"Princesses! Why did it have to be Princesses?"
For the past few months, people have been saying that the adventure game genre
is dead. Well, SouthPeak will keep it alive for at least a few months more with
their new game, Rent-A-Hero, a classic adventure game with a nifty storyline
and cool graphics.
It seems that many years ago the miners of the Island of Tol Adar discovered
a mysterious substance, which everyone wanted. Due to the low supply of said stuff,
wars were fought over its possession. Eventually, things quieted down, and the
still-violent people were banished from the island. Since then, they've been gathering
their strength, becoming a band of mighty pirates.
Now they've returned. Of course, you can't do anything about that. Not in your
current job. As Rodrigo (of Rodrigo's Discount Princess Rescue) all you can get
are save-the-princess-from-the-nasty-(insert monster here) jobs. You're dying
to go and fight the pirates, but noooo! You have to have a reputation to get those
high profile jobs. So you're stuck, until one day, someone hires you to rescue
his wife from the clutches of those oh-so-dreadful pirates.
The artists have been hard at work. All the graphics are 2D, but it's all
pre-rendered in 3D, and well rendered, I might add. All the backgrounds are terrific
cartoony graphics, ranging from a sunlit forest to a dirty pub. This type of thing
hasn't been tried for a while. It's nice to look at, especially with the full
3D transitions. Everything fits smoothly together.
The interface is of the simple point-and-click variety. You click one on an
object/person to pickup/use/talk to them, and you click on the items in your inventory
to use them. You just click on the ground next to you to walk. The interface is
invisible and intuitive, so you can just play the game.
My favorite new feature is the Hint book that occasionally pops up. If you've
been stuck on a puzzle for a while, don't know where to go, and don't know who
to turn to (I feel a song coming on), eventually a little hint book will pop
up in the corner and help you on your way. This is cool because if you're really
stuck (the bane of all adventure games), you can go on, but you can't just get
to the answer immediately to skip through the game, and miss all of the stuff
that goes on. Perfect for all ages and skill levels.
The voice acting is pretty good, with characters' voices matching their look.
The fat ol' drunkard in the bar has the English accent of a dumb peasant (remember
the peasants from Warcraft II?), while your character has a bright sounding
voice. All of the lines well done, unlike other games I've played (*cough* SPACE
QUEST 6 *cough).
Get ready to save the land from pirates! (Just no more princesses. I'm sooo
tired of princesses.) Rent-A-Hero is due out November '99 for the PC.