Rent a Hero


Genre:     Adventure

Developer:   Neo

Published:   THQ Inc.

Released:   1999

PC Requirements:   Win95/98, DirectX6, 2MB RAM video, Pentium 133, 16MB RAM, 6x CD-ROM, Mouse and Keyboard.




by gatorlaw

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.

Review Grade:     B+

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