Random Heroes 2 is a platformer from Ravenous Games, the studio behind the League of Evil and the original Random Heroes game. These titles are love letters to oldschool platformers, bringing their difficulty, need for precision, and retro style to the forefront of modern portable gaming. Does this latest title in the series impress? Or should we just start calling it Ran-dumb Heroes 2?

Anyone who's played League of Evil or Random Heroes will be right at home with this game, since it's pretty much the same thing. You take control of a little pixelated hero and make your way across different stages of a chapter, shooting enemies, collecting coins, and grabbing as many stars as you can.

The formula hasn't really changed, which should please die-hard fans who just want to sink more of their time into precision platforming and collecting coins for new weapons, upgrades, and different costumes. But for the more discerning player who wants a rich, rapid gaming experience on the go, Random Heroes 2 might not be worth the time or money.

You have a total of four virtual face buttons on the screen to help you navigate the retro-themed staged in Random Heroes. The A button lets you fire your weapon. Sliding this button up while holding it allows you to fire at an angle that's controlled by how high up you slide it. The B button is your jump button. If you hold down on B, you'll be able to pass downward through platforms, which will sometimes reveal a hidden area or a path to more stars. And then you have the Left and Right directional buttons. These are really all you need to survive in the game and you're free to move them around as you wish, just in case their positions feel uncomfortable to you.

Each level has a different amount of enemies that need to be killed, many coins to collect, and three stars to snatch. There are three chapters with 30 levels each, making for a total of 90 levels to explore in the game. This means that you'll get a lot of game for your measly dollar. The only issue is that the game, in all of its vastness, different weapons, and characters is ... it's kind of boring.

You will sit there and shoot at an enemy 5-8 times before it dies, jumping away to avoid return fire, and then repeating the whole thing with a different enemy. There are different weapons that are available for purchase which have more power and can kill enemies more quickly, but it will take a lot of grinding to save up enough money to buy them. And by that point, you'll have dragged your way through a good chunk of the game.

All of the levels may have different layouts, hidden areas, and traps, but it doesn't help that they all look the same. It seems like the game is just full of re-skinned characters and stages from Ravenous Games' previous titles. And of course, there are in-app purchases here that offer you more coinage for your actual, hard-earned cash.

Sure, you'll be able to buy the most kickass guns and costumes, but it shouldn't be so hard and tedious to save up enough coins to buy them without having to spend real-world money on the game. This is a huge mark against Random Heroes 2 and just sours my entire experience.

Your mileage with the game may vary, depending on how invested you are when it comes to games with an old-school vibe and difficulty, but Random Heroes isn't a huge, must-have iOS game. Though it has a lot of content, I can't say it's worth your dollar and that you'll get, "a lot of bang for your buck," since there isn't a lot of "bang" in the game at all. It's an exercise in tediousness that can easily be passed over unless you're a hardcore platform-shooter fan.

So yes, I believe I'll have to start using that crappily-punny title from the beginning and start referring to this game as Ran-dumb Heroes 2.  Hopefully, with some luck, the next iteration will actually offer a different gaming experience.


Store Link: Random Heroes 2 for iPhone & iPad | By Ravenous Games Inc. | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 14.6 MB | Rating 9+

5.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating