Class of Heroes
Class of Heroes' main tale won't bog you down, nor will the characters' burden you with novel-sized backstories
- Miles of dungeon-crawling and monster-killing
- Graphics aren't impressive
Class of Heroes throws players back to a time when RPGs lacked silly costumes, big anime hair, and self-important cut scenes. Okay, so Class of Heroes still has the silly costumes and big hair. But it also has miles of dungeon-crawling and monster-killing in its purest, most unforgiving form.
The story accompanying Class of Heroes is as thin as school cafeteria stew. In a world seeded with underground corridors that coil through forests and around mountains, specialised academies teach youngsters how to properly spelunk through these caverns. Thus was born Particus Academy, an establishment that enlists students and instructs them on adventuring through the dangerous underground paths.
Class of Heroes' main tale won't bog you down, nor will the characters' burden you with novel-sized backstories. You mould each student in your party from the ground-up with careful consideration towards race, stat distribution, alignment and "Majors". Consideration also has to be made towards party chemistry. Similar to the ancient rivalries that have long existed between jocks and nerds, Class of Heroes' demon-born Diablon race doesn't gel with the lordly Celestials. Every race has different attitudes towards other species, as well as inherent strengths. Halflings make good thieves because of their small size, and the hardy Drake race make good warriors.
Ugly Yearbook Photo
Even if a party begins the game glowering at each other, attending classes and exploring the underground paths will quickly bring them together. The party moves step-by-step through the tunnels, battling swarms of enemies, gathering treasures and experience. Typical of roguelike RPGs, the labyrinths take on different shapes with each new visit. If a party member dies-and someone will-resurrection doesn't come cheaply. It's a rough go, and sometimes frustrating, but roguelikes like Class of Heroes are a godsend for coddled RPG fans who feel like they're overdue for a visit to boot camp.
Aesthetically, Class of Heroes is not pretty. The character designs on menus are bright, but static. The environments have few defining characteristics; you will get lost without a map, which is buried on the "Item" menu. The view in dungeons is first-person, the encounters are random, and enemies are 2D sprites that are palette-swapped often. It feels like a waste for the PSP's big, beautiful screen, but this is a genre where a "D" stands in for a dragon on many occasions.
Back to School
Class of Heroes doesn't try to tell a complex story or wow the player with dazzling visuals. It's meant to be played, and its gameplay runs deep with innumerable items to collect and tunnels to map out. If you've been aching for a hardcore RPG experience on the PSP, go to class.
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