The ‘Glory’ is Missing in Glory of Heracles (Nintendo DS)

Story
Welcome to the Island of Crete where war wages through great cities and mythological creatures terrorize. You play as a stranger with no recollection of his arrival on the island, or let alone who he is. But you soon come to learn that you are an immortal and you eventually make friends with others who are as well. Little do they know they are all linked together by fate. Together, you will embark on a quest for answers, heading for Olympus, the place of gods.

Graphics

Unfortunately, the world portrayed in “Glory of Heracles” doesn’t appear to be as fun as the story makes it sound. The entire Island of Crete seems like a bland environment with a straight path for the most part. You and your friends move from one part of the island to another while engaging in a series of cliched battles. As if the fact that the imagery is so predictable wasn’t enough, your character walks very slow and you could imagine how painful this is during the random (and frequent) battle encounters. Then there’s the dungeons which, much like the rest of the island, are disappointingly cliched and short-lived, with no originality to top it off (i.e. some hallways, corridors, a few statutes, you get the picture). You may run into a puzzle or two in a dungeon but this isn’t going to be very fun since your character moves slow.

Gameplay

As I briefly touched upon before, “Glory of Heracles” has some painstaking gameplay which is largely due to poor character speed. Aside from that, the battles are both easy to win and very dull. However, no matter how boring the battles may be, the game does a good job of ensuring there’s a lot of activity going on in them – for instance, you can play mini-games to initiate your spells. There’s different weaponry and armor that comes with various spells and abilities (when they are equipped, that is).

You can upgrade your weapons at several locations and buy new ones too; in addition, you can take your items to a blacksmith who can create new equipment out of old, and an alchemist who can equip your items with additional abilities and skills. Multiple items can be combined into one (i.e. two herbs used together) but equipment can’t be. There’s a lot more beyond that but, honestly, it’s all very overwhelming, especially for your money supply. A few hours into play, just about every town in the game will have an alchemist, a blacksmith, and so on anyway. Speaking of overwhelming, there’s a certain lack of organization all throughout this game to begin with.

Controls

“Glory of Heracles” presents us some cool tactical controls with a strategic base, leaving plenty of options to choose from when it comes to battles and such. The AI controls are acceptable and help your focus as far as healing your allies, conserving resources, and making full use of powerful skills and techniques. The controls, overall, are passable but that doesn’t matter one bit if the game has so-so gameplay which it does. No matter how good the controls are, you are never going to get your character to move his behind faster here.

Overall

While I wouldn’t say “Glory of Heracles” is a terrible RPG, it’s certainly no “Final Fantasy” or anything of that level. There is nothing innovating and genius about this game although its familiar turn-based fighting system may be fun for a little while. The game is pretty dull 95% of the time but it is worth a play-through if you’re a fan of this genre or if you’re curious about how the game’s story turns out. All in all, “Glory of Heracles” presents itself as an average RPG with very little strengths, which is fairly disappointing for a game that is 20 hours long. If anything, rent it through Gamefly.