I Am The Hero is a colorful cross-buy beat ’em Up on PS4 and Vita. Learn more about it in our I Am The Hero review!
I Am The Hero is a love note to retro gaming, ripped from the fuzzy memories of the developer’s childhoods and seasoned with a wild passion for fighting games. If you want a truly modern re-interpretation of classic gaming, then it’s time to join the fate and answer one simple question, “are you the hero?”
I Am The Hero – Trailer
This is a double review for I Am The Hero. Ceidz and EdEN played the game, and this review presents what they both had to say.
As the game begins, we are greeted by a retro-looking opening cut-scene, in which the text was probably meant to be funny, but I thought that the jokes fell a bit flat. Right after the intro, you are dropped in the action, with the only tutorial being a board showing the each button action on the controller diagram. I liked having a light tutorial for once, since you are invited to discover the game’s mechanics yourself.
Then, your first mission is to investigate a hospital while fighting all the thugs in there. The gameplay is easy to get the hang of since you press the different buttons in order to hit the enemies and achieve combos. There are a lot of moves available, and they can be studied in the pause menu. As you progress, the difficulty raises ever so slightly here and there, but I noticed a considerable difficulty spike before most of the game’s bosses. My main issue with this game, however, was how monotonous it gets the more you play. There are more and more mobs, and while there are a few different enemies, you’ll face them really often, but this is to be expected of a beat ‘em up.
As for the game presentation, I can’t forget to mention the rather impressive game engine, which feels like the camera is set at a special angle. The soundtrack is catchy and gets you pumped for the action, which was great. I also liked the reactions some mobs do when they miss their punches or gets hit, I thought they were pretty fun, and reminded me of Donkey Kong Country back on the SNES. Specifically, on the PlayStation Vita version, I didn’t notice any extra long loading time nor any slowdowns, so this version was well ported.
I Am the Hero is the latest indie release from Ratalaika, and this time around we’re getting a 2D pixel-heavy beat ’em up. It is purely a 2D game, so you will only be running and jumping either left or right, attacking anyone foolish enough to get in your way. Your mighty punches and kicks are no match for the small variety of enemies you will face, but even so, you shouldn’t get cocky, because if you’re careless, you might end up being overwhelmed by larger groups of enemies.
The game’s controls are simple to understand but offer a lot of variety. Basic attacks are activated by pressing a face button and a direction. For example, forward and Square is for the face punch, down is for wash ground, up is for stairway to heaven, forward when in the air will activate air chasing, while pressing up or down in the air will trigger a different attack. This applies to all directions while on the ground or in the air plus the Circle and Triangle buttons to maximize your combo potential. You can also attack right after dodging an enemy attack so that you can keep your combo going. And if you press the Square button right as an enemy is about to hit you there is a chance to activate a critical hit – which can also be chained into extra critical hits if you time it right.
There are several combos you can do by linking attacks with the face buttons and pressing a direction on the D-Pad or the left analog stick, but you can also do combos by, for example, launching an enemy into the air with the up plus Square launcher, and then quickly press the Square button four times in a row to do a solid combo. You can then take this and expand on it by using a button + direction launcher, then another one in the air, then a quick button press combo, then a new move with a direction and another face button, and then do a quick, say, Circle, Circle, Circle, Circle extra combo.
As you hit your enemies, you will gain energy which can be used to activate EX skills that will use up your energy to deal considerable damage over a set of automatic attacks in a sequence. One of them is activated by pressing down and forward and then the Square button, but you can also use your energy to push the R2 button to quickly dodger after being knocked down, or you can press down on the right analog stick to activate an endure mode during which you’re more powerful and can take a beating without being knocked down.
And every time you clear a stage, you will get a chance to unlock a character for you to use in the game, and they will each come with their own EX-skills. You can change characters in-game by pressing the L1 or R1 buttons. You can also select to learn a new EX skill, which will certainly help you turn the odds in your favor once you have enough stored energy. Having an extra character unlocked and available for you is great since it will pretty much act as an extra life for you. Just be sure to select “Use” right after you unlock it so that you can put said new character to good use.
As for the game’s trophies, I Am the Hero includes a Platinum trophy with a list that features objectives such as reaching a 100 hit combo, reaching a 200 hit combo, for defeating each of the game’s bosses, for using a critical hit 10 times, for using a critical hit 50 times, as well as for finding a variety of items in each of the game’s stages. Worry not if you miss one of the secret items since once you finish the game, you will be able to go into the Extras menu and select any level in the game so that you can do some trophy cleanup. You’re looking at around 2-3 hours to get all of the game’s trophies depending on how good you are at beat ‘em ups.
I Am the Hero is a button-masher of a beat ‘em up that is simpler than other entries in the genre thanks to it being played on a single 2D plane instead of in a 2.5D plane as would be the case for, say, Final Fight. It does offer an interesting combo system that changes how you approach things, and having one life – unless you unlock and use an extra character – means you will need to be extra careful. Luckily the game has short levels, so when you die, you will only need to carry from the last level you reached. The game is cross-buy, so if you get the PlayStation 4 version you will also get the PlayStation Vita version at no extra cost, and the same applies the other way around.
This I Am The Hero Review is based on PlayStation 4 copies provided by Ratalaika Games.