When I was a young boy, I really wanted to be a fireman. saving lives, putting out fires, having women lust over me. Alas I went down a different path where the closest I get to flames is in front of the fireplace. So to get my hands on Real Heroes: Firefighter 3D I was very excited to simulate the life our heatproof heroes have.
When you start the game, you have an optional tutorial, I suggest you take it. This takes you through lots of elements the game will throw at you. From putting out fires and axing down stuck doors, to carrying would be victims out of a burning building. Your character is a rookie fireman, so this is completely in context. It’s a great tutorial that gives you a chance to experience everything you need to know before taking on the game. I did however, find a glitch within the short tutorial. For one part of the level you have to extinguish all the flames on the second floor before you can advance. After doing this, I was repeatedly asked to extinguish all the flames before continuing. This was something I had already done so there was no way to continue. A quick reset and retry and I was away. Aside from this, no problems.
After the tutorial, you are thrust onto the scene. A lot of fires are expected as its the “hottest and driest” summer for years. (And the fact its a game about being a fireman…) Once you get out of the fire truck, you and the other firefighters run towards the threatened building. It is at this point the frame rate is extinguished. The action on screen is too much for the 3DS to handle. 4-5 characters, falling objects, its all too much for the little machine and it slows right down to something like a scene from baywatch. Bear in mind this is a port of the 2009 Wii title of the same name, sans the 3D moniker. The wii version sailed through this like a hot knife through butter so its a shame the handheld translation couldn’t manage it, even with its downgraded visuals. This problem persists at the most action packed times throughout the game. There are also several more bugs and glitches throughout this iteration of the title which again, harm the game. I’m sure the fans let the developers feel the heat for these port glitches.
One of the strongest elements in the game is its voice acting. While not being a blockbuster hit, the acting in this game is very spirited and adds to the atmosphere when saving a life. Great comradery among colleagues and an angry captain really add to the game. The gameplay itself is strong too. Hampered by the aforementioned frame rate and a few glitches. Another element that takes away from the core experience is the sluggish stylus controls. I have never been a fan of turning using the stylus and this title is one of the worst at it. It feels slow and laggy. The exact opposite what you would want from a fireman. The action does make you put these to the side though and plough through the game with fantastic action scenes and set pieces.
When you quit the game and later return to it, you start in the fire station. Here you can go to an options menu, credits, look at previous level statistics or just carry on with the game. I really liked how the game started here. It seems like Epicentre Studios really want this to feel like an authentic firefighter sim and for the most part it does. The loading screens show famous quotes about firefighters and popular saying from the lifesavers. Again adding to the overall feel. I mentioned earlier about the scaled down visuals from the Wii version. This was an inevitably, but the game looks great on the 3DS and the 3D adds to that also.
The game is a good length, not wanting to show you one element and leave you hanging, its jam packed with different tasks. You even have to use the jaws of life on a car to save the trapped civilians. Though there are some extreme parts in the game that a firefighter, or anybody else for that matter, would never come across, but are still exciting. All in all though, there is just about everything a firefighter can be tasked with plus more.aside from saving a pussy cat stuck up a tree…
Overall the game showed a lot of promise but is hindered heavily by the frame rate and persistent glitches. If it was a direct port of the Wii version it would have been a much better title. That being said, I do recommend this game to budding firefighters and enthusiasts. With its range of tasks and challenges to its action pieces you will definitely enjoy yourself, if you are patient with the frame rate issues.
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