Hero: 108 Online Tour - Cartoon Heroes Come to Life!
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Tour guide: Kevin Crawford, Product Director for Gamania Digital Entertainment
Cartoon heroes come alive in a brand new action MMO for gamers of all ages. Hero: 108 Online is based on a cartoon series with the same name shown on Cartoon Network. Hero: 108 Online lets users play as the main characters straight from the cartoon series as well as some side characters, too. Hero: 108 Online uses simple arcade style controls for all types of gamers to pick up and play, as well as supporting all the features you'd come to expect from MMOs such as quests, guild support, PvP and more.
I joined up with Kevin Crawford, Product Director for Gamania to give me the ins and outs on Hero: 108 Online and a little bit of insight on the cartoon series it's based on.
Hero: 108 backstory
For those that don't know the story of Hero 108, it goes like this: In a distant land called The Hidden Kingdom, animals and humans lived together in peace. Then an evil dude name HighRoller came along and convinced the animals that humans were their enemies. HighRoller made humans and animals go against each other to spark a never ending conflict between them until a rebel force of young heroes showed up to end that conflict. These heroes live on a giant abandoned turtle shell called "Big Green" and do battle against HighRoller and his minions to restore peace in the Hidden Kingdom.
It is based loosely from a 14th century Chinese novel called "The Water Margin" which details the trials and tribulations of 108 warriors, which explains why the cartoon and game is called Hero 108.
At the character selection screen, I was given some insight on all the playable characters and their back stories. You can play as all the characters from first squad and second squad straight from the cartoon series. Each character has different strengths and weakness as well as personalities such as Mighty Raw, a straight forward attacker that can shoot lighting bolts from his eyes whenever he eats bananas (which he hates eating, by the way,) and Mr. No Hands, a cleric type character that actually does have hands, but locks them away in a box in order to prevent tickling himself to death (No, I'm not making this up!) I didn't really have a favorite character since I'm not a fan of the cartoon, but I went with Ling Chung, a balanced melee and ranged fighter since he looked pretty awesome.
Character selection screen
After I selected Ling Chung as my character, the tutorial started right away. The controls were pretty basic: WASD for movement, space to jump, J key to attack, L key to dash, K key for skills and 1-9 keys as hotkeys for skills and items. There's a good amount of control customization allowing players to change their keyboard setup any way they like or allow the use of gamepads.
After getting familiar with the controls, the tutorial shows you how to use the quest system.
The quest system was very easy to understand and use. Whenever you have an active quest, you can bring up your quest log and select the button next to your objective to bring up a red arrow that will point you in the direction of that objective. Not only that, the game features a "Quest Path" menu that shows each and every quest available while listing which quest you're currently on. The quest tracker and quest paths are great systems that make losing track of quests nearly impossible.
Quest path menu
After picking up my quest, we headed into an instanced area for beginners. We took down a couple of HighRoller's soldiers and even got to see HighRoller out in the open. Unfortunately, HighRoller parried all of my attacks so I couldn't take him down (Although, it would have been kind of funny if I could have battled and defeated HighRoller early on in the game.)
During our run though in the instanced area, a small math quiz popped up on screen. Kevin explains that the math quiz is used to detect if players are using bots. If you select the correct answer during these pop quizzes, your character will be healed with a considerable amount of HP. If you don't pass the quiz, however, you won't immediately be branded as a botter. The folks at Gamania can check whoever is passing or failing their quizzes before they take action on player accounts. It's a neat little feature that not only helps prevent botting, but also helps kids with their math skills!
After trying out a few more quests, I was shown more of Hero: 108 Online's additional features. The game features tons of different mounts for players to choose from. These mounts are primarily used for transportation, allowing players to move at constant speeds while absorbing attacks from aggressive enemies. You can't perform any attacks while on mounts, but they are very useful for moving around uninterrupted.
There are also special transformation items called "makeover candies" which players can use to transform into special characters for a limited amount of time, such as the popular "Jumpy Ghostface"
With the up coming cash shop, players will be able to purchase costume items to make their character look cool and unique, like shown in the picture below:
Kowloon character decked out in a special outfit
Players will also be able to purchase consumable items like HP and MP potions that work better than normal potions. The costume items are mostly for cosmetics, so it keeps the game fair and balanced. Players, of course, do not have to purchase these cash items to enjoy the game.
After Kevin showed off some special mounts and makeovers, we then went off to check out some of the boss raid areas. Boss raids are a fairly common in MMOs, and Hero: 108 Online is no exception. Boss monsters typically spawn in specific spots in these areas with high stats and will take skilled high level players to take down. Defeated bosses in raid areas will drop oodles of goodies such as equipment, potions and enchantment materials for your characters.
My impression I got from touring Hero: 108 online is that the game is very tailored towards fans of the cartoon series and casual gamers everywhere, as the controllers were very easy to grasp and the pacing of leveling up was moderately quick. I didn't get to try out any of the player versus player content featured in the game for players at LV25 and up, but I did get to try out every other feature the game has to offer. Gamania is working closely with the game developers to keep content fresh and update to date with the ongoing cartoon series as well as the player community for new ideas on features, events, and everything else in between.