88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition - Switch Review

The original 88 Heroes has been out for some time, but we've gotten a newer, shinier version of the game out for the Nintendo Switch now. 88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition is fun for short sessions of arcade fun, but does not have enough depth to keep me coming back for more, despite a pretty cool premise.

The biggest thing that 88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition has going for it is 'fun'. This is an action platformer with a sense of humor, so the retro visuals when mixed with a pretty good sense of humor takes this arcade action a lot further than it might have gone otherwise.

We begin with a ridiculous but amusing cutscene that has Dr. H8 threatening to to destroy the world on 8/8/88. So naturally, we have 88 heroes who have to be used to pick up coins before the 88 seconds per map run out. I was somewhat reminded of Super Meat Boy, though less punished here, with the small stages that essentially boil down to jumping, activating things and looking about. Early on in the game, you get a fair amount of hand-holding, which is not a bad thing as these different heroes have different traits. That means the pacing in the early stages is a far cry from the more frantic stages later in the game, but I appreciate that the developers didn't just toss me out there and wish me the best of luck.

Every stage can be beaten by any hero, though obviously some of the skills lend themselves to specific challenges better than the others. The key threat are the traps (lasters, guns, etc) as well as the occasional minion. I will say that visually, one of the more interesting parts of the game is how you are viewing the antics of your heroes through the large screen that Dr. H8 is standing at. He moves about in front of the screen, which is pretty funny at first but rather annoying later on since he is technically standing between you and the screen, and there are times when he and his henchmen will just get in the way and you die in a way that doesn't feel particularly fair.

Thankfully the controls are pretty tight, but the moments above where cheap deaths occur had a way of getting on my nerves. Additionally, there is some trial and error in getting a new hero, and understanding how they work. A lot of heroes met untimely deaths, and you may find yourself stuck using some heroes you don't care for as much near the end. It doesn't help that some of the stages and boss battles feel decidedly boring. Again, I think the idea that any stage or boss can be bested by any hero means there are just too many ways to win, and so the creative premise at times works against the development.

The other major issue is repetition. With this many heroes and this many stages, there is a strange sense of sameness that starts to occur around the midpoint of the game. The retro visuals and sound are well enough done, but are also fairly unspectacular. I found myself just kind of plowing through the last ten or so stages, simply because I was nearly done, not because there was any meaningful sort of progression driving me. I suppose it comes with the interesting premise and the arcade style of play, but 88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition got off to a better start than it concluded for me.

88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition is actually pretty fun in limited doses, but I enjoyed it more in the beginning than I did by the end. There is a quirky humor here that makes the exploits more entertaining than the title might have been without them, but despite a large cast of characters, there is very little actual depth or sense of progression to the game. That makes makes it an above average outing, but not something I feel compelled to come back to and play over and over again.

Game Information

Bitmap Bureau
Rising Star Games

Single Player
Other Platform(s):

Provided by Publisher

Article by Nick


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