It’s Still Hot in Herobound Spirit Champion
Herobound Spirit Champion was just released tonight on the Samsung Gear VR by Oculus and Gunfire Games LLC. It’s Gunfire Game’s first release on the Samsung Gear VR, and the most impressive game available since launch. I’ve been busy playing since it launched and it’s so good I had to pull myself away to write these impressions. I would pay good money for this game but the fact that is free is unbelievable!
First things first. A gamepad and stripping your note 4 down nearly naked are required prior to playing. The overheating that plagued the first one is still very much so present. I managed about 12 minutes with everything on the Gear VR, 15 minutes with the front cover off, and almost 20 minutes when taking off the back part of my Note 4. My phone was at about 50-60% battery life with each playthrough. You can always go and build yourself a custom fan, but that’s a bit extreme. It looks like delayed and exclusive games won’t be the only thing causing people to upgrade to the S6 Gear VR.
Interactions with NPC
After being treated to a glorious puppet show detailing the simple yet charming plot, you find yourself in the familiar hero’s room from the first Herobound. I immediately noticed how much smoother the game ran, and the decreased loading time between areas. I timed the loading at about 5 seconds. After exiting the house, you will now find yourself in a quaint town, with two NPC characters who give you hints at what to do next. I was completely caught up in the environment around, filled with floating dandelion flowers. You can’t see in the video, but when it looked like I was doing nothing, I was actually reaching out in the real world trying to touch the flowers.
There are obelisk like structures scattered throughout the lands that act as a quick teleport system. I found myself often accidentally teleporting to the wrong place as I instinctively button mashed as I selected the obelisk. You will find you have no weapon, but in the village is a blacksmith who provides you with a sword. Another part of town hosts an NPC who will upgrade your skills provided you have enough rubies. Rubies can be gathered fairly fast in Herobound Spirit Champion, and I can imagine most people having enough for all the abilities after not too long. They can be taken either by killing enemies or collected in the dungeons.
The combat is very similar to the first Herobound from what I’ve seen so far. Press a button to swing the sword and roll with the shoulder button. I noticed while the game is playable only using a gamepad, tapping on the Gear VR headset touchpad also results in swinging your sword. Perhaps there is a use for this further into the game.
The only other difference in the combat I saw was the skills available for purchase. They include bow charge attack, jump attack, sword charge attack, upward attack, and dodge roll attack. In Herobound Spirit Champion, you don’t have to trudge through one of the dungeons for the bow, as it is given to you within the first 5 minutes of playing. You use it by looking at the target and pressing the action button on the gampad.
The collision detection is well done as I was able to shield myself from incoming arrows by using the zombies (I think that’s what they were) as shields. The gameplay wasn’t very challenging, but then again I was in the starting area. Based off the difficult spike in the first Herobound, I expect a similar rise in challenge in this one. Towards the end of my short time with Herobound Spirit Champion I was already seeing a step up in the difficulty when fighting the skeletons with shields. If I remember correctly they didn’t appear until much later in the first Herobound.
He Doesn’t Like me Anymore
There’s much more variety in the environment this time around, as you will presumably be working your way through all of the elemental realms in your journey to defeat the fire elemental. The part I played through was the earth realm which alone showed more varied settings than most of the first game.
I noticed more outdoor areas and enhanced particle effects. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, but I couldn’t get the hero to look up at me when standing still like he did in the first. Perhaps I needed to wait longer, but I gave it a good 15 seconds and no upward gaze. It was a small but endearing part of the first one I rather enjoyed. If you can get him to look up, please tell me how.
I can’t take it much longer. I must get back to continue playing. I hope you enjoy Herobound as much as I have been.