Hey all, I'm JDL, back again with another game review. I recently reviewed "In Between", a fun, artistic platformer and now I'm back to talk about Heart and Slash: a fun, colorful action RPG that'll keep gamers addicted and players exploring dungeons and slashing robots for some time to come! Let's dig in!
Imagine a game where "Devil May Cry" meets "Recettear" through "Jet Grind Radio" colored sunglasses and you've got "Heart and Slash", an action RPG roguelike game with randomly generated levels. Players assume the role of the titular Heart, a heroic robot who battles malevolent machines and his more sinister counterpart, the evil robot QuAsSy.
"Heart and Slash" is a great game in terms of "pick up and play"; it's easy to learn, but hard to master and even harder to get through thanks to several factors. More than just your average hack & slash button mash experience, "Heart and Slash" keeps the difficulty coming with randomly generated dungeons, making sure players get a different experience each time they play and can't consult a guide for an easy win. Players should also be aware of "perma-death," which means when players get killed they have to start their game over from the beginning, which means (you guessed it!) a fresh new level chosen/created at random!
Players can find new equipment on subsequent playthroughs to help them navigate the dungeons; items range from trashcan lids and boxing gloves to shotguns and flaming swords to jetpacks and revolvers to new body parts for Heart to equip. Weapon count maxes out at 75 and body parts max out at 60, so combinations can get crazy.
One of the few things about “Hack and Slash” that can be frustrating are the camera angles. The camera shifts radically during Heart's jump and mid-combat (which is a pain against opponents that try to dive bomb you). There's been more than one instance where the camera more than contributed to an otherwise easily avoided death. While the cameras are difficult to manage, the rest of the game's presentation is great. Heart and Slash's take a retro approach with a gorgeous art style, which is like something out of Jet Grind Radio or a late-era Dreamcast game, and a throwback 90s soundtrack. Both of these will capture players hearts like it did mine.
As mentioned before "Heart and Slash" features "perma-death," and randomly generated dungeons, so players get a different experience every time they play. Combine that with all the collectibles and weapons that change with every playthrough AND the easy to learn gameplay, players will be glued to "Heart and Slash" for a long time, possibly even addicted.
"Heart and Slash" is basically an old school gamer's wet dream. It's all the best parts of retro game goodness sucked out of all of our first games then given a huge dose of steroids. "Heart and Slash" has the kind of graphics and soundtrack to reel in a hardcore gamer, coupled with the kind of gameplay easy enough to learn for a beginner, with a little bit of challenge provided by the random levels and sometimes-random-camera. Factor in all the collectibles and weapons and you've got a great action RPG that'll be a staple for a while. SCORE: 4/5 stars!