REVIEW: Heroes of Rock

Whenever anybody asks me if I’m ‘Ready to rock?’, I’m unsure how to answer. That’s a loaded question. It could be taken as a greeting, or confirmation of a pre-discussed plan. I deal in granite, so it could conceivably be asking if I’m looking forward to work that day. Or is it a slight, somehow? Does it mean to gauge my motivation, my desire to see something done? Or does it, in the case of Heroes of Rock (80 MSP), ask if I’m ready to button-mash and suffer from hand cramps for the next half-hour? If so, then my answer is a lukewarm ‘Maybe.’

Heroes of Rock (don’t ask me why it’s ‘Heroes’ when there’s only one character) is a 2D brawler with 3D characters and backgrounds, similar to the dismal Uproar! but thankfully much more stable and responsive. Oh, and there’s a guitar. And an original Heavy Metal soundtrack. The cover strays close to Brütal Legend, though the gameplay isn’t even a genetic match. Jack Black isn’t coming to save you, Heroes of Rock.

That’s not so much condemnation in my words as it is a vote towards the aforementioned ‘lukewarm’ feeling. Though there’s no storyline to speak of, the idea seems to be you’re battling a record company, a satanic one that’s killing music as we know it, or maybe that’s just what I’m making it about. All of your character’s attacks are guitar-based, too, as if to give that noble fight some irony. The game supports an excuse to drag out your plastic guitar. I did to experiment (the face buttons represent strong and light hits, as well as dash moves to either side, while the strum bar moves the character and controls the frequency of attacks), though I found it far easier, and more comfortable, to just use the controller.

Enemies are exasperatingly easy regardless of control scheme, and come in the same three varieties; a devil in a suit, a rocket-launching devil that prefers to hop around the arenas, and a bigger, bouncer-type devil that reminds me of Hellboy. Your tactics with each won’t vary. Taking damage results in a lowered rock meter. Crank it to 11 by attacking and you’re golden (as evidenced by the louder music, a cheering shadow audience, and devil horns). To keep it there and thus stay alive, simply button mash at your own personal peril and you’ll emerge victorious from every skirmish.

Heroes of Rock - Screen

One tutorial and five stages later, you’re done. There’s no special moves to build towards or use, no bosses to take down, no ending to witness. Not so much as one line of text or a trivial ‘Thanks for Playing’. Heroes of Rock is a bare-bones brawler that hinges entirely on your appreciation of the music and the mashup genre. Still, it functions reasonably well, and the scene transitions from one path to another are nice, even if the animation is rough throughout.

It’s not going to set the stage on fire or elicit any ‘Encore!’ chants, but if you’re really into the music game scene and need a reason to put the band back together (drag out old peripherals), you could do worse than the $1 ticket price. For those about to (Heroes of) Rock, I salute you. Your fingers, though, will not be as enthusiastic.

7 thoughts on “REVIEW: Heroes of Rock”

  1. Being an old school heavy metal, gun toting, fist pumping, maniac from the 80’s, I completely enjoyed my free game. Played the trial (as you stated) and saw all that was to be seen and enjoyed the 3 mins it took me to finish. Nothing really broken in this game just not enough of a game there to plop down that hard earned dollar (I found in the sofa)!

    Enjoyed YOUR review and YOU’RE one of the most enjoyable reads for indie games even with grammar mistakes. LOL It’s one I do quite a lot on my job and my boss dings me for it all the time. 😛

    Alan’s just started up the IGP (Internet Grammar Police) and has to hold us to a higher standard. LOL

    Man, this was so hard to write without using any Rock reference.

    1. Sofa money is the best money. Best-ter still, backpack money— $80 left in a side pocket from over four years ago, along with fifty euros, give or take, including the coins. That’s buried (or packed) treasure right there. Yeah, it’s a alright game, just nothing special. I’m trying to be more tolerant as opposed to just bashing a game for being generic. It -is- only a dollar, I guess.

      Alan’s just cranky because tomorrow is his birthday (or actually, -today- now, being just after midnight by his clock). I’d rather be policed anyway, spot the mistakes I miss during a late-night write. 🙂

      YOU’RE welcome. Rock on, my friend.

    1. Hey, hey, Mr. Spell Checker, let’s just take a moment to appreciate what’s in this review. We’ve got ‘amusing personal anecdote’ to open with, another dig at ‘Uproar!’, Jack Black / Brutal Legend, an AC/DC reference, and top all that off with a Ringo Starr joke that fits with the game experience. All of that, sir, by the way, pertains to music in some way (minus ‘Uproar!”). That, is a busy review. I’m going to go ahead and ‘like’ this post myself. So let’s not nitpick and point out every single flaw, alright….

      Just kidding, it’s all good. Thanks for the spot. :p

    2. Also a good option. And damn! Wish I would’ve thought of -that- Beatles line as a comeback. That’s the one right there. If I could ‘favorite’ WordPress comments, I would. The thumbs-up will have to suffice. 🙂

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