AKA: Seishun Scandal (JP)
Played Before: Yes
Also on: Arcade
Progress: 2nd round
Time played for review: 1 hour
Like so many memorable games (Double Dragon, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Wardner), My Hero begins with some dodgy-looking bloke nicking your girlfriend while you’re walking in what appears to be a park.
But this is no ordinary park. There are numerous thugs, knife wielders and bottle throwers some of whom stand on what appear to be giant vending machines but are probably just buildings. Big, red ones. That definitely look like vending machines.
Strangely enough, there are also high walls with pits that spew fire and mines and bombs that bounce out from behind the bushes. Even if this isn’t a park, it sure is an odd part of town. I certainly wouldn’t go there for a leisurely stroll.
So, in order to get your lady friend back, you’ve got to head to the right in good brawler tradition. You’re only working on one vertical plane, so no leaping up to a higher level to avoid baddies or deal with the bottle throwing baddies. Our Hero has a few moves at his disposal and is clearly some sort of expert as he can punch, sweep and high kick with button 2 and perform a jump-kick with button 1. This negates the need to press jump and attack together or with a brief delay in between which can so often make a game of this nature needlessly fiddly but, as with Alex Kidd in Miracle World, the controls are backwards. You can also use thrown bottles to your advantage. Hitting them makes them fly across the screen, taking out any thugs as they go, which is very useful on screens where they’re available.
Most of each level is spent dealing with an almost endless procession of bad guys. Get rid of one and another will instantly appear. It’s best to progress at a pace that allows you to get rid of enemies fairly quickly as a build-up can result in being stuck between two sets of enemies. Thankfully, the jump-kick is very effective as it can off more than one bad guy at a time and your jump is fully controllable in the air. Button 2 is generally reserved for sweeping crouching enemies.
The onslaught appears quite relentless at first until you get used to the pace of the game and remember not to get caught out by the first mine-looking thing (anyone want to suggest what else it could be? Perhaps another rabid animal?). Near the end of level one, you kick four bulldogs’ faces off. I know you weren’t expecting that sentence. It’s one of a number of slightly odd happenings, but I did mention that this is a strange part of town.
After a couple of minutes of right-trekking, the scene will change to a battle with the lady-stealer. First to be hit 10 times loses, resulting in either a lost life for you or his defeat. My tactic for this is to continually jump-kick straight upwards and edge sideways while at the top of your jump. He’ll get a few hits in on you but, more often than not, he’ll keel over before you do. He appears to have seen the error of his ways and the three of you sit watching the sunset with the defeated boss bawling his eyes out. Until he decides to punch you in the head and run off with your girlfriend again and we’re on to round 2 where some seemingly indestructible pigs will run on and go for your ankles. This madness is swiftly topped by another set of pigs with bad guys astride them. There are even jumping frogs that are exact rips from Alex Kidd in Miracle World!
One thing that you may notice while playing My Hero is a piece of brilliance that appears to be long dead in gaming; that of your score increasing as the screen scrolls. This can also be seen in Sega classics such as Outrun and Space Harrier. Points for walking? Wahey! That gets my vote.
My Hero can be fairly challenging and there is some memorisation necessary to avoid some of the less expected obstacles, but this is nothing out of the ordinary for a game of the period. It’s also forgiving in that there are numerous restart points throughout the level instead of going back to the start when you die.
As it all happens fairly quickly, it’s easy to get sucked into the one-more-go factor and convince yourself that you won’t make that fatal mistake next time around, which is the mark of an unfrustrating, well-constructed game. My Hero is definitely worth a bash for half an hour at a time.
Exciting SEGA rating: