Heroes and Legends – Conquerors of Kolhar
Phoenix Online’s Heroes and Legends – Conquerors of Kolhar has finally come to life on Steam. Its touted as a strategy role playing game that pits the player against hordes of enemies on a quest to quell the evil uprising across the realm.
Developed by a small indie team Cuve, based in France, Conquerors is an ambitious title that sadly falls short in the realm of Strategy RPGs.
The game starts you off with a party of three, a warrior, a monk/Wizard and Rogue, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. The warrior obviously master of combat, Wizard is adept at magic spells and so on.
We find our trio on a mission to find an Ancient Artefact, all which unravels to tell the tale of an Evil power uprising, which occurs every 177 years. Along their journey they meet other additional heroes that join them in their efforts to rid the land of the Evil Presence.
Gameplay is presented via a map screen, where players can equip their team with weapons, skills and armour and go about customising them to their own delight prior to the next battle. The story is played out via text and character portraits which are beautifully drawn, but I found the banter between the Heroes, somewhat stale and generic, thus I found myself skipping past the dialogue scenes, as it wasn’t gripping enough. Later on it does improve, but initially it wore thin.
Upon the map screen you have a myriad of options to choose from, be it your next mission, or side quests to uncover skills and items, or you can pop into the forge section. The Forge is an area where you equip items, skills etcetera, as well as construct armour and magical items. Old loot can be broken down to materials in order to create new items, weapons and armour. Which keeps the interest high, as wanting to have that shiny new set of armour, and having only a few of the components, promotes replay value.
Now with any RPG, the battle system is paramount, as you’ll be doing a lot of battling, whether story based or random battles, this is where the games bread and butter is.
Battles take place between dialogue scenes and consists of a Timed Battle System, where your Heroes, and their enemies are all on “auto pilot “ and will attack pertaining to the timer allotted to that particular character, think Final Fantasy 7. Your heroes will attack automatically regardless if you have input a command or not, so it’s up to you to get your strategies in whilst the timer is ticking down. This is where the game shines. I guess you can call it a “Micro Management Battle System”, as you have to constantly watch what is happening on screen, and act accordingly to the situation at hand. This makes for some frenetic gameplay as; there are situations where any lapse of concentration can mean an untimely end for your party.
Skills are assigned to each character and can be used by clicking the skill icon so that character will use it on his next turn, be warned as these skills have a recharge timer on them as well, adding to the frenzy of button clicks and strategic ideas you may have. Levelling is done on the fly as well, just to make it more challenging.
Graphically, Heroes and Legends, is bright and colourful with a bestiary that is over 100 strong. The character portraits as I mentioned earlier are beautifully drawn and have a great deal of character. The models used for battle though…..not so much. They still use the same character portraits, but they move awkwardly, it almost can be mistaken for a Flash game. I know it sounds harsh, and myself being a Retro Gamer know that it shouldn’t be judged on its graphics, but visually, it came across as a bit cheap. Would they have been better represented in a charming Pixel Art format, maybe? But that’s just me being nit-picky.
All in all, it’s not a terrible game, but it does have its flaws. It does have an engaging Battle System that does seem frenetic at first, but as you progress, and have your wits about you, does reward you with a sensation of “Phew!!! What a battle! Yeah that was fun!!”
The item crafting and material forging does add a lot of depth to what basically is a simple game, and allows players to be creative.
So is it for you? Die hard JRPG fans may enjoy this as a diversion from their standard fare, and it will test the old reflexes and grey matter as well. If you are in the mood for a quick blast of strategy action, then yes, it will deliver, but for something deeper, maybe look elsewhere.
Despite my negativity, I applaud the small team of 3 who made Heroes and Legends. it’s a bold entry, and an ambitious idea, with some interesting new ways of handling a Strategy RPG.
- Frenetic reflex strategy gets the blood pumping and provides for a fun Battle system
- Uninspired character dialogue makes the characters plain and generic, had no connection with any of the heroes.
- In game visuals a tad bland.
Heroes and Legends- Conquerors of Kolhar is available on Steam now.