Class of Heroes 1 & 2 Complete Edition review: Dungeon crawling for school credits

Two classic PSP DRPGs are back and eager for a new audience.


The PSP was such a great platform for weird, little games like Class of Heroes. Games like this never got the love they deserved back then, but over 15 years later, a grown PC scene and the Nintendo Switch have allowed room for niche games new and old to thrive. Publisher Pqube has brought back Class of Heroes and its sequel, a pair of cute but deceptively hardcore, first-person dungeon-crawlers, potentially saving them from obscurity. These games aren’t the peak of their genre by any means, but have enough depth and charm to keep DRPG sickos well-fed for dozens of hours.

Class is in session - try not to die!

Combat in Class of Heroes 2
Source: PQube

Both Class of Heroes titles show their Wizardry roots in plain sight. When you build your team you’re shown a list of possible classes, and can only pick each one if you dole your stats out appropriately. The fun part here is you can “reroll” as much as you want, resulting in opportunities for self-imposed challenges or stubbornness rewarded with power. Various anime-style races add to the customization options, and you have to navigate around weapon ranges and equipment restrictions.

The “class” theme is spread throughout the game(s), informing structure and progress all the way through. Instead of simply making your way through the dungeons, you’re intended to visit the library’s bulletin board and take on various missions offered by teachers and fellow students. There’s not much of a story in either game, beyond relatively simple and lighthearted school life vibes. This school life, though, can involve retrieving classmate’s bodies from dungeon ventures gone sour.

Praying to our lord and savior RNGsus

A map screen in Class of Heroes 2
Source: PQube

You won’t find surprises here in terms of gameplay if you’re familiar with Wizardry-style DRPG adventuring. What sets Class of Heroes apart, for better or worse, is how much control randomness has over your entire life. Not only do maps shift around (from a pool rather than procedural generation), but all of your item drops are unidentified garbage until you go back home and sort it all out. This applies to everything: healing items, weapons, armor, crafting materials, and even quest items. You can stumble across items you don’t know are for quests, well before you can even take on the quest they’re for.

If you aren’t aware, and the game doesn’t really tell you, one of the classes in each game is capable of item identification. If you don’t discover that you’re left with hefty prices from the store, and the early game grind becomes an oppressive lesson in capital monopolies. If you figure it out though, you’ll have more money than you know what to do with. That sounds annoying, but it’s simply a major example of how these kinds of games can go. It’s not just about exploring mysterious dungeons; it’s also about discovering information as you experiment with systems. The problem is a player’s experience with pacing is impacted by their information gathering skills in Class of Heroes big time.

Complete? Remastered? Anniversary?

Character customization in Class of Heroes 2
Source: PQube

If you’re a returning fan of these games from the PSP days, you’re probably wondering what these new versions bring to the table, if anything. Information on these games even when they were new was scarce, especially since even getting them localized (especially the second game) was a tremendous effort in a pre-Kickstarter era. Frankly it’s not even clear on PQube’s own website.

Both Class of Heroes games ended up on multiple platforms over the years, at least in Japan. The first game, labeled as the Anniversary Edition, appears to be based on a PS3 update that added a few extra features and tweaks. Class of Heroes 2G was already on PS3 at launch, and if you look at screenshots from then you won’t notice major differences. The clearest difference, for both games, appears to be brand new localization. Considering Gaijinworks, the localization company that translated the second game, hasn’t released a game since 2016, it makes sense. It’s also notable that Monkey Paw Games, which published Class of Heroes 2 (and the Tomba! series!) wend under as well. So PQube is actually doing a surprising amount of heavy lifting in keeping Class of Heroes alive.

Back on PSP, I loved playing the Class of Heroes games. They scratched a similar itch as series like Etrian Odyssey and Wizardry at the time. Nowadays there are many more cool and interesting DRPGs, such as NIS’ Labyrinth series and everything Experience, Inc. has done since then. But due to their cutesy charm, silly attitude and surprisingly treacherous dungeons, Class of Heroes stands out to this day. If you like to set up your own party of weirdos based on your own granular choices, then bash them against endless waves of monsters and traps for the sake of loot and progress, you can’t go wrong with Class of Heroes 1 & 2 Complete Edition.

Class of Heroes 1 & 2 Complete Edition is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 and PC, as a bundle or separated. Codes for Nintendo Switch were provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Contributing Editor

Lucas plays a lot of videogames. Sometimes he enjoys one. His favorites include Dragon Quest, SaGa, and Mystery Dungeon. He's far too rattled with ADHD to care about world-building lore but will get lost for days in essays about themes and characters. Holds a journalism degree, which makes conversations about Oxford Commas awkward to say the least. Not a trophy hunter but platinumed Sifu out of sheer spite and got 100 percent in Rondo of Blood because it rules. You can find him on Twitter @HokutoNoLucas being curmudgeonly about Square Enix discourse and occasionally saying positive things about Konami.

  • Lots of charm thanks to a cutesy anime style
  • Plenty of customization for party and character building
  • Relatively shallow storytelling
  • Lots of reliance on random drops and resource grinding
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