Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes (2009)
Developed by Capybara Games/Tag Games (iOS) Released on Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Windows, iOS, Android
A Bad Movie Studios Video Game Review
I really felt the need to write something so, I decided to bat out another game review. I know I haven’t given a good movie review in a while, but these are just more time saving and I’ve had a lot too do as of late. I promise to get back to film soon though. Well anyway, Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is a puzzle role-playing game that was originally released on the DS back in 2009. It got an HD re-release in 2011 on the PS3 and Xbox 360. I’m playing it on the 360 as a downloadable title.
Graphics: This game looks good. It has a nicely hand drawn, animated style that I like. It’s bright and colorful, and looks as if a Saturday morning cartoon jumped into your Xbox (or DS). The environments throughout the game look nice as well, even if they are pretty basic for fantasy fare. The in game battle field looks nice as well, still maintaining that animated feel, but also resembling a game board, a fitting design. There’s also an anime feel to the whole thing, which again works. Overall, a pretty descent looking game (8).
Gameplay:This is an area of the game that’s tricky to place. I’ll start with the navigation because that will be much simpler to brand. Frankly, I hate it. This game has a bird’s eye view of the land that works fine for me. It lets you see more of the area around you, and as this game is a bit of an adventure game, that’s cool. What I hate about the navigation is that you don’t actually get to…navigate. You guide your character along marked out, predetermined paths. Don’t get me wrong, it controls just fine, there’s no hindrance at all to getting from point A to point B. I just hate having myself restricted in moving across the overworld. Now onto the combat (since that’s about as deep as you get from this game, combat & movement). It’s really a mixed bag. Basically, you control a platoon of varying soldier that different depending on what character you play as. If you play as the elf, you get more nature based forces. If you’re an evil death based character (that I was sure was a guy until I read that their name was Fiona), you get things like skeletons, witches, vampires, zombies and the like. Basically, you get X amount of movements per turn, color coordinating your crew into attack formations. These formations then take a certain amount of turns to prepare themselves, and after the time is done, they attack. Your goal is to destroy the enemy forces and attack them directly. If this seems like a weird version of YuGiOh, that’s because it is. Essentially that’s what you’ve got going on here, you even have special creatures that you summon by sacrificing your regular ones. And wouldn’t you now it, the special ones have special powers. This game is harder to describe than it is to understand, and after playing it for a little bit, you pick it up pretty well. As you go along in the game you gain more and different kinds of soldiers and monsters and things to take into battle. You can also arrange your groups in to walls and blockades to help defend yourself. It’s pretty fun honestly, and I found it rather addicting. The gameplay is solid in it’s execution. But that’s more to be said for the Quick Battle mode (one that thrusts you into a battle with a random character against you) than the Campaign. See, your experience in battle depends on how well you pick up the mechanics of it, and also your creativity in moving your soldiers. You can have a fairly long game that goes back and forth, or you might have a complete blitz and demolish the opposition in 2 or 3 moves. The computer A.I. However, far likes the latter. There were more than a few times I thought I was doing well, and then the game completely obliterated me in one unstoppable onslaught that reduced my health from 100 to 17 in an instant. Why it didn’t kill me outright really makes me think it just wanted to mock me some more. Now the reason that this unbalanced experience is so key to my criticism, is that the Campaign essentially uses this FAR too many times in order to get you to level up and progress. Your mission will be to take out a single target for example, and you’ll find that because they’re 2 levels above you, no amount or creativity or battle strategy will save you from the fact that they’re just much more powerful than you. And ultimately that is this games greatest downfall. It’s very fun to play in quick battle, and I love coming back to it. But in the Campaign, there’s so many times I got my ass kicked, especially early on, that I had to level grind far beyond the point of enjoyment and right into the lap of boredom. Hence why this game is such a mixed bag. It’s either really fun, or really REALLY tedious. (6.5).
Sound Design: The effects in this game (monster cries, battle sounds etc) are all pretty well done. But what really stands out, is the music. It’s grandiose and epic. Quite frankly, it sounds like something that you’d hear in Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. Very fitting, and very cool. There isn’t any spoken dialogue that I can recall, but fantasy games tend to be filled with over-the-top and hokey acting anyway so that’s a good thing in my opinion. (8)
Story: Now, from what I can gather, this is a prequel to some other games in this series. But I really have no idea what’s going on. There is a story somewhere in here, but it’s such a been-done, basic fantasy tale that I really paid no attention to it. The Story Mode in a game is important to me because it’s the thing that houses all of the elements that build the game and gives it to you in a total package. To me the Campaign should come first, forever and always. This one, well it’s not bad, not it’s just so very I’ve-seen-this-before that I just can’t pay attention to it. If you like The Hobbit, or Lord of the Rings, or whatever other countless fairy, sword and sorcery, fantasy stories there are out there, than I suppose you’ll like the one this game gives you. But if you don’t, you wont. (5).
Overall Score – 6.8 out of 10
Final Thoughts:While this is not my “type” of game per-say (personally not being one for fantasy RPG’s or puzzle games) I have to say that I enjoyed this game more than I would have expected to. The fact that I got it for free for Microsoft’s Free Games With Gold deal, I would have to recommend it. But since the game is no longer free and is instead $14.99 over XBLA (you CAN find a copy of this game across platforms for around $9.99) I can’t say it’s worth it. If it was a third of the price, I’d say go for it. You’re getting a pretty well functioning puzzle-combat RPG for that price. But at $15 bucks, I could recommend a bunch of other games for Xbox, PS3 or the DS that are much more worth your time. So give it a rent, or play the trial on consoles.
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