HeroCade Review (PSVR)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
I wasn’t sure really what to expect when it came to HeroCade, the only information I knew is that it was a set of nine mini-games that were coming to the Playstation VR in one bundle. Now given the experience of some of the games in Playstation Worlds, this was what made me not know what to expect from this title – but, did it leave a sour taste in my mouth like parts of Playstation Worlds?
As explained above this a group of mini-games, so there is no real story to game in general, it does try to set the tone to why you are playing the nine games, its to do with a corrupted core. With it promising one you mater all nine titles it will provide players “a new world to explore, objectives to conquer, and a mystery to unravel.”
However, one of the games offers some story in a way – I’ll touch on that when it comes to it. I feel the best way to do this is briefly discuss the nine mini-games separately, because each on is sort of different.
Alpha Turkey Hunt
This game is a shooter, where if you can’t guess by the title you shoot turkeys – well not actual turkeys cardboard cut out turkeys. These will approach you in waves from different parts of the game area, as you progress they start to come at you faster and in different levels where they might take more shots to take down. The only way you will lose in this game, is if the turkeys get to you before you have killed them. As you do batter you can start to buy new weapons, so if the 12 round pistol just isn’t managing to do it for you – then you can buy other guns to mow down these turkeys.
In Alpha Turkey Hunt you can use either the Dualshock 4 or one Playstation Move controller to aim your weapon, but as many of the games if you have Playstation Move this is the best way to play the game. I really found it hard to stick to this game because of the sound they have used – remember the first South Park game on the N64, that turkey noise that haunted your dreams, well its like that.
Poly Runner sees you in control of what I would describe as a jet, you are automatically moving forward and your job is to dodge the oncoming environment. In this your goal is to set the longest distance without crashing, you can score more by flying through hoops when you see them, which can also give you a boost (green) – but, be careful those hoops could be in precarious positions.
Again they have offered multiple control methods on Poly Runner, you can either control the jet with the Dualshock 4, head movements or the tilt of your head. When I first seen the control options I automatically thought the Dualshock would be the way to go, but I was surprised to find the head movements seemed to be the best way
When I originally saw the title of the game, I thought another shooter title – however, where this is a shooter sort of, it is from a drone in the sky. Z-Strike comes with two modes, a survival mode and then a defence mode. In the survival mode you have to use your air-drone to take down the zombies that are attacking the humans trying to flee to near by bunkers – with the aim of getting some into the bunkers to clear the wave. In the defence mode you have to take the zombies out before any of them get into the bunker, you still have friendlies on this mode, but the zombies seem to ignore them with the aim of getting to the bunker. As with any other wave mode, the zombies come in bigger waves, and some start to move faster and/or dodge your fire.
Unlike the previous two modes; Z-Strike can only be controlled using the Dualshock 4 – but if I am perfectly honest I could not see it working in any other way.
405 Road Rage
The title of this one had me excited reminiscing about Road Rage, but unfortunately it wasn’t like that. Two game modes on 405 Road Rage are similar to Poly Runner, except you control the acceleration of the vehicle you chose (five in total). So, as with Poly Runner you then just have to dodge traffic without crashing and make the furthest distance – the difference in the modes being on is a one way road, and one is a two-way road. They have also added a mode in that to me was based on Speed – its call Bomb Bus. The idea of this mode is your bus can not go under 50mph or else it will explode, you are still dodging traffic but you have to try not slow down. The added extra is if you hit a car the bomb becomes damaged and it can explode that way as well.
For me it was kind of sad to see two very similar games in this and Poly Runner being on the same lot of nine games, sort of made it feel like eight really. Again the only way to play this game is with the Dualshock controller, they have not gone multiple option with they did with Poly Runner.
As well as the similarities in the last two, we got another wave based shooter included in Jurassic Survival. As with Alpha Turkey Hunt, the better you do you can upgrade your weapons to one more capable of doing the job of killing dinosaurs. In this you will not come across a wide variety of dinosaurs, but they can come from any directions and you can auto-turn 180 if one comes behind you. What adds a little bit to the difficulty of this game, is that where you have crashed it is quite dark, so the only light you have is on your gun – so you have to watch out for the little ones.
As with Alpha Turkey Hunt this can be played using the Dualshock 4 or a single Move Controller. One major issue I found with this one was the animation on the T-Rex’s when they come into play is so jerky and unnatural it’s quite off-putting.
I would not really say Sisters was a game, more of a horror experience, and a very short one at that. I thought it was going to be very similar to Five Nights At Freddy’s – but upon getting the jump scare I got the trophy for lasting the whole experience.
In Sisters you use a single Playstation Move controller as your torch, turning it on and off with the trigger.
Don’t worry this VR experience is not all doom and gloom, the final three games I am going to discuss I did enjoy. These were;
Gumi No Yume
This one really took me by surprise, Gumi No Yume is a 3D puzzle game – in which you goal is to get the right gummy sweets onto the right targets in the least amount of moves you can manage. You are awarded gold coins for completing them, the higher the rating the more coins. As mentioned it’s all about doing it in the least amount of moves, but you also have a certain amount of moves you can do. So, if you run out of moves you lose, unless you have enough gold coins saved up to buy more moves. I really did get quite addicted to this, and there is a decent amount of levels to get through with the difficulty increasing each time – and believe me it does become difficult in places.
You can only play this game using the Dualshock 4, but as with Z-Strike I can not see any other way – because the main movement is done by the analogue or the d-pad. If you make a mistake you can undo you move, but beware that does take a move up on your move counter.
This game is essentially Space Invaders VR, and boy did I enjoy it. Took me back the days of playing the original, but with the extra 3D space ship cock-pit view it really did add a new feeling to the simple concept.
This game is played using the Dualshock 4, but as with other games and previously mentioned I can not see a way this could be played outside of the Dualshock.
Dreadhalls has been available since 2013, and is previously was available on both the Gear VR and Oculus Rift – Lucid Sight have now brought this title to the Playstation VR through HeroCade. Dreadhalls is a horror meets dungeon crawler type experience and for me was the main stand-out title in the selection. I wouldn’t say it as scary as a lot of the horror experiences on the Playstation VR, but it did make jump a good few times. This is the game I thought offered some sort of story, this was via scrolls you found scattered around as you were exploring.
Dreadhalls can be played using the Dualshock 4 or Playstation Move. But, this title for me was a lot more enjoyable using the Dualshock, and the way I would recommend playing it.
Now that is each game covered, you were probably wondering why I did not mention the visuals in the games, this was because I thought I could sum these up all together. Although each of the nine mini-games look different in visual style, none of them are stand out and strong in the department – I found they all lacked in this area, and may be in some cases it could have given a better experience if they were improved.
What Lucid Sight have done in order to keep players going back to the games is created goals on each game, and added scoreboard system. Meaning if you want to be known as the best at one of the titles, you can go back and aim to top the leader-board. Personally I will only find myself going back Gumi No Yume and Space-Bit Attack. Although, this wont be to try to top the score-board, more because I enjoyed these two and they have replay value. But, this is my personal opinion, so this could be different for other players as they might like other and/or extra modes.
Finally I would like to mention that the game is priced at $15 (USD) – meaning for the right people this could be a bargain for the nine titles. However, with me only really enjoying three of the nine, and only two of them having replay-value, it could have seemed a bit steeply priced for my personal experience. Again I would like to point this is my personal opinion of the titles, and if I enjoyed more of them I would say it isn’t badly priced – if you think of what Playstation Worlds cost for the five experiences you got with that.
HeroCade brings nine mini-games over to the Playstation VR for a low cost, but is let down by a number of weak experiences/visuals, and a number of repeated game styles. However, if you feel you would like a high number of the games included it could be a bargain at that price.
Games available separately on other platforms
Developer: Lucid Sight
Article originally created for http://www.gamesbulletin.uk
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