Rearrange Yo’ Face
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes remains, in my humble opinion, the single best game that Microsoft has given away to their Xbox Live Gold members free of charge this year. The amount of fun to be had in this simple but well-executed and beautifully presented high fantasy Connect-3 puzzler is, simply put, addictive. Nothing against the other games in the Free Games for Gold promotion, but it wasn’t even a fair fight with Clash of Heroes in the mix.
I’ve already mentioned how quickly I fell victim to CoH‘s addictive mix of puzzle gameplay, vibrant visuals and light but entertaining story. In the end, what I lamented was that there wasn’t more game to go through – I’d gladly pay for some additional DLC campaigns! To be fair, my full playthrough topped 25-30 hours, so it certainly held me as a captive audience for quite some time. And let’s not forget the online multiplayer, made all the better with a full roster of unlocked characters and artifacts by completing the single-player campaign. I’d gladly test my mettle in combat against breathing opponents, because the game’s AI did make some rather boneheaded moves at key moments during battle, such as continuously shifting units back and forth just to use up turns when no better options were available.
The problem with the multiplayer is that we’re talking about a game that released on the DS in 2009, and even its console and PC debut in 2011 was already nigh 3 years ago. We can hardly speak of a “thriving” online community that’s still around picking virtual fights on CoH‘s servers. I was able (after minutes of searching) to locate an opponent, but I fear that actual opportunities to face off against breathing opponents will be few and far between, fewer still as people are unable to find a match and put the game away permanently in favor or newer holiday releases. Shame, really. But I suppose that’s the price to pay for not being a timely adopter and waiting until the free download was available.
The one thing that might yet draw me back to the game sometime is to try to beat the remaining battle puzzles. I was able to persevere through all of them with the exception of the barkeep in the Griffin Empire; good lord, I tried dozens of times but simply could not get past one of his puzzles. My honor can’t sustain this tarnished spot upon it – I shall return with a rested mind and renewed vigor to best him one day!
Sadly, I think I would have gotten much more out of the game’s plot if I were at all familiar with the Might and Magic universe. Sadly, I know nothing about it whatsoever, as I haven’t played a single game from its canon. Perhaps this means I can’t really call myself a true gamer, or even a fan of RPGs. Here’s to hoping that one day, I will rectify this situation. In the meantime, I’d consider my introduction to the world with Clash of Heroes to be more than worthwhile, one which I will gladly and without hesitation recommend to anyone looking for an addictive game to sink their teeth into.