Libra: Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption (Switch)
Release Date: February 9, 2021
File Size: 4.2GB
Publisher: Silesia Games
Developer: Transolar Games
Click here to view on the Nintendo eShop.
Libra is our “first impressions” series. These are generally spoiler free, but may reveal some base plot points and mechanic details.
I want to start by saying I’m extremely excited that Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption even exists. It is the kickstarted spiritual successor to the 1990s Quest for Glory series of RPGs released by Sierra Games, the makers of King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, etc. Now originally, the QFG games were called Hero’s Quest, which fit with Sierra’s iconic naming convention at the time. Unfortunately for fans of the series, there was also an excellent board game called Hero Quest that came out first, so after the first game in the series, the games were called Quest for Glory.
Since this was long ago, it’s fair to ask, what was Quest for Glory all about and do Corey and Lori Ann Cole recapture the magic with Hero-U? I’ll dive deeper into these questions in the full review, but for now, know the following: QFG was not only Sierra’s (to my knowledge) only RPG game (stats that grow over time, gear, battles, class types), it was one of the first series I’ve ever played where every problem in the game had a different possible solution depending on your class.
You could choose Thief, Mage, or Warrior, and each could solve things in a different way. Beyond this, you could export your character at the end of each title and bring them into the next game to pick up where you left off on building your personal hero, evolving them into a hybrid class with skills and spells not even available to acquire in later titles. And all this happened in a high-fantasy world filled not only with dragons and magical beasts of all sorts, but also with endless humor and gags that felt two-parts Monty Python and one-part bad dad jokes.
In its first few hours, Hero-U proves to feel like a faithful new chapter in a familiar series rich with nostalgia for those who played them growing up like I did. If anything, it’s faithfulness to the point-and-click roots of the series holds it back a bit more than you’d like on console. Everything is clickable and so far, I’ve found a few quests simply by turning over every item in the game. This makes you feel like you are going to have to click on everything, which is a bit much. The fact the game begins with you stuck in a single room, with several such objects to read descriptions about in order to solve a hidden item puzzle, before even letting you understand how rich its world is doesn’t feel like the best beginning. So let’s call this a slow burn.
But it’s not all rehashing QFG. Hero-U is a game set at a university for heroes where you are a student – something new to the series. Additionally, you don’t pick your class at the beginning, though I’ve already found teachers of Magic and Paladin skills, so I know this is coming. If you enjoyed Sierra games or have always wanted to try out the QFG series, the Switch copy is one of the easiest ways to have this experience as you can take it on-the-go (I’m a huge fan of this feature on the Switch if you didn’t know this about me).
- Tons of references to the QFG series. For example, Erana is very present.
- The music is genuinely pretty so far and adds an enchanting touch.
- Stats level up individually by doing things. Look behind things to build perception, pick up heavy things to build strength.
- The artwork and interface are clearly dated which could be a turn off to players who didn’t enjoy the originals.
- Lots of reading descriptions. There are dozens of objects on each screen and it can feel overwhelming instead of fun at times.
- No combat in the first few hours of the game makes it feel more like an adventure game than RPG. I hope there is lots of combat to come.
Stay tuned for my full review in the coming weeks!