Friday, April 05, 2013

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes: iOS Fudged Edition

Chuff's our man on the mobile. He's been playing some games on mobiles and some thoughts have struck him thensly. Note, there's a super secret ending to this post only available to those who have played the game:


Well shit, when did “Might And Magic” become “Might & Magic”? What a god damn shame, I guess that’s a pretty damning indictment of our life and times right there. I guess As, Ns and Ds and pretty fucking old school, we don’t want to alienate the Kids.


A little pre-amble; My first experience of the Might And Magic series of games was on the original Playstation, it was an incredible Third Person, True 3D extravaganza called Crusaders of Might and Magic.

Review: 10/10

WARNING IGN LINK Wait! Three out of Ten?

I guess my memories of the game are pretty muddy…

Well, anyway, after smashing that game to bits I was hooked. Come the Playstation 2 era and the first game I played and completed was the awesome sequel, Warriors Of Might And Magic.

Review: 10/10

WARNING ANOTHER IGN LINK. Wait! WHAT THE FUCK! Five out of Ten?

Actually, I would just like to take this moment to bring up the phenomenon of enjoying something for what it is, in a vacuum. Sometimes, and I guess it’s the same with movies, books, and all art. You find yourself just enjoy the thing for what it is, completely unaware of the critical reaction. I was genuinely completely puzzled when I realised Warriors got a shit review, I thought it was good end to get to the end credits! A few other games when this has happened:

Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style (PS1) 
RTX Red Rock (PS2) 
Omega Force (Xbox Arcade)

Anyway, I have been waiting 12 years for the Sequel to Warriors. It appears my dreams have been answered, here’s a sort of review.

WHAT IN THE BLUE HELL IS THIS!

Seriously? What happened to my True 3D “Medieval Tomb Raider”? 2D? What’s with all the colours?

So, apparently this is some sort of fucking Columns RPG. I don’t know when they decided that Might And, sorry, “&” Magic would be better as a strategy game, I mean, I would understand if the other games in the series were similar but come on, what is this!?

First impressions are that nobody actually played the fucking thing on the iPhone, tapping on stuff rarely works the first time and since all navigation is achieved by tapping, because, you know, it’s A TOUCH SCREEN, this is an issue. After ten hours or so of playing, still have no idea where I’m supposed to tap to open a chest of gold, or if I want my character to go through an obvious doorway. I have just been fisting my phone until the chest opens or the characters go through the door.

Battle plays out on a grid, top half bad guys, bottom is for the good children, where you have to line up three units of the same colour to perform an attack, kinda like a puzzle game… but not really. It’s certainly different for me as I’m a born and bred ATB wanger, and I do love wanging some ATBs. Once again I have to bring up the controls and the fact that the iPhone is clearly a stupid platform for the game in its current state. All the sprites are slightly too small for comfort and on numerous occasions I moved a dude to a line without realising and lost a movement point, this is a BIG DEAL.

I have spent literal minutes of my super secret toilet time moving embarrassingly primary coloured dragons and shit about, setting up a super sweet chain of linked and focused badasses only for the last piece in the puzzle to be spaffed to completely the wrong place due to my fucking fingers. I think we call all agree that we have fingers and our fingers are not, in fact, shaped like styluses, and never will be. Given that this is a controller shape that has been locked in place for a few million years perhaps the developers could have spent at least 30 seconds testing their game to see if it was possible to play with them.

An illustration:
Having said all that, I must confess that I really got into the mechanics and easy RPG-ness, it’s actually quite refreshing to not have a world map and have a fixed route through all of the screens. I perhaps could have done without the stealth section, mainly because of all the shitty tapping this involved, but points for the effort. There are five campaigns that get increasingly tricky and the races are just different enough to keep the core gameplay interesting.

The story has some very nice presentation, completely wasted on an awful script, which covers all the usual clichéd plot points. Just for once wouldn’t it be nice to have someone spend more than 1% dev time on the story?

I admit to be highly dubious initially and in-spite of the terrible touch implementation, I have been completely won over, good job everyone.




P.S. As it happens there is a solution to all of the above issues, but it does require some seriously drastic measures and is not a option for me on moral grounds, the game is on DS.

P.P.S. There is a multiplayer mode. I will never play it, I’m sure it’s riddled with the same shit controls but great mechanics of the main game.

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