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Bionicle Heroes

Bionicle Heroes

Bionicle Heroes

Bionicle Heroes is a 3D third person shooter video game. The game was released in November 2006 by TT Games on PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Nintendo GameCube, Microsoft Windows and by Amaze Entertainment on Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS, a Nintendo Wii version was later released in April 2007. The game stars Bionicle's 2006 feature characters, the Toa Inika and the Piraka. However, the game also features enemies from previous games. Players must destroy enemies, solve puzzles in order to progress further, and throughout the game, maximize their individual special powers and gain better and deadlier weapons.

While the game is loosely based on the first part of the Bionicle Legends story arc; it is non-canonical and features several characters from previous arcs in the franchise.

The Nintendo DS version of Bionicle Heroes is in the first-person perspective instead of third-person, and is the first LEGO game to be rated T for Teen. The Game Boy Advance version is also vastly different, having a top-down perspective instead of over the character's shoulder.

Bionicle Heroes Gameplay

Players control an anonymous hero out to stop the evil Piraka, who have used the power of the Mask of Life to transform the wildlife of the island of Voya Nui into aggressive, evil creatures. The hero is able to wear the masks of the Toa Inika in order to take on their appearances and powers. Players can switch between any collected masks at will, but if they run out of health the current mask is lost and a new one must be found before the character can become that Toa again. Collecting a mask also restores health, even if it is one the character already has.

During gameplay, players collect Lego pieces with different point values. Collecting enough points fills a meter and activates "Hero Mode", turning the character golden and giving invincibility as well as an offensive boost. After completing a level, points collected can also be used to purchase items and upgrades from the in-game Lego Shop. Players are able to upgrade weapons throughout the game, starting with the Toa Mata's tools before upgrading to the Toa Metru's tools and finally the Toa Inika's tools; armor and special abilities can also be upgraded.

Throughout each level are several Lego constructions, or construction-actions, that can be assembled. Two kinds that must be activated to proceed are normal constructions activated by Toa Hewkii and golden constructions that can be activated by anyone in Hero Mode, though doing so causes Hero Mode to end and more points must be collected before it can be entered again. Also found are character-specific constructions that provide bonuses when activated.

Scattered throughout the levels are several canisters that give bonuses when collected: collecting all of the silver canisters in a level unlocks a common enemy for viewing between levels, while each gold canister found unlocks a collectible item for viewing. Each regular level includes five silver canisters and four gold canisters, and Piraka levels include four gold canisters apiece. Boss enemies are also unlocked for viewing after they have been defeated.

There are 25 levels and 19 bosses in total. In addition to the levels and viewable collectibles, players can also explore a bonus area called Piraka Playground, where the Piraka can be seen walking around after you defeat them in the main levels. Players can purchase additional items for Piraka Playground from the Shop and watch the Piraka use them. There are also 3 bonus levels available for purchase, which are accessed through Piraka Playground.

Reception
At its release in November 2006, Bionicle Heroes was mostly overshadowed by higher-profile releases; specifically the launches of the PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles later that week. Nearly all reviews noted the similarity to TT Games' previous Lego Star Wars games - several suggested that Heroes was perhaps too similar, and having two such games released within a couple months of each other was tiresome as Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy had been released the previous September.

The game has received mixed critical reviews. Nintendo Power noted that the game "doesn't feel very LEGO-ish; block-building aspects seldom come into play, and the scenery is only rarely reminiscent of LEGO pieces." GameSpot blamed Hero Mode for making the game repetitive: "By being even remotely selective with how you pick up Lego pieces, you'll be invincible a good two-thirds to three-fourths of the game, which means that nearly every situation before a boss battle is utterly trivialized." Another common point in several reviews was that the game lacked a real story.

As of December 2006, the Xbox 360 version of Bionicle Heroes has been the subject of the most reviews according to GameRankings.com, and has an average rating of 60%.

Though reviewed less than the console versions, both the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance scored quite well in comparison, with reviews around 70 to 80%. The DS version of the game is considered a very competent first-person shooter, with responsive, but not perfect, controls and fast, smooth visuals; several reviews stated that it holds up well to the critically acclaimed Metroid Prime Hunters. However, one major drawback is its lack of online play. The Game Boy Advance version was reviewed only twice, but both reviews agree that the game's nonstop, relentless shooting is shallow though very entertaining; both also praised the game's musical score.


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