Pixel Heroes Review


Review Pixel Heroes |
Two years after being launched on Desktop and mobile platforms, Headup Games has now brought their RPG/Roguelike game to the Xbox One. Was it worth the wait?

THE GOOD

  • Provides you with a solid 8-bit retro experience.
  • The game is very humorous, although this does come down to personal taste, the many strange NPCs ranting at you and some surprise appearances and references made me smile at more than one occasion.
  • If the game grabs you, it can be quite addicting trying to conquer the campaigns. After initial frustrations, I definitely got the “one more try” virus going on.
  • The game provides a very real challenge; the easiest difficulty is “hard” followed by “brutal” and “insane” once you complete the earlier difficulty.
  • There is a nice variety of classes in the game, especially since you unlock more as you are playing the game. Each class plays a little different too, giving the player replay value and fresh gameplay.

Mixed Feelings

  • While overall it is a fitting 8-bit experience, on some fronts I feel like the developer has taken things a bit too far. It wouldn’t hurt to make more use of recent developments in game design.
  • Perma-death can be a fun mechanic increasing the tension of play sessions, provided you feel like it really is your fault when you fail. Pixel Heroes can feel unfair at many times especially when you’re still gaining knowledge.
  • Randomly generated normally instills a sense of exploration and discovery in me, but Pixel Heroes feels very much on rails. There is no turning back half way through a dungeon, your party either keeps going forward or dies trying.
  • The campaign structure itself is very rigid. You always take on 7 out of 13 possible dungeons before going into the final campaign dungeon, which is fixed for that difficulty. You always have 3 random encounters going to and coming back from a dungeon. Some deviation from this format would have been very welcome.

THE BAD

  • The music is very annoying when listened to over a good headset. On a TV set with the volume low you might be able to stomach it. Turning the music off on the other hand makes things a bit too quiet.
  • The interface feels like a badly done port from mouse driven systems. Click and drag is not the way to go with a controller.
  • The high difficulty is largely artificial through information obscurity. Yes, you will die because you didn’t know you had to use a particular immunity before fighting that boss.
  • Inventory management, or rather lack thereof, is very punishing. There is no bank or stash in the game and you will have to trash or sell items you may very well need in the next dungeon.

Score: 62% | If you can get past its flaws, Pixel Heroes can provide you with many hours of infuriatingly challenging dungeon delves, while keeping the general presentation light hearted. It’s hard to blindly recommend this game to everyone, due to some of the design choices, but if you enjoy the retro feel and overcoming a serious challenge by trying over and over, this might be good title for you at a very reasonable price.

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