|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Zerodiv||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 9, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Class of Heroes is one of those titles. The ones you pick up expecting one thing and end up getting something quite different. While the box promises plenty of lighthearted dungeon-faring and customization, the real feature in this game is grinding lots of grinding!
The story behind Class of Heroes is this: there is a school where students come to train for a life of adventure. Thats it. No nefarious bad guys, no super-evil plots. Theres just a school, and the students need to graduate. And speaking of students, you dont just play as a singular character. You start of with several stock characters that represent the games ten races. You can also create your own characters. The character creation does take awhile (especially if you are trying to fill all 12 of the games character slots) but it works a lot better as you can customize beginning stats as well as affinity (good, evil, or neutral) and Major.
The major is particularly important in creating/customizing your character. The major is sort of like the Job system in the Final Fantasy series, allowing you to unlock special attacks and moves. However, you are limited by your race as to what you can learn (A holy Celestian would never be able to master the dark arts of the Diablos race. Fortunately, the game allows you to form parties of six, and since each character is completely customizable, you can really focus on the attacks/abilities that you want.
However, though it is possible to have characters from different races with extremely different abilities, the game actually discourages this type of divergent strategy. If your characters are too different from each other, they wont work together and there will be conflict within the group. This mechanic is quite annoying, and I didnt appreciate the extra caveats that the game placed on my strategy.
Still, once you are able to put together a party, you are treated to some fairly simplistic dungeon crawling. One interesting thing to note is that the dungeons all have a first-person perspective, so youll have to keep flipping back and forth on the map in order to navigate around the always-changing dungeon landscape.
The gameplay while in the dungeon holds true to form as a Rogue-like, complete with randomly-generated rooms and encounters. The games first-person mechanic also works in an interesting way when you are exploring, as you can rarely see obstacles or enemies in front of you. I personally didnt like not knowing what was ahead or where I was going, but I can see how some players who crave a strong challenge might enjoy this feature.
As far as combat in the dungeon is concerned, this is another area where Class of Heroes maintains the status quo. Youll be able to attack, defend, and even perform spells with your party, and everything is completely turn-based. The level of the enemies is even random, which will certainly please hardcore fans, but if you prefer your RPGs with a little bit more of a ranked encounter system, than you had better be prepared for the challenge.