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    jp's Glory of Heracles (DS)

    [July 15, 2022 07:34:28 PM]
    I'm about 15 hours in? I think I'm getting close to halfway...and, it's been a positive surprise. At this point in time I'm mostly used to playing DS games for a few hours and then moving on to something else, so clearly this has caught my attention more than I expected - and weirdly I'm curious to know how the story turns out.

    The game is a Japanese RPG set in ancient/mythical Greece - you're a hero with amnesia - but you're actually Heracles! (at least that's what some fairy sprites tell you) and over the course of the game you run into other characters who join your party. They're all immortals - and that's why you join up - to find out why you're immortal and also to clear up who Heracles really is: you run into another character who also says he's Heracles, so there's some fun with that. There's even been mention of a 3rd Heracles wandering around!

    The game is pretty linear with the next place to go usually pretty clear (sometimes even marked on the map with a flag) and the options for improvement are similarly low - it's a game in the style of "you always buy the next weapon because it's better" and the shops have few items so you just keep moving forward and updating as you can/want to.

    Other than my enjoyment of the story - the game's combat system is probably the most interesting aspect. It's more complex and interesting than it seems, and in the beginning I was just letting the AI play on auto - and I'd still win, but it would take an additional turn or be a bit more inefficient than I expected.

    Since the difficulty isn't that high, you can probably bust your way through the game just on auto - but I started selecting my own options and it's more interesting and fun (even if the difficulty is not making fights a challenge at all). The game has a bunch of systems that interact: there's regular attacks, magic, skills, and automatic skills (that are triggered automatically). The skills and magic are paid for from a shared pool of mana points. Characters go in a sort of initiative/speed order - it's pretty consistently the same - and you pick what they want to do. Enemies and characters are in each of two rows (front and back) and you can only melee if you're in the front row and you have an opponent also in the front. If you target an opponent that's already dead (crumpled sprite on the floor) you can Overkill - and doing so gives you some mana points back! (which is really nice!). If you're in the back row, you can't melee - but at the end of the turn you get a few MP back.

    For magic there are 5 elements and spells cost mana but ALSO "suck" energy of that element from the environment. There's a number at the top for each element so you know how much there is - and if there isn't enough, you pay the difference in hit points (get wounded). It's a neat system that prevents you spamming a single good spell - and I've found I've had to mix things up just because of this. This limit also affects the monsters - so spell-heavy fights (and bosses especially) get more interesting because the mana amounts recover a little bit in between rounds.

    Further, monsters have different resistances - some might take more damage from fire, but less from ice or electric. So, there's lots of things to consider in combat - my only moment is that the animations take too long and I only realized you could make them go faster in the settings menu. I wish I'd seen that option earlier.

    Oh. The game also has random encounters you cannot see or avoid. Sigh.

    All this being said, I'm having fun even if the system seems over designed for the challenge it offers (I don't recall if there was a difficulty setting at the beginning?). I've mostly ignored items and there's also crafting (for weapons) and improving weapons (adding spells and things).
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    Status

    jp's Glory of Heracles (DS)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Friday 8 July, 2022

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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