Random Heroes: Gold Edition
Developer: WoblyWare Oy
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre: Shooter, Arcade
Platform: PlayStation 4
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 01/04/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Random Heroes: Gold Edition reminds me of a simpler time in gaming. When consoles used cartridges, control pads had wires and three buttons, and simple sprites were cutting edge. Times have changed, we’ve moved on, but some developers still look back to those early days for inspiration.
Sadly, this game is somewhat less than inspired. The plot is wafer-thin; aliens have invaded Earth, and you must use one of 28 random heroes to run and gun across 9 areas to save the world. Each area is split into 11 levels and a final boss fight. That’s a total of 108 levels, mercifully they are not very long but sadly are repetitive.
The gameplay is not much more than run, jump, shoot, repeat. There are 20 weapons to unlock and choose from, but the differences between these weapons are hard to observe. They may have different stats but all fire in much the same way, with only a couple of minor exceptions, giving only an illusion of variation.
Fifty Shades Of Drab
The story is much the same with level design. The first area you explore is downtown, a mass of grey and brown dominate this area’s colour palette; making it a bland and uninteresting start to the game. Aesthetically, area design and colour choices do improve as the game progresses, but why delay these improvements, start strong and engaging, please.
This game straddles a line between platformer and shooter but does not quite nail either. Platform elements are far too simple to be challenging or engaging. The shooting is numb and relatively dull. The best tactic I found was to wait for enemies to turn away from you before piling bullets into their backs, not very heroic to be honest.
Random Heroes: Gold Edition has the vibe of a classic arcade title, but it has cut out some of the most critical elements. There is no finite amount of lives or game over fail state in this title. These factors were undoubtedly a trick by arcade games to empty your pockets of change, but they also add a much-needed degree of challenge and accomplishment to the games.
Making My Own Fun
I actually found myself making up my own game while playing this title, how fast can I run through the game. I did this to see all the game had to offer; as I wanted to give it a fair review, sadly it never offered more than is available in the first area of the game.
Random Heroes was originally released as a mobile game, and I’m not convinced a console port was needed at all. A simple game like this can find an audience on mobile devices when the user is just looking for a five-minute distraction. But on a console, with triple-A titles available, these heroes just fall flat on their faces.
I appreciate the old school aesthetic and style, but sadly, this game does not build on the retro games that inspired it, it simply spoils the memory of that era. Many of the old games this title attempts to emulate are still far more enjoyable and playable than this modern equivalent. If I were craving some classic shooting action, I’d do better dusting off my Mega Drive and sticking on Alien Storm.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Random Heroes: Gold Edition from the PlayStation Store.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.