Learning and managing battle abilities is also an extremely enjoyable part of Boot Hill Heroes. Combat moves are called Vantages, and like most important things in life, they're learned by wearing hats. Vantages are more than just basic punches and kicks (although to be fair, there are punches and kicks). They include tactical options like dodging, blocking and flirting, status-inducing abilities, multi-hit attacks, and so on. You can only have four Vantages active at a time, so choose wisely.
Now let's get to the good stuff: co-op. Boot Hill Heroes supports up to four local players, each one controlling a single party member. One player leads the party out in the field, eliminating the problem of everybody trying to dash off in separate directions at once. While the leader is exploring, the others aren't forced to sit and stare at the screen. The game's tidy menu system allows each person to manage Vantages, check materials, work with equipment and check stats without interrupting gameplay. It's simple, unobtrusive, and surprisingly handy.
Co-op works even better in combat. The active battle system utilizes the same menu system as above, allowing each player to choose Vantages and targets on their own. Since things happen in real-time, players can work together to build up useful combo patterns to keep enemies stunned, off-balance, or just plain dead. It's perfectly orchestrated chaos, and it's easily the high point of the game.
There's a lot of dialogue and flavor text in Boot Hill Heroes, but it's all well-written and fun to read. If you're a fast reader you'll probably wish the text printing speed was about twice as fast. The font, too, seems a little blurry when stretched out on a large monitor. Minor quirks, really.
Old west themed games are a rare thing these days, so it's nice to see an RPG explore some less-trodden territory. Come for the nostalgia, but stay for the fantastic co-op experience!
(Note: The PlayStation Vita version of Boot Hill Heroes does not include co-op. It does, however, feature exclusive content not available in the PC release.)
The Co-Op Experience: The game features a team of four characters -- Kid, Doc, Moon, and Rosy. A single player can control the entire party, or friends can seamlessly drop-in and take control of a character. Combat is crafted around a fast-paced, real-time strategy system where all players remain engaged in battle. The menu system is designed so that four players can simultaneously manage their characters' equipment and abilities without pausing the game.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.