An interesting title found its way to my inbox not too long ago, and after checking it out, I knew that I needed to give it a proper spotlight here at The Geekly Grind! Next Up Hero is inspired by the early childhood memories of struggling through difficult video games alongside your friends. Maybe you could get halfway through a Mario level, but just couldn’t time that jump just right. Frustrated, you hand it over to your buddy, who then clears that area and goes further, only to be thwarted by a Bullet Bill. The back-and-forth continued until ultimately you conquered the game together, and that’s what Next Up Hero is hoping to remind you of.
The world of Next Up Hero literally revolves around singing tales of the heroes of old. These songs spring forth warriors to help battle against an evil known as “The Ceaseless Dirge”. Two young women are at the center of this fight, summoning heroes and hoping to uncover the truth behind this mysterious enemy.
The gameplay revolves around twin-stick use: left stick to move your character around, and the right stick to “target”. You have two main skills, assigned to your shoulder buttons, as well as a third skill of your choice that you level up over time.
With a mechanic that seems to be getting more common, dying is to be expected in Next Up Hero. The levels are designed to be too challenging to clear on your first play-through, but in fighting and dying you level up your character and skills, and also leave behind spirits of other warriors that can be revived to help you in battle. Combining these spirits forms a powerful “Ancient” – a temporary boon that may make you invulnerable, root your enemies, or just carpet-bomb them to oblivion.
To see the game in action and hear a bit more on my thoughts, check out the video below!