Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
HEROES... • US GOLD • £34.99 • OUT DEC
The queen of darkness has begun reviving the evil dragons all over the land of Krynn and is creating an evil race called the Draconians. If she controls the world of Krynn, she can force her way into this dimension and start some serious grief.
The only threat to her plans comes in the form of a party known as the Companions of the Lance (they aren’t heroes yet...). This band of hardy adventurers plans to enter the ruins of Xak Tsaroth and recover the Disks of Mishakal guarded by the Black Dragon. With their knowledge, the true healing power of Krynn can be restored. These sacred Disks will also enable the party to confront the Dark Queen herself in a pitched battle between good and evil.
You will be amazed by the intro sequences and ingame graphics of Heroes of the Lance. The title screen is one of the best I’ve seen on any Sega, let alone the not-so-humble MS. Each character is depicted at the beginning with a colourful and detailed study that shows just what the MS really can do. The graphics in the actual game are also excellent, and very similar to its 8-bit counterparts. US Gold have certainly made the most of the rare 4Mbit MS cart.
It is so easy to praise Heroes for its graphics and sound but when it comes to the crunch, it’s the gameplay and authenticity that count.
Newcomers to the game will find the awkward controls and rather slow (even when running) movement of the characters a complete turn-off. Each member of the party is portrayed in realistic detail, but sadly only one member is visible at any one time. I found this system ludicrous because only one character could fight each round. When was the last time you stood back and watched your best friend get mauled to death by a hybrid monster without helping him?
The main disadvantage to Heroes is the repetition; every level requires you to wander, web a creature, search for traps and then wander a bit more, turning when you can in an effort to get your bearings. Obviously map-making will add to the game’s challenge, but I doubt many players will stay with it that long, unless they are extremely keen Heroes fans.
There are no Uzi 9mms here, so if it moves, web it - especially the Draconians who delight in sapping your strength with their dark magic.
Tromp, tromp, tromp. Excitement abounds in anything but this game.
The tromp, tromp, tramping of Heroes of the Lance turns into a uncontrollable slide as you speed down a ramp towards a city.
They want a hero? We'll give them back their hero.