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Game Review: Chess

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  • Game Review: Chess

    Game Review: Chess

    The latest offering in the rapidly overflowing strategy genre is hard evidence that strategy games need a real overhaul, and fast. Chess, a small scale tactical turn based strategy game, attempts to adopt the age-old "easy to learn, difficult to master" parameter made popular by Tetris. But the game's cumbersome play mechanics and superficial depth and detail all add up to a game that won't keep you busy for long. Chess casts you as king of a small country at war with a rival country of equivalent military power. There is little background story to speak of, and by and large the units in the game are utterly lacking any character whatsoever. The faceless, nondescript units are dubbed arbitrarily such labels as "Knight" and "Bishop" while their appearance reveals nothing to suggest these roles. To make matters worse, the units on both playable sides are entirely identical aside from a simple color palette swap. The setting of the conflict is equally uninspiring and consists merely of a two-color grid so as to represent the two warring factions. Adding insult to injury, there is only one available map - and it's pathetically small, an 8x8 matrix (Red Alert maps are up to 128x128 in size). The lack of more expansive battlefields makes Chess feel like little more than an over glorified Minesweeper. In a definite nod to Tetris, Chess eschews any kind of personality and styling in order to emphasize its supposedly addictive game play.
    Unfortunately, that game play is severely lacking. For one thing, there are only six units in the game. Of those six, two are practically worthless while one is an overpowered "god" unit, the Queen. She's your typical Lara Croft-esque 1990s "me, too" attempt to attract the fabled gaming girl audience from out of the woodwork to help solidify a customer base for a game that simply cannot sell itself on its own merits. The Queen can attack in any direction and she is balanced solely by the fact that both sides are equally equipped with only one. Otherwise, the functions of the six Chess units feel entirely arbitrary. For instance, Rooks can only move in horizontal lines, unable to attack enemies at diagonal angles; yet
    Bishops can move diagonally, but not horizontally. The result is a frustratingly unrealistic effort at creating balance and strategy where there is, in fact, very little of either element to be found. Inexplicable pathing problems also plague Chess - the irritating Pawns can only move straight ahead, but for some reason or other they attack diagonally. Worst of all,
    your units are always deployed in exactly the same fashion. While there might have been some strategic element involved in cleverly deploying one's troops around the undeniably constricted map, the designers saw fit to enforce a "rule" about how the game should be set up. In the end, Chess matches may often go on for a great length of time because your Pawns always begin in front of your more useful forces, thereby blocking them off.
    Only two players can compete simultaneously, thus severely limiting any play life to be found. There is only one game play mode - no capture the flag or team play - and that involves the two players taking turns moving their units one by
    one. The moment a player's King is threatened, that player is placed in a state of "check." At this point, the player must defend his King with whatever means are available. If he cannot defend his King, he is defeated. Yawn. All units are killed by a single hit, so even a lowly Pawn can be instrumental in defeating an opponent if you plan accordingly. While the
    artificial balance of forcing equivalent deployment for both sides turns Chess into something of a battle of wits, the turn based play is poorly paced and never really picks up speed until halfway through a game, if then. And half the time, because of the limited troops available (and no resources with which to purchase more), matches end in disappointing stalemates.
    This game attempts to accredit itself by virtue of its tactical play mechanics. Yet those mechanics are tedious and difficult to grasp and exacerbate Chess's other numerous failings. In fact, should you actually memorize all the infuriating little rules governing how the game is played, you'll find yourself growing weary of it all in short order. There's just no payoff to a properly executed game, because the restrictions on the units mean there's a "right" way to play. Thus no real variety can exist between competent players. The sluggish turn based nature of Chess bogs the package still further and renders this strategy game an irreverent exercise in wasted time for all but the most die-hard turn based strategy enthusiasts. It's more than likely that Chess, due to its self-conscious though not entirely elegant simplicity, will garner a small handful of fans. But in light of this game's boundless oversights and limitations, there is no chance it could ever enjoy the sort of success that makes games like Westwood's C&C: Red Alert and Blizzard's Warcraft II the classics they are to this day.

    There used to be a link to this article, but I no longer have it.

  • #2
    Chess. The game where you have to have the mind of a general and the heart of a poet. My tip, think 5 moves ahead.

    I'm pretty good of chess, I have the coordination of a german machine gunner.
    -TuF- Emptying clan servers of their own clan members since 2010
    - Agg moderator campaign supporter 2011
    - #2 of 3 LANers of the Apocalypse!
    -YT

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    • #3
      that's great i'll have to get the game what OP does it use?
      "When it is difficult to put someone to the sword with one hand, by all means kill him with two hands"
      Miyamoto Musashi

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      • #4
        See one of my stories for Stitchean and Muirios playing chess!
        Garlisk's Fantasy Art Gallery
        www.usyetzer.com

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        • #5
          LOL

          That is about the way it would be reviewed if created today and reviewed by a gaming magazine. Ya gonna review "Go" too?.
          Give some taffer fire, and you'll keep him warm for the night with one less reason to cause trouble for the master.
          Set a taffer on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life, and have no need to bother the master.

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          • #6
            Screw that. I'm sticking to Thievery.

            And Thebos, you leave Go out of this, dammit!

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            • #7
              I'm stuck on thievery, 'cause thievery's stuck on me!





              for those of you who don't know...band-aid's jingle rip off.
              Garlisk's Fantasy Art Gallery
              www.usyetzer.com

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              • #8
                What needs reviewing is Monopoly!

                I mean, come on, the point of the game is to try and be a monopoly. People usually don't like monopolies (Microsoft), so the end result of winning the game is being very unpopular for buying everyone else out and forcing them into bankruptcy.

                Or the game of Life, in which the winner is completely dependent on if they land on that "Inheritance! Gain $100,000" space, and what job they are. The doctor will also almost always beat the guy that didn't get any of the good jobs.

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                • #9
                  Monopoly OWWWNNNZZZZ!!!

                  I freakin' LOVE monopoly! :grin:

                  Really! me and my friend like to all sit around a felt-topped table, in our little waistcoats, and get completey pissed out our faces whilst we play MONOPOLY!

                  Its great fun!
                  -TuF- Emptying clan servers of their own clan members since 2010
                  - Agg moderator campaign supporter 2011
                  - #2 of 3 LANers of the Apocalypse!
                  -YT

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                  • #10
                    Plagiarism is bad, mmkkayy.

                    I believe that was the review by one of GS's staff.

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                    • #11
                      A: I really hope that none of you assumed that I wrote this.

                      B: I Ctrl-C Ctrl-V'd it to my harddrive. AKA, No link to the original article.

                      D: I'm sure some of the things others post were not written by them, hence we assume that they Copy & Pasted it.

                      E: There is no C.

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                      • #12
                        If only strategy games actually had the play mechanics similar to chess, I might enjoy them more. Not the usual crap of hording resources, building a ton of the same unit, and then running into your enemy's base. The best way to win at a strategy game these days is to just be a human script; nothing new, no thinking, just build a predetermined number of harvesting units, build a predeterming number of unit creators, then build a predetermined numebr of units, then move them all to the enemy base. Yeah, real fun.


                        /rant

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alpha-Omega
                          If only strategy games actually had the play mechanics similar to chess, I might enjoy them more. Not the usual crap of hording resources, building a ton of the same unit, and then running into your enemy's base. The best way to win at a strategy game these days is to just be a human script; nothing new, no thinking, just build a predetermined number of harvesting units, build a predeterming number of unit creators, then build a predetermined numebr of units, then move them all to the enemy base. Yeah, real fun.


                          /rant
                          No, thats not ranting, thats true. In chess you can afford to 'sacrifice' some of your peices in order to get the upper hand on your opponent. Stratigy games today are all about hording resorces and rushing to kill your opponent in under 3 minutes so that you can gain a medal. Suxxxer.

                          p.s No im not a geek who plays chess everyday.
                          -TuF- Emptying clan servers of their own clan members since 2010
                          - Agg moderator campaign supporter 2011
                          - #2 of 3 LANers of the Apocalypse!
                          -YT

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                          • #14
                            What's wrong with playing chess? It's not geeky in my opinion... in fact, at the cafe I used to go to there was one chess board and it was ALLWAYS in use. Those people weren't geeks. It's just a fun thing to do after school while you have a drink or two. It's sim,ilar to playing darts or a cardgame IMO.

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                            • #15
                              Well, y'know geeks are usally related to chess. I freaking love chess, Its a great game!


                              Monopoly still pwns j00 all!
                              -TuF- Emptying clan servers of their own clan members since 2010
                              - Agg moderator campaign supporter 2011
                              - #2 of 3 LANers of the Apocalypse!
                              -YT

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