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Friday, April 1, 2011

Preview: Why you're going to love Might & Magic Clash of Heroes

Might & Magic Clash of Heroes was tragically ignored when it was released on the Nintendo DS, which is why the HD version, due for release in April, will hopefully make amends, because it's an essential game for anyone who enjoys fun.

Having sunk our teeth into a preview build of the game for a couple of hours, we can safely say that, although the high definition version isn't dramatically different to the small screen experience, it is a great port of an already brilliant game.

Highly strategic, highly addictive battling


On the surface it's a basic match 3 puzzler, fused with some light RPG elements and a cliched but entertaining story. Playing as a hero in a fantasy world of elves, undead and demons, you'll encounter many battles on the quest to save the world from certain destruction. Running into these battles moves the action to a battlefield grid, where units are arrayed in rows against one another. My moving these units around the battlefield, you'll have to match up three of the same colour in a vertical formation to "attack" the enemy. The first one to reduce the other's hit points to zero wins the bout.

Of course, it's not that simple. It's possible to "block" enemy attacks by setting up "walls" by lining units up horizontally rather than vertically. Special 'champion' units can get around those walls but they're reasonably easy to kill and expensive to replace.

Beyond that, you're able to bring a range of different units to the battlefield - and these units level up as the quest goes on. Some hit hard, some hit quickly, others make effective use of magic.

In HD, simple visuals become colourful and classy


As you can probably tell, the level of depth in his game is truly impressive, and finding an army build that suits the way you like to play is an addictive process. Experience is dolled out pretty quickly, so progression feels real, and the game's balance is for the most part spot on. It's a rare battle that you'll feel cheated on.

There's a lot to do in this game too. From hidden units to unlock, to side quests to manage, this is a game that will not take you a short time to complete, and it's not necessarily straightforward, either. There's a wide range of settings to see and characters to ally with (or kill), and the story pulls things through nicely without dragging.

Even better, for the first time you'll get a chance to let your superior strategy shine on a global scale, too, as Might & Magic HD features online multiplayer - both 1v1 and 2v2. We haven't had a chance to try it out on the preview build as yet, but the concept intrigues us greatly.

The HD make over really makes the visuals pop. Bright, anime-style characters cover the entire screen during the role playing and story sequences. On the battle field, the various monsters and critters are generic, but charming.

If you never had the chance to play this on the DS, then buy it when it's released. It's the best puzzle/ RPG hybrid gaming has seen to date, and puts the likes of Puzzle Quest to shame.
Preview: Why you're going to love Might & Magic Clash of Heroes
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