapologetically to solve the majority of problems the player faces.
Positive Role Models
Our heroes are good guys out to save the world. They have personal motivations (one was arrested for trying to dine and dash while another is a bit egotistical) but their primary goals are somewhat more altruistic.
Ease of Play
Basic role-playing mechanics are easy to learn, though they are bogged down somewhat by a deluge of short tutorial messages and bits of advice, which pop up constantly at the start and can still be seen hours into the game. Some of these messages are helpful, but most feature common sense information that even rookies should be able to figure out on their own.
Violence & Scariness
Combatants strike each other with swords, knives, bows, magic, and other weapons in turn-based combat. The graphics are simplistic relative to what you might see on a console, and the action is fairly mild, with flashes shown rather than blood or gore.Note, though, that combat makes up the majority of the game.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The narrative sometimes focuses on figuring out the gender of a character who appears to be a girl masquerading as a boy. It’s noted that her body looks like that of woman. She wears an extremely short tunic in art appearing in the manual, but is dressed more appropriately in the game.
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Occasional bits of mild profanity are dribbled throughout the narrative for dramatic effects. Words include “hell” and “damn.”
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcoholic beverages are referenced in dialogue but there is no drinking or drunkenness on screen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Glory of Heracles is a standard turn-based role-playing game. It tells a story about a fight between good and evil and contains age-appropriate narrative. Fantasy combat plays a large role (most of the game is spent in battle), but attacks involve flashes of light rather than buckets of gore, making them pretty easy to stomach. Mild profanity (“hell” and “damn”) is present but used sparingly and only for dramatic effect. Note that heavy amounts of reading are required in order to learn how to play the game and to fully appreciate the narrative.
Is It Any Good?
A couple of small things help set Glory of Heracles apart from other Nintendo DS role-playing games. The first is the setting and characters. Most role-playing games work with purely fictional locations and heroes, but this one draws on players’ familiarity with Ancient Greece to create what seems like a more believable world. Second, and perhaps more important, certain attacks can receive boosts if the player successfully plays a little mini-game, such as sorting roman numerals or rapidly tapping the centre of a circle. Consequently, there’s more to do than just tap out instructions to move the narrative forward.
Of course, these aren't novel features. The real draw of any role-playing game is its story and characters. Glory of Heracles’ narrative and presentation are competent and polished up nicely, but they don't really stand out from the pack. The characters are caricatures (the amnesiac, the egoist, the burly warrior), and, without giving too much away, their epic quest (or something like it) has been seen before in many other games. Luckily, the young-ish gamers at whom Glory of Hercules is targeted probably won’t be familiar with many of them yet, so it very well may seem fresh and exciting to them.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.