Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Another Reason For Every Character To Fight Each Other - Marvel: Contest of Champions Ryview

Marvel: Contest of Champions, by Kabam.

In a now fairly familiar storyline, every Marvel universe character is fighting each other (in this case, their will has been drained and they're in the "Battlerealm"). So if you're really concerned with storyline, this game is probably not going to tickle your fancy.

However, I think it's a very solid app. It definitely has a few too many freemium elements, but overall it's a well balanced game that allows free users to still enjoy most content.

This is a fighting game set up almost identically to DC's Injustice companion app, where you control various characters from the comics universe and fight in a 2D style punch fest, complete with a few special moves that you have to build up to use.

Spider Man vs Captain America: Because Fuck It!

In this case, the various ways to fight are fairly varied, and I enjoy the exploration side of the maps. There's a dedicated campaign with a storyline, but there's also challenge maps, daily and weekly events, and a whole lot of upgrade materials that are earned through various tasks.

The game also features a "Versus Mode", but this is not to be confused with true multiplayer. There is no live fighting against other players, you simply play  against champions from other players that are AI controlled.

While I like the variance and the complexity of the store, I do have a few problems with the currency. There are a few too many options there. You have ISO-8, used to upgrade champions. Then you have units, used for premium content and champion crystals. And battle chips, loyalty points, vibranium upgrade materials, gold, 3 different kinds of crystal shards, and probably some that I'm forgetting.

Most of those involve different aspects of the game, but especially the gold seems fairly pointless. You spend it mostly to upgrade your champions, but because you need ISO-8 it is rarely the deciding factor for the upgrade. Similarly, to upgrade your own player stats, you have to use mastery points and gold, and the former takes much longer to build up.

And the sheer number of these items is staggering. You have to keep track of where to spend each one. It gets confusing fast, and even if you know where to apply them all, you have to constantly check if you have enough for each various item to purchase.

Good luck understanding that nonsense... [1]

And then there's the purchases themselves. Almost exclusively, you spend currency on champion crystals, which have randomized sets and skew heavily towards lower level champions, so you get a lot of duplicates (which are handled well, you get upgrade materials and goodies, but still), and you have no guarantee of getting a high level champion. It means grinding takes forever, and the rewards don't really encourage much hope.

Finally, the game is also heavily focused on endgame content that rewards only players who devote a large amount of time and have tremendous amounts of power. Lower level players can still play through the base content but most of the event content is definitely for higher level characters. I appreciate the decision, because lower level characters still have the campaign to occupy them, but at the same time I do think there should be some more events focused for the newer players.

All in all, it's a pretty solid free game. The purchasable content is definitely a great way to jump ahead, but because you still have to usually buy randomized crystals with your real cash money, it actually is not an end-all trump card if you spend money. You're able to earn all currencies through normal gameplay, and I think it's more than possible to enjoy yourself without spending a dime.

So, if you like swipe and tap fighting games, this is definitely right up your alley. It has some good depth and it's great for Marvel fans. If you don't care about Marvel and/or you don't care for this type of game, you can probably pass it up.

Until next time,


Images courtesy of Wikipedia except where sourced

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