Random Heroes 2, the sequel to Ravenous Games’ platformer, is now available from the app store. Holding true to the vision of the original, Random Heroes 2 addresses many of the issues that we had with the first to offer a more compelling experience than before.
Random Heroes 2 Pros:
- Great retro style and improved game mechanics
- Terrific chiptune soundtrack that complements the gameplay
- Customizable controls and lots of upgradeable weapons to use
- Expanded campaign and nice level design
- GameCenter integration for achievements
Random Heroes 2 Cons:
- Use of skulls in upgrading seems to limit ability to upgrade a variety of weapons quickly
- Cannot aim your weapon downward
This time around, Random Heroes 2 contains 90 levels spread equally across 3 environments. Our hero is once again tasked with killing off gun-toting foes as he searches for the exit. Blasted baddies will spew coins to collect, and each level contains 3 stars and a skull to nab. The pace at which our hero moves about the environments starts on the slow side, and he often misses lifts and moving platforms due to his lack of speed, resulting in an annoying waiting period where the gamer is left to twiddle his thumbs until the platform makes its way back. His jumping ability is similarly underpowered and double-jumps are not available. To aid this, you can use collected coins to purchase quirky costumes for our hero, which can improve his health levels, speed, jumping ability, and even give him a unique power. Coins and skulls are needed to purchase better weapons and acquire upgrades for both firearms and costumes. You can equip your hero with a variety of guns for ranged attacks of patrolling pests. Appearing within their plane or firing a shot at them will typically cause them to turn and fire at you. Most of the combat consists of shooting, jumping to avoid incoming fire, and repeating. Early weapons still require many shots to dispatch of bad guys, but better weapons and upgrades can help to mitigate this issue. Grinding is going to be a factor if you want the best guns. Level design is very similar to the original, though levels have a bit more of an exploratory feel, including hidden areas and out-of-the-way nooks that likely contain the skull or a star. Your health meter only allows you to take a few hits before you perish, though the occasional medkit can stave off death.
The retro graphics are the same as the first Random Heroes game, a look that should be familiar to all Ravenous Games fans by now. Other than the enemies, there aren’t a lot of traps to avoid, so death isn’t a huge concern. There are spike pits and poisonous acid drips that will harm you, but the most pressing danger is the bad guys. This time around, you can shoot in the opposite direction that you are moving, a helpful addition since the first offering. You can also shoot in an upward trajectory instead of just horizontally, which also makes things a good deal easier. The chiptune soundtrack is fantastic as usual, providing upbeat tunes that complement the graphics and gameplay. Controls still use left and right buttons for movements, and a jump and fire button. You can fall through platforms, though it still requires you to hold the jump button and initiate a jump first, which isn’t very intuitive and can sometimes be problematic. Sliding upward on the fire button allows you to adjust your aiming line to hit enemies on a higher plane, though you cannot do the same in a downward fashion. This time around, button placement shouldn’t be an issue, as you can adjust positioning through the options menu. Buttons still cannot be resized.
Replay value is good, especially given that the game now tracks how long it takes to complete a a level, which items you obtained, and how many enemies you killed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you how many you have acquired while playing a level, only at the end. GameCenter integration provides more than a dozen achievements, though still no leaderboards. A universal app for $0.99, Random Heroes 2 is a 4-Dimple improvement.
Random Heroes 2 Review,