In some ways, retro gaming can be an interesting topic of discussion. Arguably, the gaming market is flooded with titles that advertise a retro vibe, story, or gameplay. With so many retro titles in the market, it can be challenging to stand out amongst all of those titles. Thankfully, we have a retro game called 88 Heroes that brings us exactly what we want in a retro title – hilarious story, addicting gameplay, and fantastic graphics and sound.
Let’s start with the story. The premise for 88 Heroes is hysterical. If you want an idea of how funny the story is, then read the official synopsis –
“88 minutes past 8 on the 8th August 1988, the world teeters on the brink of total annihilation! Dr. H8’s demands are simple. Pay 88 Octillion dollars within 88 hours or 88 thermo-nuclear warheads pointed directly at earth will be launched. The 88th president of earth calls for urgent crisis talks! 88 leaders from 88 countries around the world are summoned to the Octagon. With the planet bankrupt, paying the ransom is not an option. Only one possible course of action is left to take. Infiltrate Dr. H8’s evil super lairs and retrieve the 8 digit coordinates to locate his space base and destroy it once and for all! Only a team of superheroes so daring, so heroic and so stupid could possibly pull this off. But who?” 88 Heroes, that’s who!
Keep in mind that you will see the number 8 very frequently. You will see it as a very common theme in the gameplay. You have up to 88 heroes to complete 88 levels, all in an effort to stop Dr. H8 from destroying the world. You start the game with a random hero and work on defeating the level in 88 seconds. In the regular 88 heroes mode, you will not have the option to choose your heroes. Each hero will randomly generate when you start a new game and have some details about the abilities of each hero. I honestly thought that you would play some heroes that have no chance of getting past a level. Luckily, the development team did a fantastic job with the level design. You are able to complete each level with the hero that is generated for you. The level may be difficult for the generated hero, but it is possible to pass it with whoever you get. Of course, you can be heartless and kill off your character in order to get a new one. If you run out of heroes, then Dr. H8 wins, and you don’t want that! The platforming gameplay is not revolutionary, but the controls worked really well and there was a great mix of easy and challenging experiences in each level.
88 Heroes reminds me a lot of the movie Mystery Men. The true, Justice League style heroes are not available, so who will step up to save the day? The 88 Heroes, who can be described as common men and women with powers. I specifically held out the word ‘super’ when it comes to their powers because, let’s face it, their powers are bizarre! Each hero has a set of skills that you will use to navigate each level and defeat bosses. I don’t want to spoil the heroes, but let’s just say they are lovingly created and fit perfectly with the retro feel of this game. Each hero is a throwback to games we have played in the past. I was grinning from ear to ear with the amount of references and easter eggs that I found with each character and level.
There are a few game modes that are available to try. I personally prefer the main story and the opportunity to use all 88 heroes. For those of you who are looking for a different challenge, you can try Magnificent 8, which allows you to hand pick 8 heroes to tackle all 88 levels. You can also try the Solo mode and take on Dr. H8 with one hero! The physical Playstation 4 edition has an exclusive mode called H8 mode, which includes 8 hardcore challenge levels for you to tackle. The physical edition also includes two new heroes, which is a nice treat for Playstation 4 fans.
The graphics and sound are a fantastic addition to the game. Each hero was hand drawn and animated with unique movements, which was quite the challenge for the development team at Bitmap Bureau. Their hard work payed off and really adds a nice touch to 88 Heroes. I want to mention the animations real quick, specifically the animations at the bottom of the screen. Dr. H8 is at the bottom of the screen looking at all the action from his monitors. The animations are really funny and include little quips and threats from Dr. H8. It also shows some funny activities from his robots. I don’t want to spoil exactly what he does, but it is a really funny addition to the game. The music is a perfect reflection of 8 bit and 16 bit video games that we grew up with.
88 Heroes gives me exactly what I am looking for in a retro platformer. It’s challenging with classic graphics and sound. An added bonus is the hysterical heroes and the challenge the comes with randomly generating the hero for each level. I highly recommend 88 Heroes if you are looking for a fun and challenging retro experience.
Be sure to check out our Exclusive ‘8 Questions About 88 Heroes‘ interview with the devs!!
88 Heroes will be available March 24th, 2017 on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC.
If you pick it up, let us know which hero is your favorite in the comments below!
Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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Perfect retro feel
Some levels may be too challenging with specific heroes