Riot’s new console game, Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story, allows the player to control Ziggs. In the form of a rhythm game, Ziggs traverses various different locales within Piltover and Zaun creating absolute mayhem. Mixing in elements of a platformer, Hextech Mayhem creates an engaging experience for both rhythm game experts and casuals alike. Here is a Hextech Mayhem Review for the Nintendo Switch.
Keep in mind, the gameplay should be nearly the exact same on all consoles.
Here is a video version of the review:
Ziggs performs three basic functions: a jump, a slam, and a bomb throw. Time each of these according to the appropriate symbols. Green corresponds with a jump, grey with a slam, and blue with a bomb throw. The more accurately the player times the button inputs, the better the results. In general, the control schematics are very simple. At first glance, only having three realistic commands seems far too easy. How can a game have depth with only three inputs? Hextech Mayhem is simple on paper. But the more the player experiences Hextech Mayhem, the more complex the game reveals itself to be.
Pressing the jump button twice in a row causes Ziggs to double jump. And jumping through certain objects, such as balloons, causes them to explode. Slams and bomb throws can be used to demolish structures found in the level. Following the symbols that appear on screen is the easiest, most conventional part of the game. A quick look around the stage reveals that not all collectible and objects are obtainable by only following the input commands.
Some balloons are out of reach unless the player successfully times double jumps in between the symbols that present the button commands. In addition, objects litter the map that require Ziggs to throw out bombs at well timed opportunities. This leads into the second point, difficulty.
Perfecting each stage in Hextech Mayhem requires an immense amount of skill and attention. Little details all around the stage can collectable, but players need to time their inputs incredibly well. Without fast reactions alongside a keen observing eye, many of the little details are easily missed. To master the stage, players must display strong platforming alongside masterful sense of rhythm.
Of course, players can opt to simply follow the button commands highlighted instead of going for those extra collectables. But doing so results in a platinum rank, maybe barely diamond at highest. For those looking to achieve the highest score on each stage, expect to rage and restart the level endlessly.
Hextech Mayhem is both lenient on mistakes while also incredibly punishing. Players attempting to breeze past each available stage and simply see what the game has to offer will find themselves perfectly capable of doing so. If Ziggs misses an input, he often moves right along. But if he misses specific inputs, depending largely on the platforming aspect of the game, he fades away into black. In essence, he dies. That does not end the stage. Within a set time frame, players can revive Ziggs by correctly timing a button input, allowing Ziggs to continue creating mayhem until the end of the stage. Therefore, simply getting to the end of the stage is pretty easy.
Players attempting to master the stage will find each mistake detrimental to their progress. Zigg’s animation when dying and delay before being allowed to cause more mayhem severely hurts the player’s chances of achieving a high score. It is incredibly difficult to achieve an amazing score. Perhaps even a bit too difficult. This game, similarly to League of Legends, does not give out Diamond rank and above so easily. On the other hand, those who achieve the higher ranks will feel fulfilled by their efforts.
Truth be told, Hextech Mayhem’s soundtrack is rather disappointing. For such an important aspect for a rhythm game, Hextech Mayhem definitely drops the ball. A couple of songs stand out here and there, but throughout the majority of the play through, the soundtrack all just blends together as a mix of loud sounds banging together. This makes much of the gameplay difficult to mix with the music, as players will have a hard time distinguishing what exactly is even going on in the song.
Considering Riot Games produces phenomenal music, the lack of their signature musical pieces in the first League of Legends rhythm game makes for a lackluster soundtrack. This is the biggest downside of the game. Outside of a few songs that clearly received more effort than the rest, the majority of Hextech Mayhem’s soundtrack is easily forgettable.
By balancing platforming and base rhythm game mechanics, Hextech Mayhem plays wonderfully. Despite a bit of a forgettable soundtrack, going on a beat killing spree provides an adrenaline rush that is further accented by the explosions that occur on screen. Hextech Mayhem’s unique gameplay experience does more than enough to distinguish itself in a sea of games.
In regards to story, the game doesn’t really provide anything profoundly deep. Objects and in game models repeat an incredible amount, but that is the convention of rhythm games. The backgrounds show gorgeous backdrops of Piltover and Zaun, varying a surprising amount. Though players will likely be too busy to admire the view, the game’s art direction is impressive.
If priced at $40 or higher, the score on this review would not be so generous. At only a $10 price tag for an insane 39 stages, all with incredible replay value, Hextech Mayhem stands as a strong game that holds up to Riot Game’s quality insurance. Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story is well worth the money.
NOTE: Apparently, one of the flaws of the PC port is the lack of button customization. Hopefully, the issue will be addressed in the future.
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