'Heroes' ruinous

Entertainment,Ryan Vogt

"Heroes of Ruin" is yet another beat-'em-up masquerading as a role-playing game because your character has an inventory. It's 1989's "Golden Axe," except "Golden Axe" had cleaner graphics, prettier

music, more inventive settings and didn't pretend to greater depth by letting you switch swords with the guy you just killed.

Actually, a more apt comparison would be 1985's "Gauntlet," as "Heroes of Ruin" mostly involves running around and mashing the attack button so bad, you'll be able to serve it at Thanksgiving. The game's

publication by Square Enix, the company responsible for thoughtful, artful games like the "Final Fantasy" series, is like Gabby Douglas ditching gymnastics to race against Usain Bolt.

'Heroes of Ruin'

System: 3DS

Price: $39.99

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

The game trades the splendorous Japanese graphics normally associated with Square Enix with the muddy look of any given medieval-set computer game released in 1998, then displays the proceedings from a

sort-of-overhead, sort-of-not angle that's too zoomed in, so you're casting spells at enemies you hear but can't see.

There is a way for the game to be fun, though: If you have three friends who also each own a copy, you can play together as a team, one of you a swordsman, one a barbarian, one a gunslinger and the other a

magician. (Oh, and the game has one other thing going for it: The game calls magicians "Alchitects," which is kind of cool.)

So pretty much, if everybody in your study hall's 3DS posse plays together, you'll be entertained, if nothing else because of the real-life trash talk. Even so, this would mean spending $160 to play a

game that's hardly more sophisticated than four-player "Gauntlet," and hardly more fun.

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