Since Team17 started their Indie Partnership Program they have picked up some great indie developers. Roll7 is one of those developers and they have two titles launching this week on Xbox One. The first of the two titles we will be reviewing today is Not a Hero Super Snazzy Edition which is a comedy filled 2D run ‘n’ gun platfomer with cover based elements. While this title has been out for the PC and PS4 for quite a while, the Xbox One version gives gamers the definitive version.
Not a Hero tells the story of Bunnylord a big purple bunny who joins the political struggle to gain votes and raise his popularity by the bucket load in the hope of having global domination. He isn’t a power hungry bunny he just has to do it to save the world from impending doom. The story gels together with some great slapstick comedy and some epic one liners from the nine characters you unlock as you play through. There are a few moments it fails to tickle the old funny bone but they are few and far between. If real political campaigns were as violent as this the world would be very different, although I don’t think purple bunnies would be our leaders.
Not A Hero Super Snazzy Edition is a retro game through and through sporting its pixilated and colourful graphics. The design and gameplay automatically reminded me of the arcade game Elevator Action, without any elevators of course. It does have doors and windows you can slide through for a gun-totting smashing time. The game takes place in buildings where you have numerous objectives as you slide, cover and gun down crime lords in order to get Bunnylords campaign off the ground. There is an absurd amount of violence with body parts exploding everywhere, but the level of violence feels just right with its retro look and feel.
There are three environments that players will slide and shoot their way through in Not a Hero. They cover pretty much your main crime syndicates, from the Russians to the Yakuza and the mean streets of drug dealers. The game may take place mostly all in and around buildings but don’t let that put you off as they have managed to give each of the three environments their own uniqueness. I especially love the garden in the Yakuza area, its a great place to chill for a bit.
At the core this is a cover and shoot experience and is a great one at that. After the initial few levels you soon see the game mechanics coming into play. You need to make great use of the cover spots while dealing with an insane amount of enemies looking to stop Bunnylord from his dominance. Not only that as you progress certain enemies will need to be dealt with in a certain way. There are ones that will teleport once you hit them and require a few hits. Others will need dealt with as quickly as possible like the Ninjas who depending on your character can take half a clip. Yes there are some cheap trial and error moments but with the indoor levels that is a given. The team have put some well placed barrels and fire extinguishers in spots you can use to get to otherwise non reachable areas. There are also some great scripted events in the game that will test your crowd management abilities. I especially love it when S.W.A.T are on your butt and come from all directions including through windows in the background.
There are nine very different characters in total for you to unlock. They unlock as your popularity rises, however I did play as Cletus for most of the game since he was a Glaswegian. He is the second character that unlocks and his one liner’s, though limited, had me in hysterics throughout. Unfortunately I cant repeat them in the review but they are pretty spot on. I think they hit the nail in the head with this guy.
All nine characters have their own kind of personality along with individual traits which come in handy in certain levels for grabbing all three mini-challenges. Cletus for example has a sawn-off shotgun that takes most enemies out in one shot if close enough, where as Clive for example carries duel wielding capabilities. Jesus (nope not the one your thinking of) on the other hand can run fast and has the ability to shoot and slide. He is ideal for mini-challenges that want you to complete a level in a set time. It has to be said that they are colourful characters all with their own accent and one liner’s. Apart from the characters main weapon you can carry a second attack, who for most will be in the form of pick-ups like grenades and nail bombs etc. There are also power-ups for your primary weapons like the awesome fatboy (explosive bullets) but these power-ups only last for one clip. The exception to this is the fast reload, but you can’t have this in conjunction with any the other power-ups.
The Good Things
- Great old-skool retro arcade feel.
- Solid Cover and Shoot mechanics.
- Pretty challenging if you want to achieve all the challenges.
And The Bad
- The 27 levels are short.
- A couple of the mini-challenges are borderline frustrating.
- Not A Hero Super Snazzy Edition is full of good old retro arcade fun and I love it for that. It really comes across that the developers have a love for this genre. Admittedly some of the mini-challenges are borderline insane but are achievable with the right character and good memory. I do like all nine characters and how they have their own personality and weapons that do make a difference. The only criticism is that the game can be run through in a day or two so it might be best for short sessions. If you love arcade titles like Elevator Action and 2D cover based shooters, this is a title worth a look. You also get to play as the purple bunny himself.
It has a Glaswegian in it, nuff said.