Based on Cartoon Network’s show, OK KO Let’s Play Heroes features KO, an enterprising kid that wants to be a hero and beat up evildoers, and a cast of brightly-colored characters occupying a world where beating up evil is as common as breathing.
Fight Lord Boxman’s evil bots to save Lakewood Plaza Turbo and, in addition to punching smug androids right in the face, you’ll complete quests, unlock moves, and collect cards of your Plaza friends as you pursue the ultimate goal: Getting your own shiny foil card.
OK K.O.! Let’s Play Heroes
Developer: Capybara Games
Platform: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4
MonsterVine was supplied with Steam key for review
Cartoon Network Games have been cultivating quite the reputation of late as publishers of weird but fun games. I’ll admit upfront I haven’t seen the show this is based on, but it gets a pretty loving treatment with an original story and voiceover from series regulars. It’s brightly colored, it’s got good music, and it fits right in with the wider aesthetic of the show: For that, it should be commended.
And this is a surprisingly sophisticated beat ‘em up. Enemy gimmicks hit in the very first battle, and they don’t ever stop. You’ll need to use juggling skills and timing, as well as the fairly simple combat system, if you want to inflict some hurt on robot scum. There’s going to be a lot of reloading as you figure out the pattern of each, but there’s a satisfying mastery to be had once all the pieces click into place.
“The Dark Souls of licensed fighting games” is certainly pushing things too far, but there’s going to be a fair amount of reloading on your part as you figure out how to make OK KO jump, spin, and uppercut on his legion of tormentors. Definitely bring your controller. While it is available for PC and playable right in Steam like anything else, I can’t imagine playing it on keyboard and mouse. I mean, I literally couldn’t imagine it. I couldn’t figure it out at all.
Where Let’s Play Heroes stumbles is outside of the combat engine. It uses an adventure game-lite framing device where KO wanders around Lakewood Plaza turbo on little quests and adventures between robot battles. The problem comes in the sheer relentlessness of the scene changes. To get from the parking lot into the back room of the bodega where KO works requires several screen changes, all of which take you out of the rhythm of the game.
The characters hanging around each scene only have a few lines and I could find no real indicator when they had something important to say, or when they just had something canned to say. That meant wandering around through several loading screens with no real indication of when the next fight would be, which was annoying when I wanted to punch more robots in the face.
Every “day” of action might involve a few of the fun fights, but most of them are spent running back and forth on static screens to accomplish basic tasks like “Go talk to that guy” or “Give this thing to her.” Why they built a great beat-em-up engine and saddled it with a bunch of annoying fetch quests boggles the mind.
The Final Word
The fighting is a lot of fun if you can deal with the rest of the game.
– MonsterVine Review Score: 3.5 out of 5 – Fair