LOOT HERO DX
By Tom "TomBsTone" Bronneberg on January 29, 2021
In medieval times, in a distant land, far from here, a big bad red dragon has been terrorizing the locals. Through its magical powers, evil monsters have gathered in its wake and are taking over this once beautiful and peaceful community. There has to be someone who can stop this evil menace once and for all, but where is he? (enter heroic shot of a 8 x 12 pixel knight ). Ah there you are. Thank god someone can take up this fight against evil, and maybe slay the big bad red dragon.
Ratalaika brings us another pixel art classic to play on our consoles. Loot Hero DX is a Pixel-art- miniature- lazy- loot- driven- RPG, and to be honest, it took me more time to write this review than it took me to get a platinum trophy for the game itself, but hey! Don't quit reading yet, let me enlighten you in the ways of Knights and monster Jousting.
To start off with the controls; "How does one Joust?" I hear you ask. Well, let me explain. First off you need to be a knight. Yep , it's a rule, can't break it, and we won't bend it. Not even an inch! So get your knight armour and helmet and continue reading... Alright next up! You will need something to Joust with. This is a large heavy pointy pole you use to hit the other knights or monsters while you storm off directly at them, face front. So go look for that... if you cant find anything in your home resembling a Joust, we'll accept a broomstick for this educational testing situation. Just make sure it has a bit of a pointy end.
Now hold your Joust, or broomstick in this case, next to your side, pointy end forward, the bristly part at your back. Yes like that!! Now choose a target. I'd suggest you don't choose a brick wall, seeing as it will probably win, but maybe just chase your kid brother or even your cat around a bit. It will give you a nice moving target to practice on. Now, shout "CHAAAAARGEEEE" at the very top of your lungs and run towards your target as fast as you can.... Did you hit your target?... No??? You didn't?! Well lucky for you the knight in Loot Hero DX is quite capable. So just hit that joystick or joypad right or left. That's it. See, that wasn't so hard now was it?
Pixel art Indies are always a welcome addition in nowadays HD game storm. Loot Hero DX is very nicely detailed in both Landscaping and Monster design. I just don't understand the Knight itself. He looks like he should be riding a horse, but I can't see one at all. But then again, he IS galloping. Maybe it's an invisible Monty Python horse... those are really rare, so I guess that's it. The levels and monsters also have corresponding themes, like Minotaurs, Werewolves, Dragons, Frogs and Spiders... I don't know who thought frogs were horrible monsters, but let me tell you the Knight doesn't care. Everything needs to go. Each level is designed in the same way; piece of runway, shops, piece of runway, shops, piece of runway, shops, piece of runway, Boss-fight. So its pretty straight forward, but also easy to remember. Whenever you slay a monster, it will drop loot, ranging from coins to gold, to freaking gems the size of melons (Yes, I was referring to the fruit...). And the occasional potions to heal or boost the knight.
The RPG element is concentrated in the shops in each level, and they are all the same everywhere. It is here that you can use the loot you have gathered to buy upgrades for the knight. Either Attack power, Critical Hit chance, Defence or Speed. The stats can go up to eleven, literally, when you are maxed out you can still spend loot and the numbers will still keep on going up, except for Critical Hit Chance, I mean 100% is max, this is science people, not fiction. With these stat increases, the knight will be able to reach new worlds and fight off more monsters and bosses.
Every time you slay a Boss, a new World opens up for you to explore. And after defeating the Last Dragon Boss you will be granted a turtle henchman, who will start digging up gold for you , and you enter a new game+ state. All levels are immediately accessible, but the monsters and bosses are much harder to defeat. So you'll need to farm more loot to gain more stats to become stronger and faster. In here lies the strength of Loot Hero DX. There doesn't seem to be an end to this cleverly constructed madness. Even after clearing the Dragon level 20 times I could still go faster and could still become stronger. At this point its ludicrous speed full ahead, and most of the level you're zooming through just becomes a blur. At some point you will die, but with an instant respawn, just go back down one level and farm some more, until you're strong enough to clear the next level.
Now, a game that's basically "just hold the right button" until you die, then try again, might not sound like a lot of fun. But the sheer madness that comes with the over levelling of the knight and ludicrous speeds the game lets you obtain IS a lot of fun. My kids got a hold off the game before I got the chance to play it, and all I heard was laughter. Yes it's really easy, and you only need 2 buttons to play the level and 4 buttons for each of the upgrades in the shop. But I still caught myself spending way too much time on running around like a crazed knight and really enjoying it while doing so. So for 5 dollars in the store, go and have some fun... that's an order.