STAFF REVIEW of Deadbeat Heroes (Xbox One)

Friday, December 22, 2017.
by Brent Roberts

Deadbeat Heroes Box art One of the greatest challenges that any developer faces is how to keep gamers playing their game after the initial first impression has worn off. To do this, developers have many different options at their disposal, but one thing must remain true, whatever path they take, they must succeed. Now, enter the development team at Deadbeat Studios and their latest release, Deadbeat Heroes. Priced at $14.99, this little indie game's goal is to provide a comical point of view on super hero games that doesn't take itself too seriously. As you'll read throughout this review, that could be its saving grace.

Throughout my reviews of indie games, I try to approach them in an objective manner and relate their value compared to the price charged to see if it's worth your money. Deadbeat Heroes provides an overly generic storyline that doesn't do much in terms of originality or innovation, or quality if I'm honest. Apparently London is under attack by a group of shaded out evil villains who seemingly control an army of incredibly stupid and worthless henchmen that will serve to be your punching bags throughout the game. You are recruited by Captain Justice who, right from the beginning, shows the lighthearted, but terrible, humor that you can expect to permeate this game.

As you will quickly realize though, what starts out as entertaining transform into grueling work that amounts to very little entertainment and quite a lot of frustration and irritation. After your brief humorous introduction to Captain Justice, and your super hero lair, you'll notice a bunch of super hero clichés such as batman's red phone and more. You'll then be tasked with going to the gym so you can become acquainted with your skills and abilities. Upon completion, you'll rapidly become used to the simplistic game mechanics which can become a blessing so you're not trying to hit 5 buttons at once while rotating both sticks to perform a move. The X button is your attack button and the A button is your jump. The Y button does a taunt if your super meter is low but can also be used to unleash a turbo move when said meter is full.

There isn't much to be confused with in terms of the gameplay controls, and on the very first mission you will be thankful for this. The reason for this is because Deadbeat Heroes focuses solely on obtaining the highest score possible for that level and making sure that you qualify for the minimum accepted score. To accomplish this, you will need to chain together combos, make sure that all your hits hit once, and that you do not get hit at all. Sounds easy when you have the ability to wall run, double jump, and perform dive attacks from the air, but if you falter though, you will be introduced to Deadbeat Heroes' biggest downfall, the score removal.

That's right folks, if the minimum required score to pass a level is a C, and you unfortunately score a D, then you don't pass and move on. No, instead you will be forced to replay the level until you do get a C or higher in your score. Heaven forbid though you should die, because that's when Deadbeat Heroes takes a nosedive. Each chapter is divided into numerous levels, and should you make it all the way to level 3 and perish, then not only will any progress for level 3 be wiped away, but level 2 as well thus forcing you to replay level 2 just to access level 3 again and then, hopefully, you can move onto the next level. This forces you to replay levels again and again, and should you run out of lives, you'll have to start over from level 1. And what exactly will you be repeating?

You will be repeating the same linear level design and action sequences you face on every single level. You start off by going into an enclosed area and beating up all the bad guys, then you move onto the next path to the next room that is filled with more bad guys to beat up and then guess what? You move onto the next enclosed room filled with even more bad guys to beat up. This tediousness is one of the reasons why completing a level actually holds significant value since repeating this already repetitious pattern is enough to have anyone looking for a new game to play. When your character can take only 3 hits before dying, you will quickly come to terms with the challenge that waits before you.

Now, I've been beating the crap out of this game, review wise, but is there anything that's actually redeemable from Deadbeat Heroes? Well, the graphics have a nice cartoonish, cel-shaded feel which is enjoyable to experience. The art style is cool, but that's pretty much all there is. I would talk some about the music and sound effects, but quite honestly, I don't want to beat a dead horse, as again, they are nothing special. When you progress further into the game you start to acquire teammates that act, essentially, as disposable lives, and therefore you get some reprieve when it comes to dying so long as at least one hero remains alive, so that is another positive.

For $14.99 I really don't feel comfortable recommending that you pick up Deadbeat Heroes. While the humor is mediocre at best, I haven't witnessed so much failing since the new Star Wars movie (and yes, that is my opinion of that too). Deadbeat Heroes offers little in terms of gameplay enjoyment, meaningful quest experiences, absent replayability, and offers a militaristic dictatorship hold over progress and failure where you end your gaming experience more angry than overjoyed. This game would be a considerable pick up if it were priced at $4.99, but at $14.99 I can't recommend subjecting yourself through the forced aggravation that Deadbeat Heroes brings to the table.

Overall: 6.0 / 10
Gameplay: 6.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 5.5 / 10


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