Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh god, too much

There are occasionally demos that I need to quit playing because I know that going any further will cause my credit cards to leap spontaneousness from my wallet and add another game to the ever expanding (digital) pile of things that I do not have time to play. I played the original Puzzle Quest demo for about thirty seconds too long and it cost me hours upon hours of time along with the purchase of two sequels of dubious quality. Last night at 10:50 I started playing the demo of Might and Magic Clash of Heroes. At 11:00 I knew I was in serious trouble, and it took be fifteen more minutes to wrench myself away.

It was not immidietly apparent what kind of game Clash of Heroes was. It offered some nicely animated, possibly hand drawn sprites in a standard Ogre Battle setup. There was no freedom of movement, just pushing my character along a set path from node to node until something jumped out of a bush and I had to fight it. I was expecting a generic turn based encounter somewhere between Disciples and Armored Princess. What I got was an astounding combination of a tactical combat game and Dr Mario. You move your own units around from column to column, matching them up vertically to attack and horizontally for defense. It starts out nice and slow, then they tell you that you can pull out units to create chains and get more moves, and then they add more unit types, and then they give you equipment for your hero, and then they start throwing spells and story and monsters in. Imagine if Hooters actually had good wings, good cheap beer and the waitresses were all topless, nubile, incredibly intelligent and had no use for your singles. There would be no reason to ever eat anywhere else. Clash of Heroes is the perfect storm of good art, accessible yet deep pick up and play mechanics, puzzle games and fantasy settings, and this was apparent from a fifteen minute demo. Oh, and there is multi-player, too.

I don't know what kind of black magic was used in this game's creation, but it is too much for any one man to handle, so I may never actually buy it. As nice as it would be to get everything in one place, keeping my wings, booze and boobs separate is better for my health and the length of my GameFly queue.

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