+ Heroland's immediate draw is it's unique setting. Long ago, The Four Heroes of Blight put a stop the Dark Lord's plans. Decades latter that adventure is used as the basis of a theme park, where larpers of all ages can take tours based on the journey taken to defeat the Dark Lord. You play the role of a tour guild nicknamed Lucky. Game has great, fun, humorous writing and if it was not obvious with the "Four Herose of Blight", lots of references to popular JRPG's. You can just feel the love put into the game.
+ Charming presentation. Fun monster design. Kind of like Paper Mario but with cardboard cutouts.
+ Large cast of colorful lovable playable characters. A great job is done making sure that every character gets some time to shine though out the adventure whether it be through main story or sidequest. No one is forgotten. Imagine if Chrono Cross acknowledge it's cast past their introduction.
* Battles are A.I. controlled. You can intervene at any time and can update battle strategies for the party, make a party member use a specific skill or use an item. There is a cool down for interventions that shortens as you level up. You WILL be participating in battles because of dumb A.I. shit but I know not having party control bothers some.
* While the writers put a lot of love into dialogue it routinely dips into overindulgence. Jokes run on for so long that I am asking out loud, "Can we move on?". References are not subtle at all and have me saying out loud, "Okkkk, I get it". I got to a point where during endgame cleanup I just started skipped dialogue.
- Default battle speed is obnoxious. Thank god for the speed x3 function but it does speed everything up(animation and music) making the battles less interesting to watch. Wish it was more like Final Fantasy where changing the battle speed just lowered the wait time across the board. Speed x3 should have been the default speed as the current default looks like the game is dropping frames.
- Super grindy game. If I had to compare the game structure to something it would be Pokemon Stadium with a story and a shit ton of collectables. You pick a tour, a party of four, and then do a series of battles that end in a boss fight. That is the entire game; No other forms of entertainment. The are 9 chapters with 3 main tours each and you could just do those and finish the game comfortably but then that initial $40 price tag becomes laughable. This is where the shit ton of collectables come in. Every enemy in the game has a plushie that can dropped. Some have a rare plushie. On top of that some have weapon replicas needed to get more weapons. They drop one at a time randomly... or not at all. At the end of every tour run is a boss treasure holding a selection of furniture ..... of which only one can be obtained and they can repeat. Then there are social links, 9 levels ... with every character, which unlock specialized tours that contain exclusive collectables. The neatness of the concept runs dry very quickly if you decide to 100% the game. Structure of the game does not have the longevity for a 60 hour + game.
Heroland did not need to be 60 hours +. Biggest mistake. I would welcome a sequel that offered more ways to play the game(why not add a park management sim?) but a sequel that just does this again? I'll pass. Game burnt me out. A lot of the same shit.