Loading... Another Look at Hero: 108 Online
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Loading... is the premier daily MMOG news, coverage, and commentary newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.
Today we take another look at Gamania's Hero:108 Online. We saw the title first at GDC and we were so intrigued we went back for a second look. Today, in Loading... Another Look at Hero: 108 Online.
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Loading... DailyEarlier this month at GDC Ethec took a look at Hero: 108 Online in form of a hands-on preview. He was impressed with it. In fact he made me feel rather guilty for not being able to check it out myself. Initially I was going to be the one heading to the Gamania room and to take a first look at the game, but with the insanity in scheduling that is GDC it ended up being Ethec.
So when I was approached later in the month to check it out for myself I was quite happy. No more would I be the man on the outs, not having experienced this new title for myself.
So did it measure up to Ethec's preview? Well, yes. Now keep in mind that I have no contact with children in my life. I don't know how they think, nor do I understand their jokes. I'm the kind of guy that if I get asked to spend some time with a child, I'd probably just watch Tarantino movies and avoid eye contact. I say this only to illustrate that despite the fact that I'm not familiar with the toddler pop culture I did enjoy Hero: 108 Online.
So the question then is "why?" What made the game cool for me? Well, for starters it was pretty freakin' intuitive. The UI is very well designed and navigating your way around it is something a kid could do, which is a good thing considering the target audience for the title. But more than that, there's always something to do in Hero: 108 Online. With the quest tree displaying all available quests in the game coupled with a clever system that will point you in the direction of your next goal you're going to have a hard time getting bored in the game or saying "there's nothing to do."
It's not like Irvine-based Gamania doesn't know what they're doing either. According to Kevin Crawford, Product Director, the company has been around for ten years and have produced other titiles such as Bright Shadow.The company has a heavy focus on the localization of their titles and retains autonomy.
Perhaps the coolest thing that should be mentioned about Hero 108: Online is that it's being tied in very much to the cartoon series on Cartoon Network. The show kicked off this month and is gaining a lot of popularity. While the show does air in the US as well, the UK audience has enjoyed it so much that it can be seen during prime time cartoon hours (4pm weekdays and 7am Saturdays). This positions Gamania nicely into the launch of the game as both the game and the show have been developed simultaneously, and will continue to be. It's extremely rare that this sort of setup can happen so it's definitely an asset for the game.
So, did I enjoy the game as much as Ethec? Well, I did get more time to play it than he did as Gamania was kind enough to keep an account open for me to play at my leisure. I played as Mighty Ray as I felt a strong connection with the character that pokes himself in the eye to shoot lasers. And although I'm probably not the exact target audience Gamania has in mind, I can say that I did have fun. The humor is well placed and it's always fun to strip off the "serious gamer" persona and spend some time just being silly. That being said, there is enough in the game to offer challenge to more advanced players, particularly if you decide to do some of the more fancy combos. They're not necessary, but they do make for a lot of fun as you pull trains and work extra hard at controlling the numbers.
Even so, in the end, this will be a children's title. I'm sure there will be tweens and adults who will enjoy it, particularly if they play with their families. There's tons of family fun to be had and combining a hot new tv show with a video game that can be played together makes for a nice common ground. And isn't that kind of the point in today's market?
Share your thoughts and comments in the Loading... forum!
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