A lack of any challenge is a serious problem in Heroes of Ruin because you rarely have to put much thought into your upgrade path. Every time you gain a level, you add a few points into your attributes and then choose a new attack, buff, or passive ability from the skill tree. Poring over the best way to build your character is one of the main draws in loot-driven RPGs, but that appeal is missing here. It hardly matters what you choose. The standard attack is more than enough to dispatch most foes, so discovering advanced tactics to kill more effectively doesn't factor in. The same problems persist with weapon and armor upgrades. Analyzing the pros and cons of each piece of armament is useless since just about any piece of equipment near your level is enough to vanquish those that hound you.
It's a good thing you don't have to stress over your equipment because there are serious problems with how this basic system is implemented. There's no ability to sort your items, so you have to scroll past dozens of items intended for a class other than your own before you find something you can equip. Most of the time, you just end up selling off most of your inventory.
Saving cash for a pricey sword you've been eyeing is part of the hook in action RPGs, but the monetary system in Heroes of Ruin breaks down halfway through the game. There's a cap to how much money you can carry. Once you reach 99,999 gold, you can't sell any more items. There are two solutions, and both of them are messy. You could just dump all of your unneeded items in the corner of a dungeon and then continue collecting more loot that you'll inevitable drop back down. Or, you can go back to town, blow your earnings on useless junk just to spend some money, and then go back out to nab more weapons and armor. Either way, it's a fix for a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place.
The fate of the world is in Mister Man's hands.
Even with these faults, Heroes of Ruin still creates an enticing experience. Cutting nasty enemies to shreds is empowering, even if they don't put up much of a fight, and trying out new abilities gives impressive ways to slay your feeble attackers. Heroes of Ruin also allows for four-player cooperative play, either locally or online, and though the framerate dips a little when playing with friends, the benefits easily outweigh the small hiccups. Mowing through waves of enemies with your buddies by your side is difficult to pull yourself away from, and you can even talk to them via the microphone built into every 3DS.
Heroes of Ruin is a competent adventure that encompasses the key aspects of the genre but never goes beyond the expected. And through your initial playthrough takes roughly 15 hours, there aren't harder difficulty settings, so there's little incentive to go through again. Heroes of Ruin is an adequate hack-and-slash adventure for dungeon hunters on the go, but problems in many areas hold it from reaching its full potential.