);

Heroine Anthem Zero 2 -Scars of Memories- Steam Early Access Review

Heroine Anthem Zero 2 -Scars of Memories- Steam Early Access Review

Developed by WindThunder Studio
Published by Winking Entertainment
Reviewed on Steam

Heroine Anthem Zero Episode 2 -Scars of Memories- is still under development, but you can play it via early access on Steam. As of this writing, they’re are seven of ten chapters available for play. The game is fairly entertaining and I’m anxiously waiting for the last three chapters to be released so I can know the fate of the characters I’ve begun to care about. I started playing this game without having played the first episode which is currently available on iOS, PS4, Steam, and the Nintendo Switch as Heroine Anthem ZERO -Sacrifice-. After completing the playable content in the early access build, I can easily recommend playing the first episode.

The story doesn’t seem to be too focused on progression and gives the players a very long scenic route. Similar to fillers for anime, Heroine Anthem Zero 2 concentrates heavily on character development and only continues the overarching story by a few inches. The game starts off as if Shama plays a role in an important prophecy only to have her chain quests have nothing to do with what was foreshadowed in the beginning. I really wanted to get into the lore and play an important role in the cryptic past meets present story they have going on.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen for me. It’s OK though since there is plenty of story left yet to be told. It’s possible that all the little things in the adventures connect to some bigger plot. It’s possible that it only feels like filler content because the ending isn’t out yet! Things do take an interesting twist somewhere in the middle all the way through to the end of chapter seven. I’m predicting the last three chapters will be epic and tie in all the loose ends.

You start off playing as Shama, a girl with cat ears and a tail. She’s kind hearted with a jovial spirit. Her agile playstyle fits well with her personality. Her dual wielding daggers and long range shuriken makes her great in any situation. She can squeeze through small spots, run and slide up and down walls, triple jump, and even her dodge covers a lot of distance. The levels seem to be designed to force players into using all of her movement abilities, keeping exploration from becoming monotonous. 

Running and jumping around from platform to platform like a pro ninja can be difficult at first. There was a little bit of a learning curve for me because the default button layout didn’t feel natural. A great thing about this game and what should be in more games: there are button mapping options!  There are way too many games out there that I wish had button mapping instead of alternate button layouts. This game has it and that’s a huge plus for me.

Combat isn’t too different from other action platformers. A unique feature is a combat companion that accompanies you in your adventure. Depending on the companion, they can do different things on command. One of them can fetch items for you and another can lift you to higher areas you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. With all of Shama’s abilities, fighting monsters can be pretty easy. Monsters respawn whenever you reenter a room so getting good is only a matter of time. You can farm them to level up and grind for materials for crafting. Some boss fights can be challenging but never impossible.

There are only two types of crafting: cooking and smithing. By using the ingredients you gather during your journey, you can craft useful items to make your quest a little bit easier. The different food recipes often heal the player for a good amount. Depending on the recipe you use, you can get some useful buffs too. Smithing comes much later in the game and you can craft weapons and armor. If you like the stuff you already have equipped, you can refine them and get a little boost. Crafting starts a little minigame that requires you to press the action button when a tick is moving left and right on top of a green area of a bar.

This game is still in its infancy with a good amount of work done but still has plenty more work to do. There’s a lot of storytelling during and in between the action. Fans of the action platformer genre may be turned off by the amount of reading they’ll have to consume before doing any running. You may encounter some translation errors that can slow down your reading as you look back to decipher what you just read. Sometimes while you’re dodging and beating up on some baddies, chunks of story text cycle through the bottom left of your screen before you can finish reading it. Unfortunately, there’s no log to review past dialogue. So if you miss it, you miss it.

The sound in this game is amazing for a small team. There’s no voice acting yet. But everything else from the music to the sound effects are solid. The high production value in their sound gives this game a solid boost.

For where the game is at, it looks like it’s headed in the right direction. I see good communication between the players and the devs and that’s always a good sign. If you’re a fan of the series after playing the first, go ahead and pick this early access title up and give it a spin.

You can find additional information on Winking Corp’s Facebook page. 

Graphics
12out of 5
Sound
16out of 5
Story
12out of 5
Gameplay
12out of 5

Overview

Heroine Anthem Zero 2 -Scars of Memories- is an action platformer with light RPG elements. It starts off a bit puzzling followed by plenty of reading before the real action begins.

3.25

3.25 out of 5
Average


Related Articles

Phantom Trigger Review

Published by TinyBuild Developed by Bread Team Reviewed on Nintendo Switch (also available on PC)   Phantom Trigger is a

A Hat in Time Review

Developed by Gears for Breakfast Published by Gears for Breakfast Reviewed on Steam (will also be available on PlayStation 4

The Alliance Alive Review

Developed by Cattle Call, FuRyu Corporation, Grezzo Published by Atlus USA Reviewed on Nintendo 3DS   Japanese game publisher FuRyu