Battle VS Chess featured

Review: Battle VS Chess

Chess has been played all over the world for centuries. Fans of strategic board games fell in love with the game ages ago and fans still fall in love with the game nowadays. There’s something about playing chess that’s different. Perhaps it’s the way you control several pieces of an ‘army’ trying to defeat your opponent one set after the other. One thing is for sure, you can enjoy chess on your gaming platform as well thanks to Battle VS Chess.

The game is created by TopWare Interactive and is the newest version in the long going Battle Chess franchise. The purpose of the game is very simple, defeat your opponent in a game of chess. Delivering a great chess game is rather tricky, delivering a chess game where the pieces come to life is even harder. Battle VS Chess proves to be a great chess game with a great little twist.

It may sound a little strange at first but this is probably one of the few chess games with a story-mode. The story is about the forces of heaven and hell. The white pieces are called ‘the Order’ and are good while the black pieces, or ‘Chaos’, are the evil characters in the game. Both sides have their own story and this is told by voice-acting and some artwork or little scenes. The story can be ignored from the start however, it isn’t very deep nor interesting. Consider the story a nice little trick to create beautiful landscapes to play chess.

Battle VS Chess

The regular mission modes all start the same way. A little introduction is shown and after that you can start playing chess. The way you play chess is like you would play it in real life. The same rules are used and the same pieces are used. In most of the missions, you won’t have control over all the pieces on your board. Most of the time you have control over some of the pieces and you have to win the game while only using those pieces given to you. Those pieces are never the same and can even switch while defeating enemies.  Campaign missions therefore are hard to beat and need a good insight in the chess game. Gamers who love to play chess will find a lot of fun here.

New chess players don’t have to fear. Battle VS Chess has a really complete tutorial mode in which you’ll learn all the basics. The tutorial consist out of several little trainings where a nice voice will explain the rules of playing. After the tutorial, you’ll know the rules for sure but that doesn’t mean you’ll be good at playing chess immediately. After playing couple of games on ‘easy’, newcomers can start adventuring in other modes as well. Be warned however, the AI in this game is very strong, the computer won’t let you win the game without a real battle.

What we discussed now is the basic gameplay of this game, gameplay where most other chess games would already stop. Battle VS Chess goes further with the innovating and  violent Battlegrounds.  If you select the Battlegrounds-mode you’ll be able to pick two game-types. The first is called Duel and the other is called Slasher.

 Battle VS Chess is a great chess game.

 

It’s time for a duel!

In Duel-mode, you’ll play a classic game of chess until you try to defeat another piece. When you ‘attack’ the opponent’ piece, a little mini-game will start, showing both pieces in combat. You’ll have to win the combat by pushing the buttons that are falling down. Those mini-games have a lot of similarities with the Guitar Hero franchise and offer a fun alternative way of playing. When you attack and succeed the button-pushing madness, you’ll defeat the enemy. When you lose while attacking, nothing will happen.

When an enemy attacks you in duel mode, you’ll be able to win the battle if you push the buttons fast enough. Duel-mode offers a twist on the classic chess game and is without a doubt fun to play.

Slasher.

Slasher is the second and probably even better game-mode that you can play in the Battlegrounds. Slasher starts off as a classic chess game as well but becomes a true warzone when pieces attack each other. Different from the duel-mode is that you won’t fight head to head, this time you’ll fight as an army.

When a Horse attacks another piece for example, you’ll find yourself battling several horses against several other pieces. The game turns into a light but fun hack & slash game while in combat. By pushing the right buttons on the controller, you can inflict heavy or light damage while walking around freely as one of you army’ troops. Defeating the enemy isn’t really that tactical anymore, it’s just how good and how fast you can push the buttons.

At first, Slasher delivers a unique and fun way of playing but not everybody will enjoy it that much. The battles take more time to be fought so your regular chess play will become much slower than normal but that’s the only downside of it.

Battle VS Chess 2

Such a beautiful place to play chess.

If we look at the game from the technical angle, we can really say for sure that this must be one of the prettiest chess games released. All fields are created with bright colors and offer the most fantastic environments to play in. The same goes for the pieces. Each piece has got its own personality and character and that’s great to look at.

Too bad the camera hovers rather high over the field. Without the ability to zoom, it’s a shame you can’t see your beautiful pieces up close. Because of this high altitude of the camera, it’s not always that easy to see which piece you’re controlling. The camera probably is the game’ biggest problem. Professional chess players and newcomers want to see their pieces as close as possible, it’s a shame some of the game’ frustrations could be solved with a lower position of the camera.

Conclusion:

Don’t let the camera placement be a reason not to try this game however. Battle VS Chess offers a solid chess experience and so much more. It’s a very bright and beautiful chess game with a handy tutorial and fun background. If you’re looking for a game where you can play chess as fluent as in real life, don’t look any further. Battle VS Chess is what you’re looking for. But be warned, this game isn’t that easy and will offer a true challenge. Are you ready to accept this challenge?

8/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.