Galaxy of Heroes isn't new, but it's not bad either
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
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DFG Exclusive Review Summary
- Presents a simple but enjoyable game with somewhat tactical combat
- Lots of Star Wars everywhere
- Uses a framework that will be familiar to folks who play lots of freemium stuff
- Enemies avoid damage way more often than player characters
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Not Such a Long Time Ago
There have been a few different freemium games based off of the Star Wars license, all of which are pretty much what you'd expect - although probably a little less cynical. And while Galaxy of Heroes may not take the concept of a free mobile game set in a galaxy far, far away to new heights, it can be quite entertaining if you go in with an open mind.
Planning and strategic use of skills is important in battle, but it won't amount to much if your characters aren't up to snuff.
- Always improve your team when you can. There are a number of ways this can be done, but each one is important in its own way. Regardless, if you don't keep upgrading you're going to have a really tough time in post-tutorial missions.
- Don't pour everything into one character. It's fine to keep your favorite a little ahead of the rest, but many enemies have abilities that could potentially render your ace ineffective for a few rounds - and if everyone else is level 1 and does piddly damage you're in trouble.
- Give everyone gear. As you play you'll find items that can be equipped on different characters to boost their stats. Do this. Not only will it improve their overall performance, but if you equip every item slot you can upgrade their gear level - thus keeping the boosted stats and re-opening items slots for even more gear and stat gains.
- Train, train, train. Combat won't improve your characters, so you'll have to use Training Droids. These one-time use items will grant experience in different amounts, depending on their rarity. Higher levels equals better stats, naturally.
- Check your Shipments daily. Here you can flat out buy items and character shards that you may not be able to earn so easily. Remember that each mode (The Cantina, Squad Battles, etc) has its own separate Shipments, too.
- Play on Hard to unlock more characters. Once you complete a Light/Dark Side Battles section on normal, you'll unlock Hard - with tougher enemies but better rewards. This is where you'll want to be in order to stock up on the character shards you'll need to unlock new characters or rank-up existing ones.
Fight the Powers
Sooner or later, you're going to have to take up arms.
- Pick your targets. Some enemies have skills that can really muck things up - consider going after them first.
- Timing can also make a difference. The blue bars underneath a character's health indicate when they act next (they go once it's full). You can also use this to plan around who goes when in order to follow up one special ability with another that's complimentary, get rid of enemies that will act next, and so on.
- Know your own skills. Each character has a regular attack and a special skill that does something a bit different but comes with a cooldown. Familiarize yourself with who can do what (tap and hold a skill icon for details) and put those abilities to good use.
- Attacks that hit everyone aren't very effective. It's great to damage an entire group of enemies, but the amount of damage is often so low it's more worthwhile to use that character to deal more damage to a single target.
A Little Forced
Galaxy of Heroes will likely feel familiar to anyone who's dabbled with enough free-to-play mobile games. But while it may not be blazing any new trails, it does present an enjoyable and polished effort.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes Review
Not So Far Away
Oh look, another freemium mobile game based around Star Wars. Yippee!
Being cynical is totally understandable at this point, but truth be told Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is actually quite enjoyable for what it is. Which is to say it's an entertaining squad based semi-tactical game that's fairly simple, and will probably seem familiar to some, but you can have fun with it if you aren't already burned out on similar titles. Plus it makes great use of Star Wars stuff like music and sound effects.
All About the Cameos
The basic framework for Galaxy of Heroes is nothing new. You have a small team of characters who fight other small teams of enemies; those characters can be upgraded and leveled-up; new characters can be unlocked; energy is used to go on missions, and is in limited (but rechargeable over time) quantities. It's a familiar cycle and a familiar structure. It's also one that works so I'm not really complaining - just saying that you've probably seen something like it before.
A key difference is Star Wars (obviously). They've wrung out an awful lot from the license for this game - from sounds to music to tons of characters spanning the entire film franchise and parts beyond. Gimmicky as it may be, I can't deny the appeal of hopping between prequel and original trilogy settings with enemies and backdrops to match, John Williams' still excellent score playing in the background as classic blaster and lightsaber sounds mingle together.
Aside from the obvious nitpick of the Galaxy of Heroes using a familiar setup, one thing that bugs me (other than the repeated question of whether or not I want to turn on push notifications - I don't) is the randomness when it comes to accuracy. I don't know what it is, if I'm just using clumsy characters or what, but I find myself missing enemies much more often than they miss me - if they ever actually have missed me, but I'm not even sure of that. It's not that I can't ever hit enemies or anything like that, but I've been noticing that my own characters never really seem to avoid damage. They certainly don't avoid it at the rate of their targets, anyway. I'm not sure if it's a programming thing or an 'I need to upgrade everyone more' thing, but it's a little irksome.
Yeah Galaxy of Heroes itself is kinda simple, and it's not really anything new, but it's basically an excuse to play with the equivalent of Star Wars action figures again. It looks good, sounds great, and is one of the few places where you'll be able to pit characters from the Bioware RPGs against those from the original trilogy or the prequels - from either side of their respective conflicts. That's got to at least be worth a look for most Star Wars fans, right?
- Review by David Galvin
Dave Galvin is a freelance writer and avid gamer. Somehow, he managed to find a way to combine the two passions.
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