Even after 15 years, it seemed like yesterday when I took out a game disc and plugged it into the family PC. I played several games as a child, with Hercules being one of the most memorable since I played it with my sister and, like almost every other youngster my age, was a huge fan of the film.
It’s not difficult to see why. It’s a humorous film that hasn’t suffered from the translation process. Alan Menken did an excellent job with the tunes, while Kaan Kalyon, Jeff Snow, and other authors did an excellent job with the tale. It’s one of Disney’s most gorgeous animated films. Gerald Scarfe, the illustrator responsible for artwork for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, among other things. His acidic interpretations of Greek mythology were so daring and eye-catching that it’s difficult to imagine they were transformed into a Disney film. Along with Danny Devito as a Brooklyn Satyr and James Woods as the God of the Underworld, this film is absolutely fantastic! Years later, when I began to comprehend more of what I was seeing, Hercules had less of an effect on me. Hades is fantastic, but he is largely squandered because he never interacts with the primary characters much. Plus, the storyline is disjointed, and the characters’ motivations are illogical. Despite this, I continue to enjoy watching Hercules. That’s why I was intrigued about how the game I used to love as a kid has aged. That should come as no surprise to anyone.
Hercules appears to be rather ambitious, and the stylistic concept would still be popular today and in the future. The game has rudimentary 3D graphics and hand-animated sprites. Even at the original resolution, there are some pixels, but the production is slick and simply plain wonderful. In fact, the compression survived even the film’s sequences. Even music pasted together from movie soundtrack themes can achieve that – for example, the first stage’s audio loop. The gameplay, on the other hand, is a separate set of boots. Although it was released on PCs and PlayStation, it is more similar to Sega Genesis’ thousand and one platformer. You sprint to the right, leap, grab items, and defeat foes. Three dimensions allow you to experiment with perspective on occasion: routes flowing deep into the levels break up the monotony of the designs. To defeat bosses, particular methods must be used, which are frequently unrelated to direct combat. They take a long time, but it shows ambition. Hercules continues to sprint towards the screen, unable to stop. Then you strive to escape traps and leap on platforms while equipped with an inappropriate perspective. These stages are dreadful. Hercules’ dilemma, on the other hand, is not one of originality. It’s merely a mediocre, irritating platformer. The challenge here is surprisingly high in an unfair way. Jumping is unpleasant, and it’s difficult to feel much here, as it is with assault hitboxes. You are unable to save yourself. Immortality cages you, so you die frequently and easily. Enemies are vexing, and the flying ones are maybe the worst junk I’ve ever encountered in a platformer. In 2023, it is nostalgia, not outmoded design, that works in favour of Hercules.
It would be simple to defend Hercules by saying that it was released in 1997 and is still based on a movie, so why care about it, and so on. It would be unjust to many other titles, as well as this one. Hercules isn’t a great game, and it hasn’t survived the test of time (much like a movie), but it’s still worth looking at after all these years. Boss designs help a little!
Hercules by Disney is a typical example of a game that adapts a movie; more recent instances seldom depart from this pattern. The program’s major components are film snippets and the recognized voices of James Woods and Danny DeVito. Themes from the movies have been skillfully transferred to gaming. Hercules replenishes his health by drinking his energy drink and replenishes his health bar by collecting his figurines. This is likewise a game that was already out of date when it was released. Platform games looked drastically different in 1997.
I had no regrets about returning to Hercules. It wasn’t a horrific trip into memories, and it didn’t hurt to learn that my favourite childhood cartoon wasn’t all that great. As it turns out, I still hit the same keys as I did as a youngster; Z, X, C, D, S. The enjoyment I used to have when playing this game still remains even now.