David Klein On March 25, 2010 at 7:39 am

What was once the domain of consoles has become thrive on the portables and what I’m talking about is JRPGs. Just look at the DS with Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story and Dragon Quest IX coming in the summer, those are games that in any other generation you’d probably have found on a console but has since found a new home on the DS. Now you’ve got Nintendo’s latest effort in the RPG realm with Glory of Heracles. Doing a little research, this series has been around for awhile in Japan being the fifth in the series spanning from the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System and only now has one of the games been released in North America. This begs the question was there good reason it was never released in North American or is this a gem that Nintendo has been keeping in Japan?

The game tells of story of three interesting and mysterious immortal characters. You’ve got Heracles who has no memory of his past and the only knows is name because he’s recognized as the legendary Greek hero early in the game , you’ve got Leucos who’s a girl who keeps on insisting they’re a boy for an unknown reason and refuses to tell anybody why and you’ve got Axios a character you save early on from going to prison who’s the type that ladies love to love and men hate wanting to know he’s immortal. From their they’re trying to find answers to each of their own individual dilemma at Mount Olympus.  The story is fairly intriguing and each character shows a good dose of personality so that you actually care about them. Overall it’s a fun adventure that doesn’t take itself too seriously, if you like half serious JRPGs then you’ll like where the story goes.

Graphically the game has the feel of a classic 2D RPG but in a 3D world with camera controls and all. With that said the game looks good using a similar art style as Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings uses. The only problem I had with the style is that the orientation of the game world doesn’t really correspond to that to the one in the map so you can sometimes have trouble following what’s on the map since its got a slightly different orientation by default. The battles look fairly good and the characters themselves seem like 2d models and make the style work. Sound wise the game has a couple of catchy songs and it’s share of generic sound effects that are basically stock for any old fashioned RPG. With that said a big part of the RPG experience is the music and the game delivers on that.

The game itself plays like an traditional RPG for the most part. The biggest change that the game makes from traditional RPGs is that when casting spells they’ve added some touch screen mini games for you to have some fun with, they’ve had a couple of different kinds for different spells if you do them the spells do more damage. As you go along these mini games get harder to do so you’ve got to keep your reflexes up. With that said the mini games are optional and you can just bypass them completely if you choose.

The combat system otherwise is the same a traditional JRPG except that you and your enemies have two rows for you to jump across, if you’re in the back row you’re harder to hit but unless you have a range weapon you can’t do much damage from there. The game tries hard to make it easier for people new to the genre to get into the game as they’ve put the option for the game to automatically choose what a character does on a given turn. This is great for people you really don’t have any idea what they’re doing but the game usually won’t pick the best option a lot of the time. Its safe to say if you do know how to play an JRPG you’re better off battling yourself and picking when to heal and when to use you Magical Points. Speaking of MP, an interesting mechanic in the game is that if you "overkill" your enemy, meaning taking more Health Points from it then it transforms value is turned into MP for your character and is a handy of replenishing your magical power. The game will automatically give you a tutorial like explanation of every new game status item or mechanic which is handy for people who have never played the genre before but can get quite annoying and I couldn’t find a way to turn it off. Outside of combat the game controls like a solid traditional RPG, you’ve got all your usual controls and the only  major difference is that they stuck in some optional touchscreen based controls that are really just less convenient that using the real buttons.

When it comes down to it, Glory of Heracles doesn’t really break any new ground and it’s most original ideas are fairly small changes. With that said I don’t really think that every game needs to be this amazingly different game that makes major changes to how the genre is experienced and I had a blast playing the game. The story is entertaining, the battle mechanics are solid and the game has tons of personality. Glory of Herracles is definitely worth a look by anybody who enjoys the JRPG genre.


The game doesn’t do anything too original, but what it does do it does well.


The game has a classic RPG art style in a 3D world and looks good while doing it.


The game’s sound effects are what you’ve expect from this type of game and the music can be pretty catchy.


The game is a solid romp in the JRPG world and fans of the genre will definitely enjoy it along with newcomers.

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