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access_time July 17, 2012 at 8:24 PM in Reviews by Adam Larck

Review | Heroes of Ruin

One genre that Nintendo handhelds have normally lacked in are online dungeon crawlers. The Vita had one out of the gate (granted, it was an iOS port, but more are at least planned), and the iOS has a good amount as well.

So, it’s nice to see that N-Space and Square Enix have made Heroes of Ruin for the 3DS. The game brings the core of the dungeon crawler gameplay to the 3DS, but does it bring enough to interest you?

The plot here isn’t exactly deep. The ruler of Nexus, the sphinx Ataraxis, has been cursed, and you have to find the cure to save him. Not exactly original stuff. Then again, you don’t play these types of games for the story, do you? It’s all about the loot.

The loot drops are plenty and at the right times. N-Space has the timing down nicely to give you a good piece of equipment just as your interest may be beginning to dwindle. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of other loot drops in between what will interest you, but often it’s just a slight increase, if any, or for another class entirely.

This would make it seem that there would be a good trading system, right? Well, there may be, but I’m not sure if people are realizing it yet. The system has you tag items you want to put up to trade and people can make offers or tag their own items to trade. However, I’ve never ran into a person yet that’s tagged an item. If you don’t want to take items, though, don’t worry, you can just destroy an item in a dungeon to get money. Doing this will let you build a huge amount of gold through the game, letting you get anything you want from the store.

As far as characters go, there are four types, ranging from the balanced Vindicator to the ranged Alchemist. It’s your standard selection of characters, minus a thief or rogue. You can change a bit of how they look, but their race is already set.

The game is a button masher, similar to traditional dungeon crawlers. A will swing your weapon like crazy, while the other face buttons can be mapped to special abilities. However, except during boss fights or mini-boss fights, you’ll probably seldom use these mainly due to the lag associated between hitting the button and their actual use.

There’s also a block button on R that has the same problem. By the time you block, the attacks already done its damage. In addition, your regular attack has a charge feature that can break enemy blocks. It’s often just as effective to wail away on enemies and wait for them to drop guard and attack to damage them.

The game also features a decent leveling system. Leveling gets you three points to increase, attack, health or mana, along with a skill point. It’s not really in-depth, but provides enough depth to make each skill feel important.

Each act in the game have a different area you travel too, with sub-areas in each one. However, the sub-areas look pretty similar to each other as you go along. However, given that they have limited space on the cartridge, that’s to be expected.

As far as the online capabilities go, it’s surprisingly good for the 3DS. In fact, it might be the best online usage I’ve seen for the system. Players can drop in and out smoothly, and I never experienced lag.

Playing online can also give you access to daily quests. The quests, which range from killing enemies to leveling and other objectives, can give you specialty points to buy a different set of items in the Nexus.

About the only drag can sometimes be when you need all the party in one location to advance forward. With the way the levels can sometimes split, this means you either have to wait for your teammates to get to where you are or find and try to direct them over.

While you’re waiting, though, you can always pass the time with random enemy spawns. One of big complaints I actually have with the game is the balance of enemy spawns. You can sometimes go through large sections without seeing a single minion, but other times you can get wave after wave of enemies in the exact same location. There really seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how many enemies you’ll find and where.

Finally, we get to the graphics. While they aren’t the worst I’ve seen on the DS or 3DS, they definitely aren’t top of the line. They’re a bit blocky, but having graphics that aren’t the best the handheld can take can help with no lag online.


  • Good online capabilities.
  • Plenty of loot to find.
  • Gameplay is simple, yet enjoyable.Cons
  • Levels look similar to each other.
  • Skills, blocking seem slow.
  • Enemy spawns are really random.Final Thoughts:Overall, Heroes of Ruin brings a needed genre to the system. However, it does it at the bare minimum needed. All the mechanics are there, but nothing is really added to set it apart from the other games in the genre. However, fans of the genre looking for something portable won’t be disappointed.


  • Ramon Aranda July 17, 2012 at 9:11 PM

    I might have to eventually give this a shot.

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