There were very few games
at E3 to which I actually returned a second time. The first one that comes to mind is
Mystic Heroes for the Nintendo Gamecube. I hadnt heard anything about this game
before I went to the show, and I have to admit that the only reason I picked up the
controller to play this game was because all of the other games that I really wanted to
play were being occupied. The Koei booth was tucked away in the corner of one of the
convention halls. They didnt have a flashy presentation or thunderous bass beating
you into submission. It was almost as if they were so confident in their games that they
didnt feel the need to use tricks to sell thema refreshingly original concept.
I really didnt know what the premise of the game was, or what the overall
goal was. I just knew how it looked and how it played, but that was enough to make me come
back because it looks great and plays even better. The best way to describe this game
would be as a more stylized, anime Dynasty Warriors without the fog and with a magical
aspect factored into the combos. To say that the gameplay was incredibly addictive would
be an understatement. The waves of bad guys seemed endless, and I was more than OK with
that. On the single player level that I played through there was a massive fire breathing
Phoenix at the top of the hill that was nothing short of breathtaking.
It turns out the game is loosely based on an old Chinese legend of Feng Sheng
about a time when powerful and mystical beings, the Senin and Mamon, roamed the land. The
Senin are the good guys, and they've created artifacts (80 of them) which enable the
characters to use magic as a part of their fighting strategy. You can take control of four
different characters and will fight your way through eight stages, and some of the
settings are as large as 20 acres.
Mystic Heroes also features multi-player cooperative and versus modes that
should add tremendous replay to the game overall. Not to mention that running around
whacking baddies and smacking em with ice blasts and flaming waves, side by side
with a friend, is just a heck of a lot of fun. Mystic Heroes combines all the best aspects
of Dynasty Warriors with a much more robust story and multiplayer, which could make it a
major draw for all your friends. Mystic Heroes is due out this fall for the Gamecube and
will follow on other platforms.