LucasArts makes two types of games: those related to Star Wars and those not related to Star Wars. Strangely enough, the games not related to that galaxy far, far, away seem to stand up on their own, and most have one thing in common: a healthy dose of offbeat humor. From The Secret of Monkey Island, to Sam and Max Hit the Road, to Afterlife, LucasArts has been putting out a solid amount of these "games with an edge," and its latest addition, Herc's Adventures for the Saturn, continues the tradition. The result is a game that offers a lot of fun and amusement, which is something that most Saturn games have been lacking lately.
Herc's Adventures takes place in ancient times and combines a mix of Greek and Roman mythology into its storyline. Persephone, the goddess of spring and new growth, has been captured by Hades and is being held in the underworld. Facing barren times, you (as either Herc, Jason, or Atlanta) are on a mission from Zeus to rescue Persephone and restore ancient Greece to all its glory. With over forty lands to explore, there is a lot to do in Herc's Adventures, and with a variety of perspectives, the game is highly reminiscent of the 8-bit Legend of Zelda and its sequel, the Adventure of Link (only the Herc's graphics here are about a million times better).
With its light RPG gameplay elements, Herc's Adventures is a pretty good action-adventure title. When the game starts, it's all about exploring the land and talking to people in order to figure out your objective. Once you get the hang of things though, the game moves very quickly and there are plenty of tasks to complete. With a choice of three playable characters (each with its own special ability) the game offers a variety of ways to achieve your goals, and there are plenty of enemies to fight along the way. The game also has a two-player cooperative mode that is a good deal of fun.
The graphics in Herc's Adventures look surprisingly good for a game that doesn't feature a single polygon. The cartoon-like presentation is similar to Virgin's recent Hercules game for the PlayStation (based on the recent Disney movie), but the game has a unique visual style all its own that in some ways surpasses Disney's approach. The unique feel that takes this game to a higher level than what you would expect from a title in this genre makes for an extraordinary game.
Herc's Adventures is a good title that most Saturn fans will enjoy. Platform game fans starved for the next Sonic release will find a good amount of action here, and the mythology-themed jokes scattered throughout the game are sure to appeal to an appreciative audience that likes a good dose of humor with its gameplay.