Introducing: Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle Review
After the let down of my last card game review, I was left a little wanting for more. This had me looking through my backlog of games to find that I had picked up the Shadowverse game for the Nintendo Switch. Knowing next to nothing outside of it being a card game in the style of Hearthstone, I dove into Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle without a second thought. So, take the plunge with me as we review what I can only hope will be more entertaining than the last card based game I played.
The Shadowverse Club is in Danger!
The story of this game is pretty anime based. You play, and stop me if this sounds familiar, as a new transfer student to the school of the anime for the show. Being placed right in the class as the primary characters of the world itself, you quickly befriend and learn to play Shadowverse from them.
After a short tutorial, you help track down the fabled Shadowverse club and locate it on the same day it is supposed to be disbanded. What follows is a story of climbing the ranks in Shadowverse, competing in tournaments, and ultimately attempting to win the Shadowverse nationals in order to save the club. I was not really engrossed in the story, but being based on an anime, and one made to sell you on the card game in it, it was pretty limited. What is there is enjoyable enough though to keep playing.
Chill with Your Friends
Normally I would jump to gameplay, but I want to talk about the side stories first. These were by far more interesting of a story element than the main story was. There is just something about getting to be involved with and building friendships with the main characters of the world in these games that endears me to them. Plus, you get some rather powerful cards for completing these stories so it is well worth it.
Let’s Talk Shadowverse
I am going to do my best to explain the rules of this game, and for those familiar with Hearthstone they will get the similarities. Each player has 20 HP that they will use a combination of followers, spells, and amulets to reduce their opponent to 0 with. The deck builds are separated into six different factions, each with a unique mechanic to match them. Forestraft wants you to play multiple cards a turn, Dragoncraft wants you to get to 7 play points as fast as possibly, Swordcraft does officer and commander traits on cards for combos, Shadowcraft uses the souls of dead followers for more powerful effects, Runecraft are spell focused decks for increased effects and reduced card cost, Bloodcraft are about hovering around 10 HP to get your vengeance effects, and Havencraft play primarily amulets to summon big creatures and powerful spells over time.
What deck you run is mostly going to depend on what play styles you enjoy. I primarily ran Dragoncraft or Runecraft decks mainly because their faction abilities were pretty fun to build around, but ultimately I enjoyed learning strategies for each of these, and the game expects you to.
Oh the Difficulty Spike
As with most card based games there is a difficulty curve that you need to meet. For me, how often you are expected to up your play can make or break a game. If you are stagnating too long at one power level, then it just gets boring, not engaging. Thankfully, Shadoverse: Champion’s Battle really ramps up the difficulty on you almost out of the gate. There is a ranking system for opponents that dictates their AI level, not their deck level. I have certainly played with decks I absolutely bashed in because the AI was on the weaker end. Don’t worry because the game doesn’t keep the AI dumb for long. More just enough to trap you into feeling secure before it snaps shut on you. That being said, this is not really a game for children despite the anime looking environment.
Puzzling Good Time
This is something that I wish more card based games had in them. An optional puzzle mode. I absolutely love these and Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is no slouch when it comes to having them either. Between ones hidden within side quests to a straight up puzzle list, this game certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to testing my understanding of the game.
Also, once you progress late enough in the game you can start taking on matches with special modifiers, like your fanfare (enter the battle) effect triggers twice, or your followers attack with their defense over their power. These threw me for a loop at first but eventually I found myself loving the special modified rules a lot more than traditional matches. Which is good because you have to spend a good bit of time in the area these are in.
Special Animations Go Oops!
Now, this is probably more my fault than the games, but I managed to get the game to cancel out special animations. And I don’t mean in one instance or one match, but entirely until I restarted the whole game. What I believe happened was I suspended the game in a weird spot due to my battery and the game just canceled all animation checks after that to prevent a crash.
There were some minor performance issues as well. Occasional lag when playing cards or issuing attacks if you stack enough commands at once, but these rarely happened so I would take the dip with a grain of salt at most.
This Should Finish It!
Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle was hands down one of the best card battlers I have played in a long time. The level of difficulty kept me trying new strategies and learning deeper interactions with the game of Shadowverse, and the sheer amount of content to be had here will keep you going for a long time to see and complete everything. This is a must play for you card battle lovers out there for sure.
- Fun, challenging game play
- Puzzle quests
- Character side stories
- Not really for beginners to card games
- Slight performance issues
- Story is sort of simple