Hands-on: Line Attack Heroes

Nintendo's Line Attack Heroes seems like a game from another time. The self-contained, themed, square levels and simplistic bring to mind NES classics like Kickle Cubicle and Adventures of Lolo and retro arcade games like Toy Pop more than any modern game. Unlike those, however, Line Attack Heroes is all action, with no puzzles to be found, except for perhaps the puzzle of why this is so much fun.
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Line Attack Heroes' title pretty much tells the whole story. The game is a brawler in which defeating minor enemies causes them to form a line behind your avatar. When you defeat a slightly more powerful enemy, a "hero," you can then shake the remote to use your line as a weapon. Different heroes impart different "line attacks," for example, a spear-wielding hero will both give you a spear to use and make your line shoot straight forward like a spear. Another line attack sent the group of enslaved minions around our character in a wide arc. Bosses at the end of every level have their own lines. Beating them requires a combination of disarming them (by throwing your people at their people) and directly attacking the boss.

We wouldn't categorize this game's gameplay as strategic, but the player does at least have options. When you have multiple heroes in your line, you can press Z to reorder them and promote the one with the weapon you want to use to the front. Later levels will evidently require the player to maintain certain heroes and switch between their abilities, in order to defeat enemies.

Also not seen in the E3 demo: cooperative and competitive multiplayer for up to four people. This should help boost the value proposition of what may seem like an oversimplistic game (no, it's not WiiWare). The simplistic, escalating gameplay and the cutesy, quirky graphics, however, have stuck with us since E3. We don't know how much potential there is for long-term enjoyment of the game, but we certainly wish we were playing it again right now.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.