Review – Not a Hero: Super Snazzy Edition
I know this isn’t an article about the Nintendo Switch, but I have to give it props for being such an attractive platform for indies. I absolutely had no idea that Not a Hero was even a thing until the Super Snazzy Edition was announced for it. And I’m happy to say that Not a Hero: Super Snazzy Edition is right at home on a nice portable system. Being able to pick it up and play through a couple of these bonkers levels is a wonderful thing. See, Not a Hero and the Switch are the perfect combo.
Not a Hero: Super Snazzy Edition is a 2D shooter that has you play as Steve, who is a professional assassin turned campaign manager for the maniacal BunnyLord whom is running for Mayor. You must raise BunnyLord’s approval rating by ridding the town of drug dealers in the most stylish and brutal of ways. As the approval rating goes up, you’ll recruit more and more helpers on your quest for BunnyLord global domination.
Like mentioned above, as BunnyLord’s approval rating goes up you recruit additional characters to play as. There is a hilarious and diverse selection of characters who all have their own perks and play styles. Jesus has the ability to shoot while sliding, perform moving executions, and constantly thrusting his hips. Ronald is a wannabe super hero who has a powerful hammer that one shots enemies, has super speed, and can blast doors of their hinges with his dash move, but he cannot pick-up grenades and other power items. There are a total of 9 characters and each are a blast to play with and have their own advantages depending on what level you’re playing. There is one issue, however, with the character perks and it’s really only a specific one. Mentioned above, Ronald has the ability of blowing doors of hinges during his dash, but sometimes the door will just open instead of breaking. The issue with this comes later in the game when there are enemies that can one hit kill you. If you plan on blasting the door open to stun them and it doesn’t work, well, you’re getting killed as you dash through the door.
There are a total of 28 levels to play through and each level has 1 main objective and 3 optional objectives that will give you more approval rating to unlock additional characters. So if there was a harder level in the beginning, it can beneficial to go back with a character that might accomplish that task a little easier. For the most part the levels are well done, but they can get a bit repetitive in design and with the type of additional objectives they offer. They usually come down to beating something within a certain time limit whether it’s completing the entire level, getting X amount of kills, answering a payphone, or meeting reporters. If they aren’t timed it’s usually just collecting some hidden items, rescuing hostages, or killing every enemy. Seems like a decent amount of side objectives, but with 3 per level there are a lot of repeats.
Besides the unique weapons and abilities each character has, the general gameplay remains the same between them. Each character can slide which will tackle enemies, setting them up for an easy execution. Sliding out windows will also give you some additional speed to fly across gaps to other buildings. There is also a cover mechanic which is actually a great idea in a 2D game, but it’s also tied to your sliding button. Essentially you’ll always have to slide into cover which can cause some less than accurate control if you need to only move into the cover next to you.
Missions will also be littered with power items and weapon power ups. These come in an amazingly destructive wide variety; from a kitten bomb that attracts enemies to pet it before exploding, a drill bomb that drills to the level above you before blowing up, to gun modifiers like incendiary rounds, and ammo that can kill enemies that are in cover. Power items that are placed on the map can sometimes be strategically placed. For instance, the drill bomb in one level needs to be saved otherwise you won’t be able to rescue all the hostages.
The graphics are a fairly standard pixel art style, but there are moments of some fine details. But honestly what I enjoyed most is the animations are very well done which can sometimes be missing with pixel art. From Jesus constantly thrusting his hips, to the slide and execution animations, they are all very well done. However, my one issue is that the level designs look too similar at times. For blocks of missions you’ll go through similar designed levels, but with different layouts.
I absolutely love the voice acting in Not a Hero, well maybe not so much the voice acting quality itself, but the lines can be hilarious and delivered very well. The weapon and power up sound effects are also decently done and so is the soundtrack, but I really wish the music was a little more in your face like the rest of the game is. The soundtrack is there, but it doesn’t exactly stand out very much.
Not a Hero: Super Snazzy Edition really is a fantastic game and it is perfect on the Switch. The humor, the fast and brutal gameplay, and the wonderful cast of characters definitely make it a must own if you’re looking for a fun action shooter. Unfortunately, it has a couple gameplay annoyances and some repetitive level design hampering it.
Pixel art style, but has a nice level of small details. The stages can look a little too similar though.
2D shooter with a strong focus on gory violence. For the most part it is tight, but has a few hiccups that can hinder the flow.
Voice acting is loud and silly, guns sound good enough, and the soundtrack is decent. Nothing exactly stands out, however.
Fun Factor: 8.0
Between the bonkers, over-the-top, silly structure of the entire game and the fast and brutal combat, Not a Hero is fun, but a couple stumbles prevent it from being great.
Final Verdict: 8.0
Not a Hero: Super Snazzy Edition is available now on Switch, PC, Xbox One and PS4
A copy of Not a Hero: Super Snazzy Edition was provided by the publisher.