Most of the time, it’s possible to visualize someone out there enjoying even the games that I dislike (fans of different genres, players with totally different priorities, etcetera), but I can’t picture any kind of person who derives enjoyment from Next Up Hero. As usual, I’ve chosen the header screenshot for this article very carefully to best reflect the game, and nothing summarizes Next Up Hero more than blank space; this isn’t a video game designed for a niche so much as a game developed purely so that somebody could say that they’re a game developer. It’s very telling that I unlocked a rare achievement (one with less than a 4% completion rate) in less than an hour while I was still learning the ropes. 96% of people bailed on this game before finishing a relatively easy type of level. If that doesn’t tell the story of Next Up Hero‘s pointlessness, nothing does.
My History with Next Up Hero isn’t very interesting; I requested a normal key and a beta key around a week before the beta ended and the game was set to move into early access, and while both key requests came through, I was mistakenly sent two beta keys instead of one being for the actual game. I went through all the proper channels and pointed out that the key wasn’t what it claimed to be, but no one ever got back to me.
It felt like a slight at the time, but in hindsight, not having to play this game was an unexpectedly merciful development.
Next Up Hero is a game without purpose or the slightest glimmer of fun. All you do is send slow and awkward characters through randomly generated stages until they either win or die (both of which can result in a good ranking for some reason). Progress isn’t measured by the number of Next Up Hero‘s stages that you’ve completed, as your progress percentage bar only increases when you level up. Basically, you endure some of the most inept action gameplay in recent history until the two doorknobs the game insists are its characters have a conversation about all of the things they’re learning. It’s such an unfulfilling gameplay loop devoid of anything resembling payoff that I was convinced that I was still in some kind of tutorial area. Next Up Hero is painfully tedious to play.
The perspective results in hit detection that always feels slightly off, for one thing. The lumbering speed of your character is also a problem. There are multiple characters you can use, but melee ones are 100% unviable; not only do enemies teleport around and try to ram you, but each stage has a gimmick goal, and one of those gimmicks is that everyone only has 1 HP. If you want any semblance of control over your fate, you’ll stick with a ranged character. They have their own problems, though—aiming with the right stick slows down your movement, while dodging doesn’t work while you aim. If something is coming at you at a high speed, you have to let go of the right stick and then push it in to dodge. How do you screw up dodging? There are also tons of technical issues. In my short time with Next Up Hero, I encountered constant stutters in addition to full-blown freezes, and at one point the game went to a black screen and never came back. Even Next Up Hero wants to stop playing Next Up Hero.
Next Up Hero is one of the most pointless games in history first appeared on Killa Penguin