Hercules

a game by The Walt Disney Company, and Virgin

Platforms: PlaystationPSXSega GenesisGenesis

Genres: Action, Platformer

See also: Hercules Games

Overview

Here he is again, the man of the summer, Hercules. He's the lead in a major motion picture and the star of 2 video games. What more could a strong man ask for?

This version of Hercules is a Disney-licensed game based on their smash hit movie by the same title. This is your basic steer-the-hero-through-levels-of-bad-guys-and-save-the-babe type game. There are some extras along the way to keep you on your toes, and the graphics are beautiful.

Gameplay

Hercules is your basic side-scroller platform adventure game. But wait, not every level side scrolls and not every level plays like a platform game. What will you do? My guess is you will have fun. The levels range from the seen-it-before category to the seen-it-before-but-not-very-often category. The game starts off taking you through a rigorous (and long) training course that gives you time to work out any control issues. Normally these types of games give you a couple of short and easy levels and then throw you into the fire. In this game, you get one long, easy level.

After completing the first level, the fun begins as the subsequent levels get a bit shorter and more exciting. The second level has you racing down the road trying to collect items and dodge enemies and obstacles. This would be no problem except the screen is constantly moving so you can't take your time. This level reminded me of the levels in Crash Bandicoot where you ride around on the back of the pig thing. After this level, you go back to a side scroller and eventually you battle giant birds, as well as Medusa and some other meanies. None of the levels are too difficult to make it through, but I did find something I didn't like: the way you saved the game.

I know this does not make sense so hold on while I explain. The normal saving procedure in platform games is beat the boss and complete the level and get prompted to save. Not here. Scattered throughout the level are the letters H-E-R-C-U-L-E-S. If you find all of the letters, you will receive a continue bonus that gives you extra lives. In order to save, you must find the 4 special pots scattered in the levels. If you don't find them, you can't save. You can advance to the next level but you can't save. I understand that they put this in so you don't just rush to the end of the level and finish the game too quickly. It makes you explore more but it is a tad too difficult. I spent hours combing every inch of the training course looking for the letters and pots and came up short every time. I know that the game houses many secret areas but they are nearly impossible to locate. This means that until you find the pots in a level and save, you have to go through the same levels again. And since Hercules is aimed at a younger audience, it will surely frustrate your pre-teen.

On a more positive note, the controls are easy to learn and execute. You will obtain various gifts from the gods that range from a helmet of invincibility to lightning swords. You can easily use the controls to select and use these gifts. The only time controls became an issue is when you find yourself jumping to grab the bars that you spin on. Even though it looked like you should be grabbing the bar, you missed. It takes a little patience to find the right spot to grab it. Once you do find the spot, you grab the first bar and have to do the same thing with the next one. This was not easy.

Another thing that should have been left out of the game is the columns and piles of rocks that you have to continually hit with your sword unit they break. The only time that you were even contested in this was when the Minotaurs were throwing rocks at you so you needed to move out of the way. Most of the time you just sat there and hit and hit until the obstruction finally crumbled away. Since this is a feature of the game, I think they should have added something more to this.

Graphics

All I need to say is one word—Disney. Was I watching the movie or playing the game? Hercules has the smoothest and most life-like motions I have ever seen a character pull off. It appears that Disney gave a lot of attention to the small details in the same way they do with the movies. The backgrounds were all quite colorful and the game is very easy to follow. The best part about everything was the guy in the trench coat that flashes you and drops coins and power-ups in the process. Yes, it's a bit anachronistic, but sometimes I think Disney throws in little things like this for the grown-ups in the audience.

Bottom Line

This is a great game that the whole family will love. It is almost as fun to watch as it is to play. The graphics are beautiful and the controls are adequate, but I wish it was not so hard to save. It was frustrating going through the same levels over and over. All in all, Hercules is a good time.

Hercules Downloads

Hercules download

Overview

Here he is again, the man of the summer, Hercules. He's the lead in a major motion picture and the star of 2 video games. What more could a strong man ask for?

This version of Hercules is a Disney-licensed game based on their smash hit movie by the same title. This is your basic steer-the-hero-through-levels-of-bad-guys-and-save-the-babe type game. There are some extras along the way to keep you on your toes, and the graphics are beautiful.

Gameplay

Hercules is your basic side-scroller platform adventure game. But wait, not every level side scrolls and not every level plays like a platform game. What will you do? My guess is you will have fun. The levels range from the seen-it-before category to the seen-it-before-but-not-very-often category. The game starts off taking you through a rigorous (and long) training course that gives you time to work out any control issues. Normally these types of games give you a couple of short and easy levels and then throw you into the fire. In this game, you get one long, easy level.

After completing the first level, the fun begins as the subsequent levels get a bit shorter and more exciting. The second level has you racing down the road trying to collect items and dodge enemies and obstacles. This would be no problem except the screen is constantly moving so you can't take your time. This level reminded me of the levels in Crash Bandicoot where you ride around on the back of the pig thing. After this level, you go back to a side scroller and eventually you battle giant birds, as well as Medusa and some other meanies. None of the levels are too difficult to make it through, but I did find something I didn't like: the way you saved the game.

I know this does not make sense so hold on while I explain. The normal saving procedure in platform games is beat the boss and complete the level and get prompted to save. Not here. Scattered throughout the level are the letters H-E-R-C-U-L-E-S. If you find all of the letters, you will receive a continue bonus that gives you extra lives. In order to save, you must find the 4 special pots scattered in the levels. If you don't find them, you can't save. You can advance to the next level but you can't save. I understand that they put this in so you don't just rush to the end of the level and finish the game too quickly. It makes you explore more but it is a tad too difficult. I spent hours combing every inch of the training course looking for the letters and pots and came up short every time. I know that the game houses many secret areas but they are nearly impossible to locate. This means that until you find the pots in a level and save, you have to go through the same levels again. And since Hercules is aimed at a younger audience, it will surely frustrate your pre-teen.

On a more positive note, the controls are easy to learn and execute. You will obtain various gifts from the gods that range from a helmet of invincibility to lightning swords. You can easily use the controls to select and use these gifts. The only time controls became an issue is when you find yourself jumping to grab the bars that you spin on. Even though it looked like you should be grabbing the bar, you missed. It takes a little patience to find the right spot to grab it. Once you do find the spot, you grab the first bar and have to do the same thing with the next one. This was not easy.

Another thing that should have been left out of the game is the columns and piles of rocks that you have to continually hit with your sword unit they break. The only time that you were even contested in this was when the Minotaurs were throwing rocks at you so you needed to move out of the way. Most of the time you just sat there and hit and hit until the obstruction finally crumbled away. Since this is a feature of the game, I think they should have added something more to this.

Graphics

All I need to say is one word'Disney. Was I watching the movie or playing the game? Hercules has the smoothest and most life-like motions I have ever seen a character pull off. It appears that Disney gave a lot of attention to the small details in the same way they do with the movies. The backgrounds were all quite colorful and the game is very easy to follow. The best part about everything was the guy in the trench coat that flashes you and drops coins and power-ups in the process. Yes, it's a bit anachronistic, but sometimes I think Disney throws in little things like this for the grown-ups in the audience.

Bottom Line

This is a great game that the whole family will love. It is almost as fun to watch as it is to play. The graphics are beautiful and the controls are adequate, but I wish it was not so hard to save. It was frustrating going through the same levels over and over. All in all, Hercules is a good time.

reggie posted a review
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