So You Want to Be a Hero? [Chapter 2]

Being a hero is not as easy as it sounds. You can never enjoy a pleasant nap, and even when you can, someone will always wake you up with hope of a great day, when ultimately a nightmare is sure to follow. Sometimes they wake you up with terrible news, and it keeps going downhill from there. If you go out, you will surely have to fight dragons, nightmarish creatures with great power, and even cactus plants. You will probably have to protect your village from evil, and sometimes you will even have to save other villages replete of people who won’t even acknowledge you for what you did. There will be plenty of beautiful girls, but without a doubt you will be saving maidens that will in all likelihood choose another guy over you. Or there’s the occasional girl who will love you, but won’t be able to share the rest of her life with you because in reality, she’s part of the evil team… or has a deep secret that’s the key to humanity’s salvation. Calm down and take it in stride, that’s just the way of the hero.

Why is it that we always want to be part of adventures that — while overflowing with extraordinary stories of love, hatred, and destiny — are just a fantasy? That’s because we all want to be heroes. We all want to be remembered and to conquer far-away lands. And of course we always want to get the girl in the end. Well guess what? There is no better place to start than the Nintendo DS. It is home to many groundbreaking titles where having enough courage is just one of the many obstacles you will have to overcome. Each week we will spotlight four upcoming RPG titles that will surely spark the hero in all of us. Some are stories of love, some are stories of hatred, some are stories of fate… but in the end, you will want them all to be part of your wishlist.

So you want to be a hero?

Children of Mana

The Facts:
Square-Enix developed Children of Mana and will share the publishing duties with Nintendo. This highly anticipated title will ship later this year.

Why you should care:
The Mana series has been a mainstay with videogame fans both here and abroad for over ten years now. Thankfully, Square-Enix has decided to bring Children of Mana to the Nintendo DS and this could be the best in the series so far. One of the best aspects of any Mana game is its graphical presentation. Children of Mana has beautiful 2D graphics that paint a rich tapestry of colors and shades. The gameplay is no slouch either, players will find lots of depth with the different weapon, magic, and upgrade systems the game uses.

What it reminds us of:
Honestly, Children of Mana reminds us of the now classic Secret of Mana that debuted on the Super Nintendo/Famicom way back in early 90s. The beautiful graphics, and very deep gameplay is all there. Although some recent efforts in the Mana series haven’t quite reached the pinnacle of the earlier iterations, we believe Children of Mana will be a return to form for the series.

Mana returns!

Lunar Knights

The Facts:
Created by Kojima Productions, Lunar Knights brings the innovative Boktai series to the Nintendo DS later this year.

Why you should care:
What made the Boktai games on the Game Boy Advance so interesting was the unique use of a sun sensor built right into the cartridge. This sensor determined how powerful your attacks were against your enemies, a group of marauding vampires. This all made sense, but a lot of people — ourselves included — were very weary of this product. When we finally got our hands on it, we found out it was a brilliant effort in creativity. Lunar Knights takes everything that Boktai was, an updates it with two new lead characters, brand new gameplay, and a much stronger focus on action. Better yet, they removed the sun sensor, and now the heroes use the power of the sun, and the moon in the actual game world, not in ours. So there will be no more waiting for perfect weather to fight the undead.

What it reminds us of:
For anyone familiar with the original Boktai, you can already see a direct correlation between it and Lunar Knights. The isometric perspective along with the various locales constantly reminds me of Boktai. Not to mention the army of the undead you will have to vanquish.

No more waiting for the sun. We like.

Pokémon Mysterious Dungeon: Red Rescue Team

The Facts:
Chunsoft has developed this title for Nintendo, and for the first time Pokemon fans will play as a Pokémon and see the world from their point of view. The dungeons are also randomly generated so that ought to keep things interesting.

Why you should care:
Even though you will often hear “Pokémon is a kid’s game!” most people who actually try the game cannot argue that the Pokémon games have been part of a solid RPG series. And since this game is seen from the eyes of the Pokémon instead of the ruthless trainers, it might be worth a look even from those of us who have “caught them all” several times over and have grown tired of the same formula.

What it reminds us of:
Well for starters… Pokémon. But really, I don’t think you will be trying catch trainers to battle against other Pokemon and their captured trainers, so this ought to be more of a traditional RPG experience.

Link it up with the DS version.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

The Facts:
Marvel Ultimate Alliance for the DS/GBA is being published by Activision and developed by a TBA studio. The game is set to be released on the 24th of October.

Why you should care:
While not much is known about the handheld versions of this game, but
if it plays anything like its console big brothers you are in for a
comic book nerd’s wet dream. Over 140 licensed super-heroes and
villains will be in the game (24 of which are playable). Imagine
creating the ultimate supergroup of heroes and doing battle against
your favorite villains. The idea of Wolverine and Spiderman fighting
back to back to save the world from destruction is enough to make
even the least nerdy of us giddy with anticipation. Let’s hope the
handheld versions will back the same epic punch.

What it reminds us of:
Imagine X-men Legends, but staring 140 characters from across the Marvel universe all packed into one game. Yes, it’s that cool.

Rain? Nah. That’s the sound of Marvel fans drooling.

Did you enjoy the special? Let us know by sending your comments and questions to our very own “Reader’s Pulse: Mailbag”.

Previous Chapters

  • So You Want to Be a Hero? — Chapter 4
  • So You Want to Be a Hero? — Chapter 3
  • So You Want to Be a Hero? — Chapter 2
  • So You Want to Be a Hero? — Chapter 1