Rent A Hero

Posted by: gatorlaw

Rent A Hero - 05/19/01 11:16 AM

Rent A Hero to start with is an incredible and wonderful game. It has unfortunately IMHO gotten reviews that have not done this little gem of a game justice.

I heard about this game on the web and had it high on my BAAGer list. Early one morning I was visiting CD Access and what to my wondering eyes appeared but Rent A Hero. I grabbed it up. By that afternoon (and after my order had processed and been boxed up and shipped) the game vanished - so I ended up with one of probably a handful of "Southpeake" published RAH games. Don't know why they yanked after it was boxed and out at the retailers - but I think they missed out on a quality game. The sudden vanishing of the US copies explains I think why partially this game is relatively not well known here in the US. By the time it became available - it was touted as a too short waste of time.

Well I stand here ready to go to town with all those who missed the beauty of this game.

The story is wonderful. It begins with an introduction to the land of Tol Andor a peaceful place of magic and enchantment, nestled in the Sea of Infinity. Early on in it's history a wondrous thing was discovered - a substance of unbelievable power known commonly as Gloomstones. There was at that time a struggle for power - but good won out and the evil influences and other rabble were banished to the open waters. We now come to our protagonist, Rodrigo. He is a professional hero for hire, though competition is stiff and he has yet to build a viable clientele. Oh he gets the occasional princess to rescue - but his pouch is empty of gold coins and his last case paid him only with an invite to hang out at the palace on weekends.

But all is not so bright in our island and dark forces are amassing once again. The pirates are coming to steal the Gloomstones and revive an ancient evil. Can our erstwhile hero arise and save the day?
Well you'll have to get this game to find out - cause I'm not telling.

This is the basic plot to Rent A Hero. However though it has been frequently described as "short" I did not find it to be so. Oh the second time around I played through pretty fast - but there is much to see in this world, many places to go and trails that could lead anywhere. If you play this for enjoyment, tarry at places just for the pleasure (as I did) and beat this on your own without a WT - I would estimate a satisfying game length. I think I put in about 30 hours on the first go around. Now to the best parts of this game.

To start with it has wonderful graphics as the screen shot above demonstrates. And this is just a bare sample. It has some truly endearing characters. There is a dragon that is phenomenal and one that I wish truly existed. Sigh. There is also romance to this game and a tastefully rendered "love scene" that is a first for adventure games. double sigh. Dwarfs, trolls, pirates, heroes of all sorts and Rodrigo himself create a game environment that is a treasure to experience.

The music is some of the most wonderful I have heard in a game. It is performed entirely by a little group The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the soundtrack was composed with the input and assistance of it's world renowned leader Werner Hink.

Well I could go on ...whew this is long isn't it LOL But I really urge you to try on Rent A Hero - I don't think you will have any regrets except for not playing this earlier. This is in conclusion a game for all ages, romantics, adventurers and for the little bit of hero in all of us.


[This message has been edited by gatorlaw (edited 05-19-2001).]
Posted by: foofoobunny

Re: Rent A Hero - 05/20/01 06:13 AM

Laura - thanks for doing this one. I like this game also!

There is one thing about this game I feel compelled to mention however - sometimes it is necessary to click on a hotspot multiple times - EVEN IF THERE IS NO HINT THAT YOU ARE TO DO SO - for the action to take place. Typically if the character simply repeats the same comment as before it means there's nothing left to do here, but not with Rent-a-Hero. Other than this [minor] annoyance, I thought it well worth playing.
Posted by: gatorlaw

Re: Rent A Hero - 05/20/01 10:20 AM

Ah good point Foofoo,

Typically after I finish a game and had a great time with it...I forget any minor annoyances. I did get stuck for a bit as one of the travel indicators is tough to spot being up at the top left of the screen.

I think the hot spots follows the gameing philosophy if you can click it, even if it can't be interacted with now - at some point it will be important to get after some trigger event has occured. So if stuck - revisit old haunts to see if anything has changed.

Posted by: foofoobunny

Re: Rent A Hero - 05/20/01 12:46 PM

I found it wasn't a simple case of "not being ready" to interact with a hotspot. I was all set, but it *still* required multiple clicks to perform the desired action. Still, it didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the game!
Posted by: gatorlaw

Re: Rent A Hero - 05/20/01 01:45 PM

Ooooh, now I understand. sorry Foofoo,

I didn't read what you wrote accurately. I didn't have this type of problem, yeesh sounds like a pain. Still I am glad it didn't mess with your overall game fun.

Posted by: nolalou

Re: Rent A Hero - 05/20/01 06:07 PM

Thanks for that great review. I too thought Rent-a-Hero was an under appreciated game. The animation was wonderful, and equaled anything you'd see in a major film from either Disney or DreamWorks. I also didn't think it was too short, maybe about the length of Dracula Resurrection, but with more locations to visit. I'd agree without using a walkthrough, you can get 30 or so hours of gameplay.

My only regret? That I was silly enough to trade this game away! (after I got it unopened in a trade with someone on UGTZ)

Since this game is so hard to find, maybe it would be a good candidate for floating, if anyone is willing!

Posted by: aberfoyle

Re: Rent A Hero - 06/05/02 11:32 AM

Hi, I just finished rent-a-hero. I enjoyed it very much. I agree with Laura on the beauty of the game -- its scenery, story, music and production quality. I just wanted to note a couple of items that I 'struggled' with to the point of getting frustrated.

As has been mentioned, the need to click on a hot spot multiple times caused me a problem. I needed a walkthrough to get by it. And then, of course, like Pavlov's dog, I clicked every hot spot many times 'just to be sure'. Got me to the 'love scene', though smile

Another problem I ran into was that there was one item (again from a walkthrough), that I couldn't find. I 'knew' where it was, but, if it was visually indicated on the screen, I couldn't tell. Even knowing where it was, I didn't find it until I did a 'pixel by pixel' scan.

Finally, I thought the game was unflattering to women. Jasmine was something else, I was looking for a separate voice control for her! And Cynthia seemed just sooo devoted to Rodrigo.

As for being short, it was Amerzone or Road to India length or maybe a bit more.

Well worth playing!

Oh, by the way, you don't HAVE to save as it remembers where you are and starts you there next time. Its a good idea to save every so often, though. the game did die once on me and it restarted back to the last time I had started the game and I lost about 30 minutes (much faster the second time!)
Posted by: Skinny Minnie

Re: Rent A Hero - 06/05/02 11:44 AM

I have a great fondness for that whimsical, comical, third person romp of a game myself! Thanks for the reminder, Laura! Most of the puzzles were straightforward and grew right out of the plot situations, helping to propel the yarn of fantasy along. Ride a dragon! Steer a ship! Save the World! Nothing is too much of a challenge for a down-on-his-luck detective...