Million to One Hero (PC) Review
In-depth Creation engine
Relies on user generated content
Vague descriptions of tools and functions
Million to One Hero follows the adventures of Epicus, a Greek hero who is mostly known for failing 999,999 times; however, he did succeed once, and that’s all that really matters. In this retro 2-D platformer players control Epicus as he runs, jumps, and slashes through various obstacles. In addition to being a platformer, this is also a creation system. Similar to Super Mario Maker and RPG Maker, users can build and play not only single levels but custom adventures, with the ability to add dialogue and narrative to their custom adventures. While being a fun game and creation system, there are a few notable things that hold it down.
The action side is a retro-inspired 8-bit platformer. Containing a plethora of enemies ranging from one-hit wonders to tough bosses, as well as several tools and weapons to overcome a variety of challenges and puzzles, Million to One Hero is entertaining with very sound mechanics. The issue is in finding consistently entertaining levels to play. As with any game that relies on user-generated content, you have a variety of different options, some good some bad. However, the developers have left the sorting to the users rather than sorting it themselves. The use a combination of a like-score and a series of symbols that represent genre tags make for a very muddy listing system. It ultimately requires you to play the individual level to have any real idea about what it’s like.
The creation side is complex and provides in-depth tools allowing for sophisticated and entertaining creations. In addition to the previous mention of being allowed to add dialogue, the developers also included things like logic circuits allowing for detailed puzzle solving. Level creations look similar to a graphic design program, and its tools are easy to use. However, while being easy to use, they are not so easy to recognize. Description of items and tools are short and often vague, requiring you to use trial and error to see what things are and do. Enemies are not explained at all, and unless you had previously seen them in action you are basically guessing on how they operate. While you can jump quickly into playing your creation, the fact that you often have to go back and forth gets frustrating quickly.
Million to One Hero tried to provide a competent gaming platform and in-depth level creator. While the mechanics perform at an excellent level, the creation engine failed to find the fine line between intuitiveness and technical options. The fact that they fell onto the more technical side, however, is still something players can enjoy. If you like old school side scrollers and like expressing your creativity in an 8-bit world then definitely consider this as an option.