• Hero & Daughter review by Rick Moscatello

    Hope My Girlfriend Doesn’t Read This

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    Safe for work? Yeah, barely. Full screen mode doesn't work on some systems, apparently.

    I’m a little picky about RPGs, and I admit my tastes are a bit skewed. Skyrim? Great game, if a little boring. Baldur’s Gate was fine in its day, but Pillars of Eternity makes my teeth itch. A game has to give me interesting character development, a nice world, and fun combat to keep me playing. A good story can trump everything else but it’s not absolutely necessary (hi Roguelike games!).

    The latest RPG to get me to play is Hero and Daughter, which manages to overcome what are usually fatal weaknesses with a clever character development system.

    Yes, you start at level 1…and that’s where it ends. Your character can’t gain levels. It’s not as bad as it sounds, as you can pick up/consume many items that will permanently increase your abilities—it’s kinda like levels, although you’ll get picked on for being “only a level 1” even after you’ve improved your stats heroically.

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    Behold Princess Mammary, Heiress To The Lactose Throne...

    Your character quickly meets a harem-mancer, who will summon girls to join your adventuring party. These girls can gain levels, as well as abilities. Thus, the “character” development is really about developing your adventuring party: you, and a harem of up to three girls (at a time).

    I probably should mention, these are anime girls, usually not wearing much in the way of clothes and, yes, you are expected to romance them (not absolutely necessary), even give them gifts of jewelry (and experience points, otherwise worthless to you) and invite them to your ever-expanding home.

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    Summoning another girl, always a highlight...

    It’s cutesy stuff, and raciest thing in the game is the girl’s outfits but…well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    So, character development is over-the-top fun, and the randomness of the girls provides some level of replay value…what of the rest?

    Combat is pretty mediocre, made all the worse by considerable grinding in the game. You’ll assault the same dungeons repeatedly, and those dungeons are lame affairs, just as weird as the character development but without the cleverness. You’ll be quick-tapping through the combat in no time, even though the monsters are drawn, much like the girls, with considerable artistic skill.

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    All that work on the girls' artwork, and this is the game world? Yikes.

    The game world? Yikes. There’s more depth than it looks, at least in the village, but…yikes. With so much artistry everywhere else, I can’t help but wonder at this decision. Oh well, there is enough here to grind forever (thanks to a “bonus” mega-grind dungeon that appears after you beat the game).

    I said the story can save any weakness, but I’ll need to clarify: the writing can save any weakness in a game design.. You’re the hero, and you’ve got to kill the big bad guy, yet again. You’ll do this by killing the boss monster at each of the dungeons. The writing saves the game, as it knows better than to take itself seriously; goofy random people show up to get donations for orphanages, play rock/scissors/paper with you for ridiculous stakes, and…there’s relentless insanity here that keeps you playing, with just enough chuckles that you won’t speed by the talky-bits (unlike the combat).

    Despite the simplicity of most aspects of the game, there’s a bit of depth here. There’s a chance the village will be attacked while you’re away; the girls you leave behind will defend it, but the attacks get more powerful over time. You’ll need train your other girls, not just your “favorite three.” The village itself gains levels, gaining better store inventory and other things as it improves. You have a customizable home, and can buy a bigger home in time.

    In short, Hero and Daughter is a gem of a RPG. If you can overlook a few big flaws, there’s enough here worth playing the game, and this is one of those games every serious RPGer should know about.

    As a final note, this game is made by an old version of RPG Maker; there’s a new version out, with far more bells and whistles. I’ve done the “make a RPG game” thing already, and I’ll just stick to criticizing…but if you’re up to the challenge, the new RPG Maker is probably the best of its type around today, with Hero and Daughter just the beginning of what you can do with it.

    Overall: 80%
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Hero & Daughter review by Rick Moscatello started by Doom View original post