Hero Legend 2

I wanted to like this game! A lot! The core of it is so good that I think a well-done execution of it could be one of my favorite games of all time: take the trappings of a modern JRPG (healer/tank/DPS trinity; branching upgrades and skill trees; random encounters with a larger focus on bosses) and replace the fairly rote "Attack / Attack / Debuff / Heal" gameplay with Match-3, a perfect fit for the form factor.

Unfortunately, this game is also an exercise in how to ruin a JRPG:

  1. Encounters that sit in a bimodal distribution of either "annoying interrupts with zero danger" or "terrifying deathtraps which require huge amounts of grinding and/or luck to survive";
  2. A script that makes Google Translate look elegant;
  3. An interface that feels slathered in Vaseline;
  4. Single-use items that can only be set outside a dungeon.

The core gameplay loop is so good — and then it sours as soon as you hit one of the many difficulty spikes. I survived two; I decided it was not worth my time to hazard the third.

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