The best thing about The Prodigy, and the Heroes Rise trilogy in all, is that it doesn't reward you for being the writer's idea of a "Hero," but for being consistent in your morals (basically: don't play as a character that's all over the place). While the game does scale this consistency on dichotomies of "lawful" vs. "lawless," "fame" vs. "justice" and "soloist" vs. "team player" none of these scales are mutually exclusive (despite what the color-coded bars imply) to one another or are viewed as inherently wrong: you could have a defensive soloist with the law on your side but have a penchant to showboating, or an offensive team player that distrusts authority but will work in-line with the law. Your choices make a large difference, but it does lead to some let down during the rail-roaded chain of events nearing the climax, but it does pick up the ball again near the very end of the final fight, though it may seem railroaded again because unless you have a wishy-washy character, the final choice for the fight is practically chosen for you depending on "lawlessness" vs. "lawfulness".
This wonderful scale falls flat, again, with a shallow story that may still hold a twist or two for people not versed in the cliches of the superhero genre. The first time I played through, I was surprised at some of the late-game twists, despite having read comics since I was eight (maybe because I myself am trusting), but afterwards it did all seem very droll, such as Prodigal's motivation, and what she does to make your character lose faith in the world around them.
And while Millenia City may not be fleshed out (you only get to see about two-to-three areas of the city while it's said to be a sprawling metropolis), the characters are very diverse not only in their personalities, but in who they. I enjoyed meeting many of the characters like The Monk and Fistfull from the Millennial Group (the game's version of The Avengers), the three choices you have as a sidekick, and others around the Eastern Fringe. But this leads me to my next negative point: The "Romance(s)"
In about Chapter Nine: Case Magic
, you're formally introduced to Black Magic, whose appearance is specifically tailored to your character's sexuality and gender (straight male, lesbian, and bisexual heroes whose last partner was female have Fem. Black Magic, while gay males, straight females, and bisexual heroes whose last partner was male get Masc. Black Magic), as well as who your character’s celebrity crush is. Seriously, the first time you hear of Black Magic you're asked to type in which celebrity they look like and it is brought up several times as a catch-all descriptive. And while the beginning part is all well in good, if not unnecessarily sexually charged, after Chapter 13
(which will happen whether or not you say you want to pursue Black Magic’s “romance”), the impact of the choice of romancing them in non-existent past Chapter 13
excluding one choice late-game (in which you can choose anyone with high approval)
. Without giving spoilers, it may be reasonable that contact is cut unless your character's okay with what they find out. So while this romance option is okay, outside of the climax it's never important until you transfer a save file over to The Hero Project, which I won't mention in this review because it's non important in The Prodigy.
But I spent this a good portion of this review talking about Black Magic, when I stated "Romance(b]s)" earlier. Well, if you have a lesbian or female bisexual character you have the choice of being interested in Jenny Yu, your superhero-witness-protection-program agent, but only after the climax. While I found this option preferable, I was unaware she was an option until said after-climax-choice outside of a few flattering dialogue choices my character could have said to her. And if you're planning on playing the full series, she's is widely preferable (if you want to romance someone) to Black Magic. This deals mostly with The Hero Project and Herofall, but again that is not important to playing The Prodigy.
Long and short is: it's a fun, short game (which is reasonable given it's price) that can give you one heck of an adrenaline and emotional rush if you let it. I would also recommend this game (and the series as a whole) to anyone who wishes for more gender and sexuality diversity in the superhero genre. My only warning is to not romance Black Magic, if anyone, if you plan to play the entire series (especially if you want to choose the "blue" alignments), but that's for another day. Play The Prodigy, have fun, and become your
type of hero!