Mystic Heroes Review

Developer: KOEI Publisher: KOEI
Release Date: September 30, 2002 Also On: GCN and PS2

The GCN hardly has a large quantity of RPG’s to its name. As such, occasionally games that are not RPG’s get lumped into the classification by wishful thinkers and other such people. In many ways, Mystic Heroes is a game of that type. Although Mystic Heroes contains many RPG elements, like the use of magic and the ability to increase your character’s attributes, the game is essentially a beat-em-up with RPG elements, and not a true RPG. That is not to say in any sense of the word that Mystic Heroes is a bad game. Indeed, I am not saying that. I just want to make sure I have cleared up that particular misconception before I go any further into the review.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

I actually bought this game thinking that it was a hack ‘n’ slash RPG. I was mistaken, but the game I discovered I had bought was just as entertaining as the one I thought I had bought. But enough about me. Let’s get into the review.

I can’t say much good or bad about the graphics. Therefore, the most logical thing for me to say is that they are average. They get the job done, but they are not going to have you gazing at your television in awe of their beauty. No major problems here to speak of.

The same is true of the sound. Neither the voice acting or the sound effects and music are particularly memorable positively or negatively. The sound gets the job done, but the acting and sound effects are unmemorable, and the music isn’t catchy stuff that you are going to wake up in the middle of the night humming to yourself. Average is the word here also.

Now we get to the brunt of the matter: gameplay. This game is decently entertaining, for a while. You walk a few steps, get surrounded by enemies, and dispatch them with either your weapon’s physical attacks or with one of four types of magic. Then you walk around again and repeat the process until finally you reach the end of the level. Thus, one thing that makes it obvious that this is not an RPG is the fact that there are levels in it. Of course, occasionally there will be a boss battle as well to put a temporary end to the simple mindless beating of enemies, but essentially the game is beat-em-up to the core.

Like I said earlier, your character (there are four to choose from) has four types of magic. From a distance, a character can launch a direct spell in a single direction at a single opponent, or he can target multiple opponents with a targeting spell. When your character is surrounded, he can either cast a weapon spell that causes him to go into a fancy sword attack animation attacking enemies all around him or he can jump into the air and use a jump spell to rain damage on all enemies below him. All four of these options cost magic points, but magic points are easily regained by attacking enemies with your weapon normally or positioning yourself away from enemies and holding a button to restore it. While you do all of this, there are temporary and permanent powerups that the characters can find, as well as runes, which are sets of spells that can be equipped to the characters.

Each character has a different element that they are best with and thus a certain element that they are worst with. This affects what level runes can be equipped to the character depending on his rune casting level. Using the “right” element will allow you to equip runes one level above the characters current rune casting level, while using the “wrong” element will restrict you to runes one level below your rune casting level.

Beyond this, each character is balanced differently in terms of speed, attack power, and magic power. Depending on your style of play, you can use a balanced character, a character with low speed but high attack and magic power, a character with low magic, but high attack power and speed, and a character with high magic power and speed but with weak physical attacks. The storyline even changes slightly depending on which character you use, adding to the replay value of the game.

If all of this isn’t enough for you, there is also a survival mode for each character to complete. And of course, all of this can be done at multiple difficulty levels. The game even boasts splitscreen multiplayer for up to four people. Koei pulled out all the stops to make the gameplay of this game excellent, and they succeeded even though it is essentially a beat-em-up game.

With four characters to play as in both story and survival modes and multiplayer options, as well as many character upgrades and runes to find, this game can potentially last a person a very long time. However, it is my understanding that the game borrows some from Dynasty Warriors, so the game isn’t completely creative. Creativity doesn’t make the game though, and I would suggest anybody who likes beat-em-ups, and even people who like hack ‘n’ slash RPG’s, give this game a try. Many of you won’t regret doing so.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7
Written by Martin Review Guide

Leave a Comment