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Jahanzeb Khan
03 Jun, 2011

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes Review

360 Review | Clash of Heroes arrives on the big screen.
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes first landed on the Nintendo DS in 2009, and it was a really fun, addictive and unique RPG that made use of puzzle game mechanics in its battle system. We quite enjoyed the game and in fact, we still highly recommend it as one of the best portable RPGs on the Nintendo DS. The game was clearly designed with the DS in mind, being a fun portable puzzle game at heart but with some deep and well executed RPG mechanics and presentation. It was surprising when a HD remake was announced for Xbox Live Arcade. Last month, the HD remake finally arrived for a price of 1200 Microsoft Points (AU $20). This versionof Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is essentially a much prettier version of the DS original with added Xbox Live play.

The story is exactly the same as the DS version but with obvious improvements in presentation. It uses some nice looking artwork and animation stills in its cut-scenes, and it also features some voice acting. The story revolves around demons trying to take over the world of Ashan, and their goal is to acquire the ‘Blade of Binding’. A great war breaks out among the kingdoms and nations and it is up to five young heroes to set things right. It’s not a really engaging or interesting story, but it’s serviceable enough and gives the single player game sufficient substance.

Each of the five heroes has their own unique campaign, and they each will explore different locations and have their own set of usable troops that feature unique units and skill types. Each campaign manages to offer something a little different in terms of story, RPG gimmicks and bosses. You start off as one hero and progressively work through the other campaigns.

Looks nice in HD.

Looks nice in HD.
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The RPG world featured in this version is similar to what was in the DS version, where your character travels from one node to the next, with each map featuring side quests, shops, puzzles, NPCs, treasure chests and enemies. It looks a lot better in this version as instead of having super-deformed miniature character sprites, you have proper character sprite models that animate nicely. The RPG world is simple and easy to navigate, and serves as a decent vessel without feeling like its artificially making the game longer. It also helps that it has the necessary stats and numbers to make it feel like a proper RPG game.

The battle system is what the game really is all about, and it plays exactly like the DS version, we suggest heading over to our full review of the DS version to get a detailed explanation of how it works, but it’s basically a mix of colour matching puzzle mechanics with turn-based RPG style RPG combat. The main idea is to line up units of the same colour and class in order to launch a proper defence and/or offensive. Lining up units vertically will initiate an attack, while doing so horizontally will create a shield/wall. The main objective is to send an attack to the very end of your opponent's side, thereby inflicting damage on their commander. Battles are not just standard ‘commander versus commander’ affair as you also get to take part in gimmick battles that involve puzzles and some really challenging boss battles.

The battle system is as fun and intuitive as it was in the DS version. You get to work with a variety of different character classes and types within each Hero’s army set, with the Heroes also having their own special skill and such. There are also stat and ability enhancing artifacts that can be collected and equipped. Battles are all about luck, puzzle solving, having the right formation and selection of battle units, and just being able to think one step ahead of your opponent like in a game of chess.

A solid quest awaits.

A solid quest awaits.
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The single player quest overall, is quite engaging and engrossing. It will offer a solid 40-50 hours worth of gameplay just like the DS version with plenty of side quests to do and chances to power up the heroes with better stats, items and troops. It’s a satisfying quest with plenty of things to do, one that feels like a proper RPG.

The biggest overhaul in this version of Clash of Heroes can be found in the graphics department. Gone are the simplistic and pixilated sprites of the DS version, what you have is a fully HD game with impressive 2D sprites that look hand drawn and animate really nicely. It’s not the best looking HD 2D game out there but the developers have really gone all out to make this game look pretty and detailed. The character designs are similar to the DS version, retaining their manga-like appearance. Some nice 2D/3D effects and lighting effects really enhance the ambience.

The battle system is a lot of fun, even more online.

The battle system is a lot of fun, even more online.
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Might and Magic Clash Heroes not only has better presentation and visuals, but it’s fully playable over Xbox Live. We had a few games and found it to be quite enjoyable, and you can be prepared for some long and strategic battles with most of the skilled players online. It’s a nice addition and perhaps the biggest selling point.

This version of Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is pretty much the same solid DS game with a major makeover. However at the end of the day, we can’t help but feel that the game is perhaps best enjoyed on the DS, simply because puzzle RPGs like this are best enjoyed in portable form. While you will get almost the same enjoyment, it’s definitely a lot more comfortable and convenient to play it on the DS, especially for short bursts of play just to get that quick puzzle fix. Those of you who have enjoyed the DS version to death, you will probably find playing the game on a HD TV to be relatively uncomfortable and uneasy, and perhaps not have the same amount of patience for it. That said if you haven’t played the DS version already, then this HD remake is worth checking out, especially since the Xbox Live features will add a ton of life to the game long after you’ve finished the main quest.
The Score
This HD remake of Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes offers the same great puzzle RPG action with superior graphics and online play, but at the end of the day it feels more at home on the Nintendo DS. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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2 Comments
2 years ago
A 40-50 hour RPG is better on a handheld? Um...okay.
2 years ago
Yup
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  13/04/2011 (Confirmed)
Publisher:
  Microsoft

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