Disney’s Action Game featuring Hercules. Disney (1997) PlayStation

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Disney's Hercules boxart

Hercules…

Yeah!

The Music

Putting the game in, the first thing you notice is the music, for some reason, they used low res MIDI sound for the majority of the soundtrack, which doesn’t really make sense…

Needless to say, the MIDI renditions are fairly accurate, but, are MIDI, and therefore soulless and slightly irritating.

Probably the most fun boss fight.

Probably the most fun boss fight.

Cutscenes

The next thing you’ll notice are the cutscenes that take place before/after every level. These are taken from the film, but happen at about 15 frames per second. They manage to convey the story, but they are not very good. Pretty much every single cutscene from the PlayStation era is less jerky and PowerPointy than the cutscenes in Hercules.

The quality of the cut scenes is also pretty poor, and borders on “worn video tape” quality, however, the sound is pretty decent.

The Game

You vaguely follow the plot of the movie, and do Heroic(y) stuff, as a result of this, you skip over the first 40 minutes of the film.

Level 1 is the training montage from the film, level 2 you’re running in a top scrolling move left to right avoiding stuff mission, and it part two of the Rocky training montage , level 3 is where you rescue Meg from the Centaur, level 4 you’re in Thebes, and just running around. Level 5 is The Hydra boss, Level 6 is Medusa (not in the film) Level 7 is the Cyclops attacking Thebes, you don’t fight him, you just run towards him…

You never fight him... Just run towards him

You never fight him… Just run towards him

Level 8 you’re flying Pegasus through Mount Olympus avoiding the titans, Level 9 you’re in hell running down the River Styx in another top scrolling dodgathon, and finally level 10 is the final fight vs Hades.

All this sounds simple, but the game is horribly balanced. Level 1 and 3 employ a horrible “walk into background” mechanic to continue.

The go up "puzzle"

The go up “puzzle”

Level 5, 6 and 10, while they are cool boss fights, that is all they are. It seems strange to have levels with just a boss fight, no lead up. Level starts and you’re being attacked by the boss.

The running up levels (2 and 9) are by far the most fun levels, and, in particular level 9, as it hit just the right difficulty level so that you’ll fail a few times.

Other than that, every level is a poor version of other games. Aladdin on the Megadrive has better, less stilted animation, The Lion King (on the whole) has better level design, Level 8 is a poor version of R-Type, and the boss fights take literally 2 seconds to figure out the game mechanic to beat it. Except the centaur fight…

Oh god you’ll get angry figuring out how to beat the centaur. I won’t tell you how, but you’ll go on the internet, and say “What…” it is stupid, it is annoying, and it painfully long to do.

Overall

You know the old adage, videogames from movies are universally terrible?

You’ll bash through it in an hour, 58 minutes of that is pretty tedious.

Pros: I feel as though the developers tried

Cons: It is just a poor game

45%

 

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