Next Up Hero
Online-only play taints Next Up Hero and obviously puts off potential players, but this bright and colourful world can be enjoyable at times. Repetitive gameplay prevents the release from becoming a standout indie title, but it may have enough charm to entice a few aspiring heroes for at least a few hours.
Next Up Hero is a very demanding, tough and unforgiving game based on dungeon crawling that joins the growing catalogue of the Nintendo Switch. Thanks to its colourful and cartoonish art style, the game invites the player to a very difficult adventure which is not without its problems and technical issues, but which will fit right with those who appreciate this kind of challenge.
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There's plenty to like about Next Up Hero. Turning death into an applicable AI co-op mechanic is a neat spin on a game with a high death turnover, and its cartoon art style complements an impressively large menagerie of monsters to kill. Unfortunately, there are inherent problems with balancing and some disastrous technical problems. Its grinding takes too long, melee characters are all but pointless due to the high damage output of enemies, and those technical issues make committing time and effort a constant risk.
Despite the largely negative review, Next Up Hero can be fun, it's just a very monotonous gameplay loop. All roads involve killing the same enemies, at the same locations, under the same handful of modifiers, to get resources that allow you to do the same thing, just at higher numbers. In a lot of ways, it seems like a fantastic title for the Switch. The idea of finishing a couple levels on the go or slowly chipping away at things works better on a portable console than a home one. But, in the end, Next Up Hero has some interesting ideas, such as using fallen players, including yourself, to help everyone finish the level (everyone who tries is also rewarded if it is successfully completed), it just ends up being an experience that is very simple. If this sounds appealing, odds are you'll likely have a lot of fun, where as if you want something closer to Issac or Gungeon, look elsewhere.
Next Up Hero is a great game. The play possibilities are endless, the creativity is open to the players, and the gameplay itself is fun. This is a game I'd definitely go back to and play with friends.
Next Up Hero is a fun and colorful online dungeon crawler with a nice difficulty curve and an interesting gameplay system with its echo companions.
Next Up Hero feels a bit more like an online app or a means of promoting Mixer rather than a fully realized game. If you happen to have the Xbox Game Pass, this might be worth giving a try, just don't expect much substance or variety.
Next Up Hero's intuitive gameplay and non-linear structure make it a fantastic game to play every once in a while.
Next Up Hero manages to introduce intriguing, innovative ideas, but at the cost of executing the core gameplay mechanic well.
At its base there are definitely things about Next Up Hero that make sense and work. Its art style and general flow of gameplay aren’t bad, and the variety of character attacks are interesting and worth trying out to see what suits you. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much everything from that point on that falls apart. Truly, this feels like a collection of game ideas thrown together in the same basket without the care to get any of it to be cohesive. Progression is slow, there are entire modes for levels that plain aren’t fun and make no sense (including one where you take damage for collecting prestige points, pretty well guaranteeing your melee fighter is screwed as they fall when an enemy dies), enemy damage is all over the place, and the story feels more like an excuse to have some out of synch character art to include in the package than anything else. I would like to enjoy it for what it does right, but the avalanche of issues it has make it seem like it wasn’t ready for release.