Herc's Adventures for the PlayStation comes out at an awkward time. Virgin just released the Hercules Action Game, based on Disney's summer blockbuster, which has met with pretty good reviews. How does this similarly-themed title, based on the same subject matter, stack up? Pretty well, thanks to its unique approach and interjection of humor into the game - providing you're into bad puns and offbeat dialogue.
The setting is ancient Greece, and Hades, the lord of the underworld, has captured Persephone, the goddess of spring and new growth. On a mission from Zeus, you have a choice of three characters - Herc, Jason, or Atlanta - and you must rescue Persephone, or else ancient Greece is toast. The game unfolds over forty different landscapes in an RPG-lite style that plays a bit like the old Legend of Zelda titles. Herc's Adventures is mainly straightforward: You just hit things and throw stuff at your enemies. Each of the three playable characters has its own special abilities, and the game offers different options for overcoming obstacles. Along the way you are presented with a variety of mythological enemies and bosses to fight, and two players can even team up and play at once in a cooperative mode.
So how does it compare to that Disney game? Pretty favorably. With its subversive humor and pun-filled setting, the game is surprisingly funny (in a fashion similar to LucasArts' Sam and Max Hit The Road). The graphics look quite good, and in some ways have a more refined look than Virgin/Disney's version. All in all, it is very impressive for a 2D game. When it comes down to it, Herc's Adventures offers much more depth than the Virgin/Disney title, which is essentially an arcade game. The graphics, gameplay, and humor make a unique mix that results in a truly fresh title unlike most of the other games on the market today.