The Legend Ascends: Heroes Rise
From the same stable as Choice of the Dragon, which gobbled up a swathe of Alec's free time back in 2010, comes Heroes Rise: The Prodigy. It's a textual choose your own adventure game with character stats, customisation and combat, taking place in a world of advanced technology and celebrity superheroes. You can play a great deal for free but the full version will set you back the half pint price of £1.99. But did it distract me from listening to imaginary Bane and Batman voices having a gruff-off?
Bane sounds like he's rasping through a mouth full of plums and drugs, which is the kind of strangely contrary vocalisation I'm eager to hear more of. When he tells Batman that he won't even allow him to die, he could almost be a sinister schoolmaster at a creaky old boarding school. "This Latin translation is substandard, young Wayne, I shall place it in my copious fireplace as a sign of contempt and reduce it to ashes. Then break you into pieces."
Michael Caine is the kindly English teacher who intervenes and, in his sometimes halting manner, makes sure that no one is broken in. To. Pie. Ces.
Heroes Rise hasn't entirely distracted me but that's not to say it isn't a decent game. The world is detailed, although the decision to have a backstory that sees a population packed with powered persons does mean there's a massive amount of frontloaded exposition to explain the social and legal ramifications.
This is a wordy game and, like the other Choice of Games releases, it doesn't so much offer alternative routes through its story as options that define the kind of hero your character will eventually become.
There's a great deal of angst, possibilities for romance and plenty of conspiracies and crimes, some of which I've been committing myself. Adam Apple, also known as Fantabulous, creates energy shields with ease, has punched thugs into submission, soars through the air with ease and attempts to seduce everyone he meets.
The little tinker would seduce a death ray into submission if he thought it would respond to his dubious charms.
At one point a villain used some sort of hypnotic seduction technique against Fantabulous and I was disappointed not to find a choice that had him attempt to counter in similar style. It would have been my sexiest failure.
While the events of the plot become increasingly compelling and the choices offered begin to build an interesting picture of the player's hero, it can be tempting to skim the lengthy descriptions. When there are several pages of text dealing with grandma's ability to talk to flowers, it's easy to zone out until the next villain appears, ready for an energy blast or a tongue lashing, depending on your preference.
Worth a look though, as is the superior naval adventure, Choice of Broadsides.