Developer: Paper Castle Games
Publisher: Paper Castle Games
Genre: Adventure, RPG, Action, Platformer
Platform: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 27/02/2020
Price: £15.29 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
With other reviews I have done you may have noticed that I love the RPG genre, and today I’m playing a new kind of RPG for me and that is a 2D platformer RPG, Underhero. When I was checking trailers for this game, I was hooked on what I saw from it with the combat. So how do I feel about Underhero after playing it? Did I felt like a hero? Or did I felt like a zero? Let’s found out.
Underhero starts very interestingly. You control a kid, and he is all maxed out with his level and his other stats. This kid is dubbed as Scarf kid by his sword Elizabeth IV, and they are just about to end their journey and face off against the final boss, Mr Stiches. However, a bad fate has befallen on our hero, as a random minion crushes him with an idea of dropping a chandelier onto the kid. As the minion saw what he did as he killed the hero and his friends we get to control him, and then with hearing the sword calling out for us we pick her up, and at first, she was glad of being free. However, she suddenly realises she is in possession of a minion of Mr Stitch freaks out and calls out for scarf kid, but then she realises he has been killed. Elizabeth then asks the kid not to tell anybody about her.
That was a lot to unpack, and that was the first 5 minutes of the game! The story starts very hard and to the point. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this story to get dark like that, and I very much like it. Continuing, we get led by another minion who saw the deed to Mr Stitches so we can report what the minion just did to the hero. Mr Stitches lets the princess he had captured go, but then he kills the minion that lead us to him and instructed us to go and return 3 stones, that the hero had, back to the bosses that guarded them. We accept, with a promise of an award, and go to our room to rest up and talk with Elizabeth. Elizabeth talks about what happen and convinces the, now dubbed by her, kid to do what Stitches so they can level themselves up enough to face him down, and with that, the kid becomes the brand new hero as they sought out to give back the stones to the bosses.
Now, I don’t want to talk about more of the story at the risk of spoiling for others. However, to give more details without much context, the story isn’t that fascinating until World 4, and you know how I like to keep the story close to my chest in the last two-thirds of the game. Don’t get me wrong; it doesn’t get worse either as it reminds on a good slope throughout as you met new companions and a rival. To finish talking about the story all, I will say is, it is very good, and it is accompanied by excellent writing. I can say if you are a fan of stories in a game, I can say Underhero has you covered.
The gameplay of Underhero is in two different parts, the platforming and the battle system. Since it is more basic, let’s talk about the platforming. It is very average if I am honest, I played more complex platformers before, and it never got hard or tedious. However, the exploration that comes with the platforming is a tiny bit interesting and changes each level. However, the maze in world 3 made me annoyed so be prepared for that.
Before we jump into the battle system, there is something I should mention. Underhero also has puzzles in the levels, and they are very neat little puzzles, and nothing too complicated. However, there is one puzzle near the end of the game, and it is a puzzle to get a key. Without spoiling anything, all I will say is at the end of the puzzle, and the key might fall through the platform it needs to land on. If this happens, that means it is a glitch. You need to close the game and re-open it again, this is the only glitch in the game I ever encountered, and it is quite upsetting.
Moving on from that, the battle system is quite fun and different, and it is easy to explain. Here are moves you can pull off in the game, and they aren’t that crazy on their own but combine they are great and provide great strategy. First up, the sword swipes. They can be used for quick attacks. Second is the slingshot, using this you can get enemies where your melee attacks can’t reach. Then the hammer is a slow but deadly attack for your foes. Then there is your dodging, you can jump over enemies attack or use the shield to block the incoming attack, but the shield will take damage. Although, if timed right, you can set attacks back at your enemies and the shield won’t take damage. However, the timing is weird to pull off as you need to wait until the second before the enemy attack reaches.
All of that was a lot to unpack there but all of those sounded basic right? Well, that is because it is. However, there is a strategy thanks to the stamina bar. The stamina bar is tied to everything you do in battle, except jumping, and it adds strategy to the game. However, if you go below 3 points Masked Kid gets tired, and you won’t be able to jump, you still have access to the shield though. Do you use you highly cost stamina hammer, or do you go for chip damage? The choice is yours. Speaking of choices, most enemies you don’t even have to fight, and you can ignore them or pay them off. The final thing about the battle system, the boss battles for this game are different. You have to wait for them to get tired and then you can start attacking them.
The visuals are great, the visuals pop with colours and not once in the game did the visuals looked dull, and the lighting of the game is also stunning that helps the visual presentation. Another note is, I never experienced any slow down or glitches other than the one I already mentioned. As for the music, I never encountered any jammers that I can hum towards, but I never found any track terrible and found that they fit the theme of the worlds.
Underhero is a very great game in itself, as it does big things with its gameplay and yet it was so simple to get used to, and it is complex thanks to the stamina bar. Although while that part of the game was fun, the platforming was very basic and the exploration was limited. However, I did enjoy going through the worlds. The visuals help with that along with the music as well that kept things fresh. The story of this game was also very good, and I wasn’t expecting that. I wish that glitch wasn’t in the game, as it frustrated me as I was having a fun time with the game. However, besides that, the game is very great, and I recommend it to every RPG fan looking for something different.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Underhero from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/UnderHero-1711314.html.