Hero-U Rogue To Redemption Switch Review: There’s A Hero…

Time for a Hero-U Rogue To Redemption Switch Review, but I'm still indulging in moral thievery.

Hero-U Rogue To Redemption is a character-driven RPG in the mould of a classic 90s adventure available on the Switch. Joining our protagonist Shawn O’Conner, a street rat itching to get snapped up by the thieves Guild, we find ourselves in someone’s home (without permission), looking to steal a coin.

On completing this brief introduction, Shawn meets a stranger who advises that the old bill is waiting for him around the corner and he’s going to do bird unless he follows him. Gaming reviews, by Danny Dyer.

The ultimatum is enlisting in the local university – the Hero University, and keep his nose clean. Hero-U Rogue To Redemptionis, a little bit of a coming of age story, told over 50 days and a non-linear experience. You’ll be expected to attend classes and routine (like Persona 5), but can stray away at intervals, exploring the castle setting, honing individual skills.

Hero-U Rogue To Redemption Switch Review

After failing(?) an aptitude test, Shawn is demoted to the Disbarred Bards in the dungeon. This is a front for an elite class of rogues, though like the Fight Club reference – you don’t talk about it, and the university denies all knowledge of its existence.

The rogue class are heroes too though, and you’re trained not only in the practical skills required to be a decent one; knife throwing, lockpicking, agility… but you’re taught moral codes too, how to charm people and increase your perception.

Hero-U Rogue to Redemption on the Switch
Source: PR

These stats, accessible from a menu at any time, raise frequently depending on your actions. You can also improve your standing with classmates, teachers and other characters through your dialogue choices and actions. This truly is a customisable experience, but note that your path will always be a rogue, just select the attributes that suit your playstyle.

Actions matter and you can balls up your vocational pursuit by getting demerits. If you earn 100 of them, you’ll get kicked out, and a game over is something you can experience here. Back in the days of point and clicks, Sierra was one of the few that killed off players, which can happen here. The rogues.

Something For The Adventurer’s Palette

I was overthinking the colour palette wondering if it were the browns and greys of medieval times that make Hero-U Rogue To Redemption look somewhat dated, but it was the overall design – from the illustrations to the UI. The Elder Scrolls series doesn’t feel dated, despite having similar tones.

This must be mentioned because, on the surface, Hero-U Rogue To Redemption does look like a game from the 90s. This isn’t one of those pixel art, 8-bit aesthetics that takes you back to the good ‘ol days, but for those who never leave the house without a die – it feels very isometric Baldur’s Gate (albeit much prettier), and you may be in your element.

But that’s all a matter of taste as the artwork is excellent, just not my thing. The core of Hero-U Rogue To Redemption is its writing and storytelling. Playing a ginger kid named Shawn O’Conner who wants to be a thief, only switching to a rogue has minimal appeal to me, other than being a rogue.

That said, Transolar Games, who made it, consist of a husband and wife team that were part of the Sierra On-Line alumni, making Quest For Glory. As a keen adventurer, this is an endorsement and a half, and anyone with a bit of heritage will know we’re in good hands.

Hero-U Rogue to Redemption - Feast
Let us feast! Source: PR

Punny, Isn’t It?

My biggest hurdle with Hero-U Rogue To Redemption, however, was the humour. Though comedy is my comfort blanket – appreciating a diverse range from satire to dick and fart jokes, I struggled a bit with the frequency of jokes.

It was almost like someone desperately trying for your attention, who doesn’t know when to stop and tone it down a little. In the opening sequence – a prologue, if you will, almost all the dialogue was a joke of some sort, the core of it being a pun.

Now, I do love puns (I’m a dad, after all), but like in the fishing industry; there’s a time and a plaice. Shawn shouldn’t become a rogue, but a wordsmith, writing for dad’s like me so we can embarrass our kids. Without dragging this out, it reminded me of an interview I once saw with Stephen Merchant – a very funny man, but he fired one line after the next where you just want a break. Not Robin Williams ferocity, but bordering on irritation.

That doesn’t sound ideal then, considering Hero-U Rogue To Redemption is dialogue intense. It’s not a visual novel, but it has those qualities as you frequently engage with others with a dialogue tree to choose from. But, there’s a silver lining. After the prologue finished, I conceded that there would be no let-up with the puns, and I soon found that this was one of the charms to this game.

Go Forth And Steal (Ethically)

I started to warm to the constant barrage of jokes, and it made the experience mean something. As a point and click fan, while I adore the genre, there might be the odd scene where I glaze over – even skip a line or two. With Hero-U Rogue To Redemption, I was looking out for every bit of wordplay – sometimes it was subtle but indefinitely witty.

And it’s for this reason that I haven’t scored the game yet – simply because I’m taking my time with it. If it matters to you, I’d say it’s around an eight out of ten at the moment, but that’s all subjective. These things usually have deadlines as people want to know if a game is worth it. Is Hero-U worth it? absolutely – if you’re a fan of well-written, in-depth gameplay where your actions affect the play; actual consequences.

Hero-U Rogue to Redemption - Smooch
Smooch time. Source: PR

Perhaps I’ll return to this review and give it a final score, but Hero-U Rogue To Redemption has made that transition from being a game where I play it and write a review, to something ‘for me’. Would I have gone out of my way to get this game? Honestly, no. But now that I’m playing it, undoubtedly yes. If you want to show the big kids that the Switch can handle big games, give this some consideration. 

The review score went rogue, I know. It’s pretty hard to write a decent pun, and that’s why imaginary hats are tipped towards Transolar Games.