How different is Bunnylord from Trump, really?
When Roll7’s Not A Hero came out in early 2015, I was impressed, though, not impressed enough to purchase it. From the developers of Olli Olli, Not A Hero matches that pixelated aesthetic in an incredibly cutesy way, whilst serving up a hefty dose of brutally fun, fast-paced action. I didn’t give it enough of a chance the first time around, so I thought I’d jump on it with the Super Snazzy Edition that launched on the Switch a few days past. While I absolutely adore the game’s style, and its core ‘feel’, I couldn’t help but remain a bit unfulfilled by the overall level and progression design.
If you’ve played Not A Hero before, the first thing that may strike you is the tightness of the gameplay. Everything you do just feels good; sliding into cover is precise, shooting feels impactful despite the cutesy 2D sprites, and even the reloading animation accompanies with the slick little sound effect creates a layer of polish I can’t quite recall from other pixel-based games of this ilk. Sliding through levels, tackling opponents and executing their stupid faces, along with weapon power-ups, explosions, and breaking an unnecessary amount of glass, fosters such a satisfyingly violent feedback loop. Unfortunately, that’s where this game checks out on me.
I’m definitely not suggesting that Not A Hero suffers because of certain design decisions, rather, for me personally, I would love to see what Roll7 can do with platformer action in a non-arcade style of game. For those of you that enjoy repeatedly trying the same mission over and over again to complete all the challenges, then I wholeheartedly suggest giving this game a crack. Especially the new release on Switch, which lends tremendously to shorter play sessions.
Though, the game is JUST hard enough that the repetitive level design, and even more difficult optional challenges are preventing me from having the amount of fun I know I should be having. Every time I booted it up, slid around and bit and executed some mofos, I kept questioning ‘why can’t I play this for longer than 10 minutes?’ I think the answer is quite simple: I wish it were a different game.
I hate seeing challenges that I’ll never be able to complete, or see new characters blacked out in the menu because I haven’t completed enough objectives. I’m also becoming more and more subject to frustration as I wander aimlessly around these levels which have labyrinths of doors and window entry points; It’s all very thought-out and designed to be challenging, but I just don’t dig it.
At the end of the day, I’d love to see a new game come out which maintains the core gameplay tenants of Not A Hero, with its over-the-top sense of humour, while providing a traditional campaign of sorts, potentially with a more close up camera-angle. I dunno, I just want something a little more, but I’m probably in the minority there.
Check the video embedded in this article for a brief first impression, presented by myself and Lawn to see if you might be in for the ride. For those of you that are, the Super Snazzy Edition on Switch comes with the post-release content!