- JP release: 5th December 1997
- PAL release: 12th April 1998
- NA release: 5th November 1998
- Developer: Produce!
- Publisher: Hudson (JP), Electro Brain (NA), Gaga (PAL)
- N64 Magazine Score: 50%
I don’t quite understand the name of this one – there’s no “dual” aspect to anything of this game. Did someone mistype “Duel Heroes”? Anyway, Dual Heroes is often stated as the worst fighting game on the N64, originally scoring 28% at N64 Magazine. However, Dual Heroes is quite fascinating as it has some really interesting features – which caused N64’s magazine score to bump up to 50% once they could understand what those features were in their English version review.
Now, the fighting mechanics are pretty atrocious. Fighters don’t feel very different and they all look like rejected Power Rangers with inflatable butts, with rather ugly designs. Special moves don’t feel very special and it’s quite simple that two of the buttons can be “Punch and kick” or “kick and block” and you can still have blank ones. There’s also a 3D move – which isn’t just a fancy dodge like Midway’s fighting games, but holding the button lets you move around completely in 3D. However, it also breaks the game.
When you move around in 3D, you move very fast. Human players will have difficulty landing a hit on you, and the AI can’t manage it at all. On top of that, in their attempt to try and hit you, they’ll often run off the edge of the map (if there are no walls). This means you can cheese any AI fight by running behind them, punching them and just running away until they throw themselves off or the time runs out.
Dual Heroes does have some fascinating features that I think modern fighting games should use. One is a “virtual opponent”. These are a list of opponents to play the game against – you don’t fight them directly, they pick a character from a game. They all have different tactics and will play in different ways, rather than one set way for each fighter to react.
On top of that, you can fight your own. There is a “robot” you can train by fighting against it – you have to teach it to use each character – and it will fight in your style. You can choose to have it fight the virtual opponents or (using memory cards) another person’s robot. This feature was implemented by the Super Smash Bros series, however it requires an amiibo of each character you want to use.
With online systems now, this robot feature (and virtual opponents) seems like great features that will be much better off with sharing things online (not to mention in a better fighting game).
Dual Heroes isn’t a good game, but it has some really great ideas that deserve to be tried again.
Nice idea, but it says something about a game when the most fun you can have is watching it play itself.Martin Kitts, N64 Magazine #17
Remake or Remaster?
The game doesn’t need updating, but the ideas need to be tried again.
Official Ways to get the game
There’s no official way to play Dual Heroes
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