Heroland is a title that demonstrates the importance of quality over quantity, and places more of its attention towards the truth that we’re here to enjoy the games we play. While graphics and stylish theatrics have their place in the realm of the gaming world, oftentimes we simply just want to turn on our Switch, sit down, and immerse ourselves. Heroland is a 2D RPG that takes place in a colorful theme park, where guests who visit can explore mysterious dungeons, beat up scary enemies, while you act as a tour guide for the entire experience. Anyone looking for a simple RPG formula, along with a love for the pixel-style design, Heroland is up your alley!
What to Expect
Heroland isn’t trying to win any awards by any means, nor is it trying to be intrinsically different. It’s merely a tried and true RPG that throws in a little extra dose of charm to ensure that players have a good lasting impression, and don’t walk away feeling unfulfilled. Another perk is that Heroland is directed by Takahiro Yamane, the brains behind Fantasy Life, written by Nobuyuki Inoue (MOTHER 3, Legend of Mana), and takes place in a colorful 2D world created by Nobuhiro Imagawa (MOTHER 3, Legend of Mana). The musical score was done by Tsukasa Masuko, who’s very well known for Shin Megami Tensei series, so what you’re receiving in Heroland is an all-star package of fun.
Straight off the bat you can immediately see that Heroland is colorful, vibrant, and the use of pixelated graphics helps everything stand out in an intriguing way. Sure, this isn’t the first RPG to do so, but Heroland makes great use of the Switch’s hardware to really create a world that’s fascinating to be a part of. You can clearly tell that this game takes a lot of inspiration from the classics such as MOTHER 3, especially with the way in which characters are animated, and how everything simply flows together. The character designs, while not necessarily the best in our opinion, do help to define the game and its theme quite well.
Heroland scores high in the sound category in our books and rightfully so. The moment you jump into the whimsical world it really does feel like a theme park, full of thrills and excitement. The music compliments that entirely, especially when you’re in a full-fledged battle against monsters, and the up-tempo music kicks in to instill a feeling of heroism. The mixture of trumpets and drums along with charming sound effects really fit the theme of Elric and his spoiled, oftentimes over-the-top personality. Every character brings their own personality to the story and creates that added element of comedy, something you’ll tend to see a lot of in the dialogue while playing. When the battles get intense you immediately know because the music shifts to a much more ravenous tone, and that helps to create a sense of urgency when you’re battling.
Like any quintessential RPG, Heroland is very straightforward and focuses on leveling up your team to ensure that you’ll be able to tackle the stronger enemies down the road. Most of your time will be coming up with strategies to defeat what lies ahead, traversing through mines and encountering new enemies along the way. The UI in the game is also very fitting of the overall theme, as it tries to do away with complexity, and creates a very simple yet charming interface to utilize. Your MonDex is very useful since it keeps track of every enemy you’ve encountered, and that way you can formulate the right approach in order to overcome them. The battle system is quite interesting since you’re not necessarily in the battle, you’re more like the overseer of things. Yes, you’re certainly a part of what’s going on but unlike in other traditional 2D RPGs where you need to decide on actions for every character, the characters come to life on their own.
Adding on to the battle mechanics of Heroland, chatting is another feature that allows you to take advantage of what’s known as Chat Skills, an ability that can be performed in 2 to 4 connected chats. So for example, if the conversations within the battle are smooth and concise, you’re likely to produce more damage than say, if there was a lul in the dialogue. The characters will chat about things like enemy weak points, along with your own weaknesses, and even more welcoming is that none of this requires any SP.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
While Heroland certainly feels unique in its own right with regards to gameplay and visuals, it’s a game that’s not going to be for everyone. One major reason is that while the retro 2D-style is still widely revered by plenty of old-school fans, it’s the new-school target that may shy away from this particular formula. The visuals, while striking in their own right, may once again turn off hardcore fans because it may come off as too “childish.” This is all merely personal preference and everyone will see things from a different perspective, but overall we think Heroland is quite fun for what it provides, despite its visual direction.
Three brilliant minds who've worked on some of the industry's classics, have come together to create something special.
The 2D RPG style is always a nice little touch, in a world that's so demanding of visuals.
A charming story with great characters, music, and humor to compliment it all.
The visual appeal may not be for everyone, especially those who are looking for a much more realistic experience.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We do hope you found our review of Heroland to be an insightful one, and that it helped you to better decide on your purchase. The game overall is enjoyable and due to its simple UI and gameplay mechanics, anyone can simply jump straight in and play. Be sure to check out our other reviews and stay up to date on all the latest game related news on our website!
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!