Title : Battle Chess
Publisher : Data East
Genre : Chess
Players : 1 / 2 Player
Release Date : 1990
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $3-$5
If you read my last review about a battle-styled chess game, Archon, you would have remembered that I'm a huge fan of this game. After all, I was a proud member of the chess club in high school, and I am not ashamed to say it. The thing is, I also loved twists on Chess, and when you introduce any sort of battle-mode to it, I don't know what to say, I'm an absolute sucker.
But if that battle-mode is not even a battle-mode, and it's instead just watching a little cut-scene every time a piece is taken? No thanks......
This game differs from Archon, as it is actually Chess, not a replica. It's the same chess pieces, same chess board, but you've got the battle segment introduced. OH! But you don't do anything in these battle segments. Nope, you just sit back and watch. Yup. That's it.
So here we go. It's chess, with cut scenes......
I'm sure you know the rules of Chess. Capture the opponents King. I'm not going to go into how this game plays, because it plays like a game of chess. The catch is that after a piece is captured, you are brought to like a 15 second cut scene of the two pieces battling. It's slow. It's uneventful. And it's not entertaining.
Listen, Chess is already a slow game. There's a lot of thought involved, and just to drag it out even more by adding cut scenes is a really dumb move. It does nothing for the game, and I don't see how it possibly holds anyone's interest.
If you're going to call yourself Battle Chess, you sure as hell put some battling in the game. This should have been called Cut scene Chess, because that's all it is. There is no battling. It's a gimmick. And it's a bad one at that.
The only cool thing about it, is trying to watch every single battle animation segment, and if you do that you're pretty much done with it. Graphics are a mess (the PC versions are vastly superior), the sound effects are reminiscent of Atari, and the colors are enough to drive any sane person off the edge.
I really don't understand why this game got such good reviews. I'm assuming it was more entertaining on the other systems due to the extreme graphical differences, because honestly for the NES it was just a mess.
Do yourself a favor and stick with regular chess. Go buy a board, and when you snatch one of your friends pieces, don some LARP gear and go at it with cardboard swords. I guarantee it'll be a lot better than this.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time. Keep on gaming!