Line Attack Heroes - hands on

If you’re going to get into a scrap, bring some useful friends. That piece of wisdom is more or less the concept behind this fighting game from Koichi Ishii, the creator of the Mana RPG series.

There is a whiff of RPG about Line Attack Heroes, particularly where the plot’s concerned. A crystal dragon has been shattered and its component pieces scattered across dimensions. You need to gather said pieces in order to rebuild the dragon so it can help save your world. Or something. Look, the story’s incidental here – it’s the gameplay mechanics we like.

As youwander about through time and space you encounter warriors with a range of fighting styles. Defeating them adds them to your party, increasing your options in battle. But rather than waiting to be selected from a menu screen, your posse follows you around in a giant conga line. A quick tap of Z brings a fighter to the front of the queue so they can take on an enemy – who, when beaten, also joins your team.

It reminded us slightly of Little King’s Story, with you choosing battle formations and key fighters on the fly. Where Line Attack Heroes differs, however, is with the, er, line attacks. With a string of followers tailing behind you, remote waggles will cause the line to attack as one, the type of attack depending on which warrior’s at the head of the queue. Swipe the remote side-to-side and the line sweeps across the screen like a sword; smash it towards the floor and the line crashes down on any enemies in its way.

If the idea sounds strange, rest assured that’s it’s very easy to pick up and great fun to play. The rainbow-colored, cartoony world adds to the appeal, making this an oddity to keep an eye on.

Jul 20, 2009