Mariachi Hero sounds like it could be a brilliant twist on Guitar Hero. Swap the electric guitar for a classical guitar, add parts for violin, trumpets, and vihuela, and explore the wide range of mariachi music that is the heart and soul of Mexico. Unfortunately, Mariachi Hero is not that game at all. Instead, you control a racist cartoon who has to shoot tequila bottles and squash cockroaches in time with the music.
Unlike most successful rhythm games like Rock Band, Guitar Hero, or Thumpies, Mariachi Hero doesn’t let you choose your own songs or difficulty. Instead, this music game is all about getting a high score and surviving as long as possible, even when the songs quickly start to repeat.
Madre de Dios…
To keep time with the music, you have to squash cockroaches– an unsettling accompaniment. In addition, you have to shoot bombs and bottles for extra points, and avoid squashing a walking tortilla chip named Mr. Nacho. There are also two unfun minigames that involve swiping and shooting roaches.
You play as either a poncho-wearing hombre with a cigar, gold tooth, and natty beard, or a heavily made-up seniorita with a missing tooth. What, no chihuahua? There’s only one environment, a blasted desert-scape, but a saloon environment is “coming soon”.
Maybe we shouldn’t expect Swedish developer Pan Vision to be racially sensitive about Mexican culture, but Mariachi Hero is just as offensive as the Frito Bandito. It appears this game exists solely to mock Mexicans, since as a game, it’s terrible.
Somehow this might be considered in poor taste.
The endless high score run just isn’t a good fit for the music genre. We prefer mastering one song at a time, and adjusting the difficulty level to provide an extra challenge. While the bombs, bottles, and walking nacho in Mariachi Hero are decent additions, it’s just not worth listening to The Mexican Hat Dance on repeat.
Mariachi Hero Grande for iPad is a waste of your time and money, and it’s offensive in a number of ways. Unless you think racism is a joke, avoid this awful game.