By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Hero and Daughter+ . . . what is there to say? Seriously, what is there to say? After defeating the Dark Lord, I still have no idea about the title. I get the Hero part. Did I fail the secret quest to have a daughter? Hero and Daughter+ is a game made in the RPG Maker XV engine [which I reviewed not too long ago], and I’m actually pretty hyped that a game made with it is actually being sold and purchased by people. That’s awesome, and it shows that maybe indie devs using that software will be able to make their games go a bit farther than just their circle of friends. But what IS Hero and Daughter+? That’s the real question. Ralph, Protagonist of RPG Maker XV, is a legend and a badass. But his King tricks him into drinking a potion that reduces him to level 1. Yes, it says “level 1” in game. Lots of Fourth Wall breaking and silliness come from this. Unfortunately, the Dark Lord has risen, and it’s up to Ralph, the only hero that hasn’t retired apparently, to sail to his island and do battle.
But what do I think? It’s certainly interesting. The graphics are RPG Maker style, so don’t expect to require a ton of PC power to run this. Virtually anyone can. It feels like a blend of Lufia and the Fortress of Doom, Dragon Quest, and the Tenchi Muyo series. It’s part Visual Novel, part RPG, all zaniness. It’s also part Rogue-like in that each dungeon is procedurally generated. You can also use a man in your village to adjust the dungeons and start at certain floors [but that didn’t seem to work for me in the Dark Lord’s palace]. You can adjust what items drop in chests and the amounts of/strengths of enemies, which is definitely cool. You don’t have to grind but you definitely can. Rare and powerful equipment, jewelry for your girls, etc await.
I feel like it is an interesting blend of different retro RPGs, but perhaps too much so. The characters are very one-dimensional, which could be satirical/purposeful, and the girls are practically every single trope you can think of. Succubus, school-girl martial artist, assassin, demure healer, even a cheerleader! I’ve got most of the girls in the game by now I believe. Hero and Daughter+ . . . it’s definitely an experience.
All too conveniently, the Dark Lord’s island has a village, and a few dungeons! A very convenient pyramid, volcano, and forest, each also having convenient gems that are required to open the Dark Lord’s palace. Is that trite? Maybe a little. It bothers me that it takes place mostly on one damn island. A few hours into the game and I was around level 20 on my girls, fighting the Dark Lord. Girls, you ask? Of course! Ralph comes across an old man who runs a pub in this village, who happens to be a “Haremancer.” A man who summons Harems. He’s a dirty old man, and if you get Summon Stones in the dungeons, he can summon new girls for you. New girls for you? Why yes! You make a party of girls to journey with Ralph who will fight for you. You build affection for them, take them to your home, buy them gifts, and even gift them xp. Ralph “accumulates” xp but cannot use it. Instead, his village levels up as do the girls. If you get a new girl that you REALY want to have, you can save up xp and gift it to the girl to catch her up to your team.
There are some very cool features though. I was worried the game was only two hours long, because that’s about how long it took for me to get into the end-game, or supposed end-game. But once you do that, things happen that I won’t spoil! But there are so many things to do in your town. As your town levels up, new purchases are available to expand its functionality.
It all circles back to completing dungeons, summoning new girls, and building the ultimate waifu party. The girls that don’t make the waifu party cut don’t go to waste either. The extras still work together to improve the town for the better! The higher your relationship with them, the more xp they bring in to your town. Talking to them, giving them xp, or cute items helps them grow. You can’t buy equipment in town, but you can buy helpful items. Also the garden is something to point out! After each dungeon adventure, you can farm up some veggies in your town. Post-battle in a dungeon you auto-eat some of them to restore your health/mana/tp to full. Spells cost mana, Techniques cost TP. TP is also regained through melee attacks in battle. I found the techs to be FAR more powerful than spells, though it may be related to my town still being a low level. Meanwhile my girls are ridiculously high leveled in comparison, so their techs pump out ridiculous numbers.
But even if you neglect town, you still have to live there! You get a house in your town that you can shape and build with items you find in dungeons [walls, floors, beds, etc]. Once you have relation status with girls, you can invite them back to your place. Take that how you will. Once you have more gold, you can buy bigger, better houses. Thankfully there are rare Gold/Metal slimes [Thanks, Dragonquest!] that give absolute piles of xp/gold.
Waifu Simulator 7000: Good
I think this game is fun and cute. It’s got some serious drawbacks, such as horrifying repetitiveness, and amateur audio. The audio really bothers me after a few moments of playing. I’m sort of glad each girl doesn’t talk out loud, because if the current audio is any measure, I’d go insane. I like that the dungeons are random at least, and that it’s not as grindy as it could be. It could be a lot, LOT worse but manages to remain charming and fun for the long haul. I had a very hard time getting a stream going for it on Bottom Tier, as Xsplit was not pick it up at all. I have no idea why that is.
There are lots of things I didn’t get to mention here though. Each time you leave a building in town, the population of the town changes. Make sure to talk to everyone EVERY time you do so, because they have a chance to give you rare items, even if the dialogue is repetitive and annoying. You also get 1 xp per person you talk to. Suck it up and do it! There’s a girl in a cute mask that stands outside of your pub. She can join your cause permanently if you beat her in a fight. . .that’s not going to happen for a very long time. Her power level is tremendous! But she can accompany you for a fee. I feel this game has a surprising amount of depth, but there are still little things that I harp on; but it’s fun! It really is. Despite its flaws, it’s an adorable parody of the harem style anime/gaming trope, and I can appreciate that. It might seem pretty shallow on the surface, but it’s got some depth and entertainment value to be sure.
+ The dungeon music is quite catchy. Tthe sound effects are pretty awesome to boot. A sound use of the RPG Maker suite.
- The town music’s “Lalala. . .la la la” is probably on a ten second loop. It’s infuriating and you can’t turn it down in game. Combat sound effects ARE WAY TOO LOUD. I’m deaf in one ear and it makes it even harder for me.
Stuff to do:
+ I can’t really cover EVERYTHING, because for such a small package, there’s a lot going on. Training/fighting monsters, re-killing bounties for points to buy rare and mythical items, farming dungeons for summon stones for more girls. . .houses, getting furniture for them. . .
- It feels like a serious slog sometimes though. I found myself doing lower dungeons and increasing the number of enemies in them just to get valuable chain bonuses in repeated battles. There’s a pretty big gap between the first and second parts of the game for example. Dark Lord dungeon: 25. Next dungeon: 50. Really?
Girls, Girls Girls, at the Dollhouse in Ft. Lauderdale:
+ SO MANY DIFFERENT GIRLS. Each one is different and brings their own skills to the fight. You can really build whatever kind of team you want. I still use the first three I picked up because their skills seem pretty damn OP. SO MUCH FANSERVICE, goodness.
- Downer that I have so many to pick from and only three to put in the squad though. Having to farm xp to give the new girls exp, just so they are caught up to the team can be pretty freakin’ frustrating though.
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