One Way Heroics Plus Review
Walking is fun. I’ve been walking during the summer as a way to get out of the house and find new places. What if, however, you needed to walk to save the world? That’s the opening to One Way Heroics Plus, where you’re given the task of walking to the East to defeat the Demon Lord. The game is a sidescroller, where you traverse the land, discovering new gear like swords or bows to give you an edge in your quest. You may even discover legendary loot guarded by bosses or hidden away deep inside dungeons along the way.
You begin your runs by choosing a character, selecting a class, and choosing perks for each attempt. In the beginning, you only have access to two classes and a small selection of basic stat perks. However, as you progress, you’ll be able to unlock more classes and perks through the use of Hero Points that you gain at the end of every run. These points can also be used to expand your Dimensional Vault, which can be used to transfer items from one playthrough to another. This adds an extra layer to gameplay as you often have to make a choice between transferring a strong item for future playthroughs or moving a useful utility item to add that extra edge to another run.
Afterward, you’ll choose a world to begin your adventure in, which can be either a randomly generated world or a seed that you can enter in. Any given seed will always generate terrain and structures in the same locations, allowing for strategic planning of your path. This won’t fix the locations of item spawns though so you’ll need to explore to find them still. If you want a randomized run in the vein of a game like The Binding of Isaac or Enter the Gungeon, you’ll have to create a new world every time that you start a playthrough. This can be a turnoff for some players who just want a typical roguelike.
The game plays similarly to titles like the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon franchise in relation to the control scheme. Movement is based on a grid system, letting the player traverse and fight in 8 directions. You’ll be outrunning the Darkness, a pervading force that instantly kills you if it catches up to you but travels slowly, ensuring that the player is moving to the right and exploring. You can pick up items and equipment as you travel, in addition to being able to purchase them from vendors that you can find in a run. The in-game currency that you collect is called silver and does not carry over between runs. However, there is a currency called Dimension Coins that allows you to upgrade your castle at the beginning of the game, allowing you to place NPCs at the start for new quest lines or new starting items that you can get.
The enemies that you encounter will start weak but scale with the distance that you travel in the game. You’ll also be able to encounter bosses that are more difficult than normal enemies, in addition to sometimes encountering them with other mobs on screen. They can have unique mechanics and abilities but overall just function as more difficult versions of normal mobs. There aren’t any kinds of puzzles in the game but you can encounter dungeons on the path. These hold loot and can have more difficult enemies than normal. The world will also sometimes give events like more enemies or an increase of loot to be encountered while exploring.
The game uses a 16-bit art, which helps separate it from other roguelikes. Distinct backgrounds for each zone helps to breathe life into the different biomes as you travel across the land.. Despite the unique aesthetic that the game uses, there’s a very limited number of character assets with only two unique sprites per class and palette swaps for the different merchants and NPCs. A few of the other NPCs have a unique model and a character portrait that help to distinguish those characters from the rest of the generic NPCs.
The music is varied as you traverse throughout a run. Each of the regions has different soundtracks that play as you travel through them. There are also other tracks that play at unique times, like the boss theme for encountering the demon lord. The music doesn’t feel repetitive over multiple runs while helping to provide a nice background to the game. It feels similar to games like Final Fantasy Tactics, wherein the music is well made but will blend together because it plays often over multiple playthroughs. Depending on how much attention you pay to the music in a playthrough, it can create fatigue over multiple playthroughs.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience with One Way Heroics Plus. It offers a large amount of replayability and has many avenues of progression for different players. I enjoyed that amount of time that you could put into a single world to learn the ins and outs to learn that world. I felt that the gameplay loop of travel to the right and attack monsters started to weigh down my enjoyment of the game. Despite that, the deep strategy of bringing items between playthroughs and the relaxing soundtrack helped to offset the relatively simple graphics and fairly repetitive gameplay.
Edited by Joe Barbieri