LucasArts presents its take on Greek mythology in a new-overhead-view action game. You play as one of three characters--Hercules, Jason, or Atlanta--each armed with a special weapon. The heroes must collect power-ups and other handy items to help them complete their adventure. The game has cool animated graphics reminiscent of Saturday-morning cartoons (which especially shine in the cinema sequences), excellent voices, and whimsical music. Even in this 80 percent version, the controls were very responsive, and they felt well suited for hours of trekkin' across Here's huge landscapes. Here's Adventures is Zombies Ate My Neighbors with Greek gods and monsters, and it's all good.
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Harkening back to LucasArts' classic 16 bit game Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Here's Adventures is a shoot-em-up action game with giant landscapes and humorous elements that should keep you playing for hours.
Creeks meet geeks, and the pairings work nicely. Playing as Atlanta, Jason, or Hercules, you must complete various tasks for the gods. Along the way, you battle bosses like the Minotaur and Medusa, and ultimately rescue Persephone from the clutches of the evil Hades. The cartoony and colorful graphics sport excellent details, and the sound fits perfectly. The controls are sweet, and moving your char acter overall is a breeze, despite sometimes problematic jumping.
If you're questing for imaginative, nonstop 2D action, you'll cheer Here's Adventures. While it probably won't achieve god-like status, it's a solid quest that mortals will enjoy.
- Atlanta is the weakest of the three, but her bow and arrow attacks have the best range.
- You can throw objects to damage monsters, just keep an eye on your strength meter.
Greek mythology is turned into a virtual toga party as three mighty mortals go to hell and back to save a goddess and the cradle of civilization. In LucasArts' latest title,
Here's Adventures, players get the chance to explore over 40 unique worlds of action and adventure. There are three different mortal heroes to choose from, each with his/her own specialized weapons, strengths and powers. Either in One- or Two-player Split Screen, players control their hero and watch him/her grow as they guide him/her successfully through the levels. There are opportunities for your character to grow stronger and become faster and smarter. It's game obviously designed for the long term and not just a one-night stand.
The legendary Hercules has sure received a shot in the arm in recent times. The mythical strong man has a staring role in a feature Disney flick, a toy in a Happy Meal, and his own video game. Just think, only a year ago he was just a bad made-for-television series at midnight on Fox, and now look at him!
Seriously, the character of Hercules is having a renaissance, and I think it is safe to say that just about everyone in the Western Hemisphere has heard of him (if not, please take Mythology 101). Hercules is the fabled strong man, and the developers over at LucasArts have thrown him in the middle of an political uprising in ancient Greece. Hades, god of the dead, has kidnapped Persephone, the goddess of spring and new growth. This is bad news. Without Persephone, the crops are dying, wars are breaking out, monsters are making like they own the joint, and even the water ain't tasting too good any more. Zeus, head of the gods, thinks the whole situation is pretty crappy. So he decides to send help—but not just any help. He has called on the man himself—Hercules. Zeus has also asked Atlanta and Jason to help. You get to pick who helps you save the land.
Great. Now you know the story but still have no idea what type of game you are up against. To be vaguely descriptive, Herc's Adventures is a combination action, adventure, side scroller, and platform game. Although it does not fit more into any one of these categories for various reasons, it does borrow from all of them.
The gameplay of Herc's Adventures is a non-linear beat-the-badguys-and-get-rewarded formula. When I say it is non-linear, this is because you are free to roam the land until an obstacle blocks your path. You don't really have a set path to follow. However, to progress with the game, you do need do certain things and go certain places. You are free to explore each open area for weapons or other goodies as long as you like, but you will find everything is quite accessible with minimal effort.
You have a choice of three main characters you can choose to play. The first, and obviously best, is Hercules himself. He is strong enough to lift houses, but is rather slow-moving. Next, you can play Atlanta. She fires arrows—which is ideal for long range attacks—but she is physically weak. The last character available is Jason. He is a cross between the assets of both Hercules and Atlanta, and he carries a cool slingshot weapon.
One of the coolest parts of Herc's Adventures is the two player simultaneous mode. This allows you to pick any two of the three characters and work together to finish the game. But, as we all know, there are problems with two player simultaneous games. The biggest problem is the waiting for the other player to catch up. I hate waiting. When I am ready to go, I want to go. I found myself sitting at the edge of the screen waiting for the other player. You also run into problems when one player falls down a ledge. If you are walking on a narrow path and one player is not being careful enough and falls, this leaves the other player up on the path. The only choice is to fall down the hill with other player and start the upward climb again. A warp of some sort would have been nice.
There is one last thing worth mentioning in Herc's Adventures. You don't die. Well, that is not really accurate. You die but you have a chance to fight your way through the world of the dead to get back into the upper world. If you make it through, you will continue on. If you die in the underworld, the game is over. This was a really innovative idea that fits well with the mythology behind the game, but it has a flaw. When playing in two player mode, only the person that dies in the above world is sent down to the underworld. That means that you sit and watch the other play for minutes (which can seem like hours) at a time until they can join you up top again. This was frustrating because as soon as a person goes to the underworld and dies again, they go deeper into the underworld. I just don't like sitting around doing nothing when playing a two player game.
There is also no shortage of interaction with characters along the way. Plenty of enemies get in your way to try and stop you from completing your quest. there are also friendly folks that want nothing more than to help you succeed. Also, you will find people that will help you become more powerful, which allows you to access areas that you otherwise would not have been able to get into. Items such as garbage, peppers, and boar traps can be found as used as weapons. There is plenty of different stuff going on and available throughout your adventure.
I liked the cartoon-like graphics in this game. I felt right at home battling through the lands of ancient Greece. The characters all had great personalities and were easily recognizable. The enemies were also well drawn and thought out. The graphics will not win any awards, but they are perfect for this game.
Herc's Adventures is a pretty decent game. In spite of some of the quirks of the two-player mode, I had fun playing with a partner and helping one another along the way. This game draws on so many other successful titles that you feel comfortable playing as soon as you pick up the controller. It is also challenging enough that it should keep your attention for a while. You could do a lot worse.
Snapshots and Media
- Discworld 2
- Dreamfall: The Longest Journey
- Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb
- Maximo: Ghosts to Glory
- Pitfall: The Lost Expedition
- Ratchet & Clank
- Starfox Adventures
- Sub Culture
- The Adventures of Cookie and Cream
- The Curse of Monkey Island
- The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure
- Tiny Toons Adventures: The Great Beanstalk
- Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Master's Quest