Microsoft

Zheroes (Xbox One)

zheroes1

Maybe Zheroes looks to hook onto the nostalgia of Blasto or Captain Quazar. Some may recall Blasto. He was a vibrant yet sexist space hero voiced by Phil Hartman, during Sony’s awkward stage after Crash Bandicoot but before Ratchet & Clank. Quazar appeared on 3DO. It’s doubtful anyone remembers.

Either way, Zheroes has the “kitschy space hero with a chin” thing down. What surrounds him is an ambling brawler, looking for identity.

The surplus of animation works to help the strangling pace. There’s a splash of zest (Zheroes’ combat has weight), but the zero context is a killer. Zheroes explains nothing. The world, the characters, the villain, the enemies, the stages; none of them are given reason. Read the sales sheet on your preferred digital marketplace. That’s all you get. Zheroes becomes a videogame where things are punched. A lot. And to the beat of ill-fitting, bass-stuffed electronica tracks.

Funny robots and a cheeky out-of-shape hero (or zero?) only go so far.

2/5

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