Imagine starting a JRPG right after the hero sacrifices his life to destroy the demonic presence terrorizing the countryside. You’ve achieved the highest level, mastered all of the spells, and accumulated a wicked amount of gold. Then, by the grace of God (quite literally), you find yourself back in the mortal world for another five days to see how your heroic actions have drastically altered the landscape – for better and worse.
But your mystical reincarnation comes at a price: Over the span of these five days, you’ll slowly but lose the ability to wield the world’s most powerful weapon. Additionally, all of those magic spells will vanish from your memory. And as you try your best to lend a helping hand to those in need, as well as setting aside some time to find the love of your life, you’ll need to lean on your companions to complete those quests.
Hero must die. again takes this concept and runs with it, allowing you to carefully shape your hero’s final days. What you do during that time ultimately determines the type of funeral you’ll receive. And since you only have five days to explore the world and help those in need, you have to carefully choose which activities deserve your attention. Fortunately, after you’ve passed on, you can start the game over again – complete with your data – and choose a completely different path.
Just about everything you do in Hero must die. again will consume the game’s most precious commodity: time. As your hero travels from city to city and fights an array of different foes, he’ll become tired, requiring you to sacrifice a few hours for sleep and rest. So, in addition to downgrading your equipment when your body simply cannot bear the weight any longer, you have to delicately manage your time. After all, how can you amass enough gold to save the church, and help restore the barrier that protects an ancient forest, when you only have so much time to spare?
Instead of spreading yourself too thin, it’s important to focus on one adventure and see it through to the end. Of course, finding your footing and juggling your responsibilities and lack of time can become a little stressful, especially if you’re the sort who wants to accomplish everything. By starting a new game, you carry over your previous achievements while helping another poor soul who needs your assistance.
Mercifully, Hero must die. again takes place in a relatively small 2D world. You’ll navigate the cities and dungeons in side-scrolling fashion, but when it’s time to head to another location, you’ll jump to the world map to select your destination. Battles, meanwhile, are your bog-standard turn-based affairs, though you’ll eventually have to complete quests with an ageing hero who can’t throw down as well as he did in his prime. It’s a fascinating concept, and the developers never treat the subject matter lightly.
If you need a JRPG that takes the genre’s many overplayed tropes and gives them a much-needed spin, Hero must die. again will surely delight. The game looks great, runs smoothly in both docked and handheld modes, and will keep you busy for many, many hours. Trying to see all of the game’s many funerals may take some time, but the world’s inherent charm and the unique take on an old formula make for an experience that JRPG fans will enjoy.
Hero must die. again £35.99
Although the game comes packed with JRPG tropes and cliches, Hero must die. again takes these well-worn staples and boldly transforms them into something unique, engaging, and surprisingly emotional. Even if you’re tired of JRPGs, it’s worth a look.