Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Review (XBLA)

Posted by Jim Cook, Apr 29, 2011 10:02

Combining puzzle games where you match rows of identical objects with competitive play against the AI or another person has worked well in the past, with Puzzle Fighter and Puzzle Quest proving it’s a viable idea. Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes takes that same premise and wraps it up in a mix of RPG elements alongside a basic high-fantasy (think ’swords and wizards’) story, then gives you a lengthy single-player campaign and passable multiplayer (including online play) support to result in a great bargain.

Might & Magic: Clash of HeroesWhen armies collide in Clash of Heroes, they fight through each side taking turns matching rows of troops. At its most basic this consists of lining up three of the same type of soldier either horizontally to make them build a defensive wall, or vertically to get them ready to attack the opponent in a few turns. You can only make a few moves per turn, and it’s important to balance both a good defense alongside intelligently placed attacks that will break through the enemy line and strike their commander; you win once he runs out of health and lose if the opposing team manages to do the same to you. There are several commanders to pick from, each with their own variety of soldiers and special skills so while they share various ’core rules’, they all play quite differently.

This variety is very important, since it’s what will keep you playing for a long time. Some armies focus on a simple plan of setting up a good defense so their slow and heavy troops can safely get ready to strike, others attack quickly, while others still focus on ’control’ by disabling enemy soldiers, disrupting their formations, and so on. The single-player mode serves as a good introduction to most of them, and its very basic fantasy plot of fending off a demon invasion can be forgiven since it’s easily long enough to last you several days.

Once you’re through with the single-player campaigns, both local and online play are supported as well. Even a few weeks after release, Clash of Heroes appears to have a decent number of players online and I had almost no trouble finding people to play with. While the online options are very basic, they do their job just fine and allow for you to quickly play in a typical one on one format, or team up with someone for two on two battles. As you might expect, it’s not hard to make a turn-based game work properly over the internet and Clash of Heroes is no exception; games usually proceed at a reasonable pace. & Magic: Clash of Heroes is one of the more complete packages I can think of on Xbox Live Arcade, and my only meaningful complaint against it is that the mechanics do eventually grow repetitive. Yet by the time that becomes a problem, you will have had far more fun than its $15 USD/1200 Microsoft Point price would suggest. With an impressive amount of content and good execution on everything that makes ’versus puzzle’ games so much fun, this game is one you should definitely pick up! 

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Our Rating for Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Review (XBLA)
9.0 Replay
The single-player campaigns alone should last players several days, and going up against other people is a lot of fun as well.
7.0 Graphics
Excellent sprites are held back only by a few lazy animations and a lot of wasted space on the screen.
6.0 Sound
The music, sound effects, and voice acting are all decent and serve well enough, but don’t rise to greatness.
8.5 Gameplay
What starts as a basic ’match 3’ puzzle game quickly expands to have special formations and skills for each commander, and it’s important to use the right mix of troops to win.
7.5 Multiplayer/Online Content
While a little lacking in options, the basics are all accounted for both online and locally. Being able to play against others definitely adds some more life to the game, and is well worth trying.
8.5 Overall
A great game with only minor problems that are more than compensated for by just how much content there is. Anyone looking for a turn-based puzzle game with a competitive edge to it will definitely enjoy this.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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