Thursday, August 2

Review: Not A Hero [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Indie developers and their games tend to have very interesting contrasts in style, especially when it comes to complexity, both visually and in terms of gameplay. While titles that have more of a modern flair to them are a lot of fun, the ill-spent days of my youth make me appreciate a well-made stripped down title with more of an arcade vibe. Not A Hero falls pretty firmly into the that side of things, bringing a generally quick-paced and chaotic side-scrolling shooter experience that doesn’t skimp on the pixelicious bloody violence.

Aside from noting that the story revolving around the anthropomorphic BunnyLord, who is serving up your missions, is absolutely bizarre there’s not much more to say. The game, as a whole, is played for laughs and weirdness, and for this genre it works just fine. Getting down to the action everything is pretty fundamental, and if you enjoy playing your games in intense bursts this typically works out well. You’ll be dropped off outside some buildings with a primary objective as well as some secondary ones that are always optional. While details may vary your job will be to dispatch all of the bad guys, possibly saving some hostages or even some furry animals along the way.

While some specifics will vary among the characters you’ll slowly unlock as you progress your choices are to run, shoot, use a secondary weapon, get into cover, and reload… and that covers almost everything. Of course simplicity doesn’t necessarily translate into ease, and working out the best tactical way to deal with situations, especially if you want to meet all objectives, can be very tricky. In order to save hostages you’ll need to find ways to attack from behind, and in general the levels become more maze-like as you move on in levels, requiring some observation or mistakes being made before you’ll work out the optimal path.

Where the game struggles a bit is in trying to compel you to go back and gut it out to not just survive the later levels but to also manage to nail those secondary objectives. In all honesty while I enjoy the range of characters I unlocked, with some of them being funny or or neat in some way, once I locked into the style of one character I really didn’t feel like learning the quirks of another. You really need to be in this for the sheer fun and challenge of it, there’s simply not an amazing reward for digging in your heels and getting everything.

Overall, Not A Hero is a title incredibly well-suited to playing on the go because of its simplicity, relatively short levels, and quick action. You won’t be able to simply blow through levels carelessly, you will need to use cover carefully, be smart, and make the most of every opportunity you’re offered, especially in the later levels. Be observant, be patient, and methodically work through enemies one at a time and you’ll have some success. It’s not going to blow the world away, but at least it’s good for a few hours of excessively bloody violence.

Score: 7

  • Full of humor and excessive pixel violence
  • Generally suited to play on the go as levels aren’t terribly long and the action is intense
  • Unlockable characters each have some personality and play differently

  • Completing all objectives is more about personal satisfaction than significant reward, and some can be aggravating
  • While unlocked characters are fun to try out once you lock into some specific one that suits you it’s hard to give them up