Nintendo's Glory of Heracles feels like the company's attempt at RPG Training, a My First Role-Playing Game for the crowd fearful of stats-heavy, turn-based conventions. But then the Nintendo DS game quickly becomes that very thing.
That may be due to the game actually being the fifth entry in the Hercules no Eiko series, which originated on Nintendo's Famicom. This will be the first internationally released entry. So, Nintendo's E3 2009 demo for Glory of Heracles, developed by Paon, feels very much tuned to the new player, describing very clearly how to interact with townsfolk, the benefits of visiting shops to buy weapons and upgrades, and exactly how an epic role-playing game is supposed to be played.
Glory of Heracles follows JRPG conventions closely, offering up a familiar turn-based interaction complete with attacks, magic, skills, escape and more. There's also a running list of stats that fills the DS's bottom touchscreen, one filled with helpful explanations for the RPG noob.
Graphically, Glory of Heracles is... a little on the rough side. A blend of 3D environments with scaling 2D sprites, it looks good in battles, thanks to colorful characters, but less attractive when exploring towns.
The E3 demo was light on story, but official word from Nintendo notes that Glory of Heracles features a Greek motif. The standard hero "washes up on a beach with amnesia" convention leads into the unraveling of the "mysterious pasts" of the game's cast of characters. You know, the kind of story line that will train you on how RPG stories work.
Glory of Heracles uses the Nintendo DS's touchscreen for something a little more interesting, a quick mini-game one can play when spells are cast to increase their effectiveness.
You can see the DS game in action in our gallery below to see if you're looking forward to its 2010 release.