Thanks to the sage words of Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, we all learned that with great power comes great responsibility. To the muscle-bound superhero who takes center stage in The Hero, that responsibility makes him one busy guy. The cities he visits are some of the most crime-ridden, insect-infested war zones in the universe, and he is tasked not only with saving innocent people, putting out fires, and thwarting persistent armies, but also with running a public relations campaign based on high-fiving every fan he flies by. Even for a superhero, that’s a lot of work.
The basic gameplay of The Hero is as simple as could be. You control him as he swoops around cityscapes of various sizes, doing good deeds, while avoiding running into civilian automobiles. The action is presented from a 2D side-scrolling perspective, with cartoony graphics and excellent audio that combine to form a very polished exterior.
You can control the hero either with a D-pad or using tilt, but we found the D-pad to offer the most precision. When danger appears in the gameworld, arrows pop up around your character, indicating where to go to stop it. In every case, you fly over to whatever is disturbing the peace and ram into it to eliminate the threat. The hero is smoothly animated and moves around about as easily as the planes in MiniSquadron, although fine-tuning his turns can be a little tricky. Because he can’t do a quick 180, it’s easy to miss a few times when you’re trying to ram a nearby object.
The developers do a fairly good job of keeping such a simple concept fresh throughout the 15 levels of the campaign mode. New bad guys appear in every level, occasional time challenges kick in, and powerups are presented to help you in your quest. However, there’s only so much the developers can do to mix up the gameplay when the gist of it is flying around and touching things in the environment. After a while, everything starts to feel a little too familiar. The survival mode, which is high score-based, doesn’t do much to detract from that feeling.
Storks don’t get paid enough for front door delivery.
For a modestly-priced game, we can’t complain too much. Any repetitiveness is made up for by the game’s overall charm. The story is told through funny dialogue spoken by a lazy, donut-munching cop who can’t be bothered to go out and fight crime himself. His busty assistant chimes in before you start each level to inform you of new abilities or enemies that will be present. And high-fiving people hanging out of windows is a fun way to get from point A to point B.
The Hero probably won’t keep you coming back day after day, but the price feels fair. Chances are, you won’t be disappointed if you choose to wield the great power that is The Hero. The question is, as Uncle Ben says, can you handle the responsibility?