“Heroic deeds do not go unpaid,” are the words a lot of people preach daily. Whether this is true or not is up to the person consuming the words. Although not the most pleasurable outcome, the line remains true in Hero must die. again, but as it’s given, it can also be taken away.
Unlike the typical RPG we all know and love, Hero must die. again reverses the natural order of things. You start the game as the powerful hero who saved the kingdom and slain the malicious demon lord, right at the start, but there’s a catch. Victory isn’t absolutely yours for the taking as the demon lord has managed to make you his companion of death. Thanks to your heroic acts, you’ve been given 5 days of life.
One would expect a dying hero to be banqueted with unimaginable gifts and the world of beauties, but instead, you’ll live out your days exploring the land, helping folks deal with the aftermath, like a real hero, and searching for your true love. The decisions you make will decide the outcome of your funeral. Completionists are in for a treat with over 50 different funerals/endings to unlock.
The game is short and meant to be played more than once. It’s almost impossible to complete the primary objective in the first playthrough. You’ll make mistakes, learn from them, and repeat the process over and over to see how far you can get. Restarting can become annoyingly common, especially when making silly mistakes that waste time.
The tutorial does a fantastic job of explaining the basics to new players and the loyal old man’s words about each area can be skipped, which is a blessing in disguise, seeing as though you’ll have to play the game multiple times to make a decent attempt at getting it right.
At first glance at a random town image, Hero must die. again seems like an open-world game when strolling through a town, but people who believe it is will, unfortunately, be disappointed. It’s simple platforming where you dodge enemies by either entering a room or climbing stairs in time. It works fine but there are times you may have wished for the ability to jump.
Navigating from area to area isn’t difficult at all. The map is easy to understand and pull up to find your way around. Fast-travel items, either it is for escape or to get to a specific location without surrendering time, make it less of a hassle to get around.
The clock ticks to the date your soul leaves the earth once again. The actions you make will be crucial to how much you’re able to get done. This will, in turn, affect the ending you get. As previously mentioned, it’s impossible to get everything done in the first playthrough. It’s a game where you must play multiple times, learn from your mistakes, and see what you can get done that you couldn’t before.
It can become annoying restarting the game and doing things over, but it’s not as tedious as it could have been because of how short the game is. It’s easy to pick back up from where you left off. Second chances add in more elements to help with it, however, it’s still the same game at its core you’ll be playing repeatedly.
Besides the fact that your power depletes as the hours pass by, fights are as simplistic as they can get. It follows the same barebone turn-based combat found in old-school RPGs. You have your basic attack, magic, and usable items. It’s immensely lacking but it brings nostalgia to battles with a more appealing look, which helps keep it afloat with the downgrading of gear to maintain proper strength.
How easy or difficult battles are depend on your level of preparation for them. It’s almost surprising how a demon lord’s servant feels immeasurable in power in one playthrough and a walk in the park in the next. There isn’t a sufficient number of boss battles to satisfy the average player but it works out to be enough for such a short lifespan game.
Pleasant Japanese voice acting accompanies the English text scripts. Even if you’re unaware of what you’re listening to, a majority of RPG fans will take great joy in listening to it while reading the limited dialogue.
Not much can be said about the soundtrack besides how it works decently well with the game. The tunes give off a scent of mystery when exploring areas and searching for loot. Battle music ignites the heat of a fight and the world music is quiet charming to listen to.
Hero must die. again takes an interesting approach at a stereotypical RPG with its trial and error gameplay, but its $40 price tag does not do it justice. It’s capable of misleading people into thinking it’s a longer game when only completionists and speedrunners will get the bang for their buck. It’s simple in design and execution and will take many attempts before becoming content with a playthrough.
Hero must die. again gets a 5/10.