In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes

aka: COH
Moby ID: 44639
Nintendo DS Specs
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Description official descriptions

The world of Ashan has a big demon problem. Every time the moon stands right, those bastards come from their prison world Sheogh and terrorize the neighborhood. This time they are searching for the Blade of Binding. Forged during the last demon war, it allows its wearer to control the demons. Something the demons of course can't allow anyone to have. So they do everything to create mistrust between the humans and the elves, unleashing a war in the Forests of Irollan. At the same time others are blinded by the gift of power the demons offer and more or less secretly join their ranks. So since the adults are bashing their heads in, it is up to their offspring to save Ashan and stop the demons.

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes is a mix of puzzle- and turn-based-strategy set in the Might & Magic universe and the story takes place 40 years before the events in Heroes of Might & Magic V. During the campaign the player takes on the role of younger versions of known heroes like the human Godric or the elf Anwen. The campaign is split into five acts, in each of which the player starts with a level 1 hero in one of the four areas of the world of Ashan and even Sheogh. Similar to the original game, the player moves his hero through the world step by step, talking to people, collecting resources like gold and stone, getting quests and fighting the various enemies around. All of this is happening in real time.

The hero has access to three types of troops: normal, elite and master, with a maximum of three normal troops, one elite and one master in his army at the same time. All of the units are taken from the Heroes of Might & Magic universe and share the same abilities as their big brothers. While the normal troops are of no concern after they have been unlocked, as they don't need to be replaced, elite and master units need to be bought at specific buildings on the map as they can be killed during combat. Combat itself is turn-based, but not on a traditional hex field like the original game. Instead, the combat is not only the main part of the game but is also designed like a puzzle game.

Once combat has started, the player has to arrange his troops by color with normally three moves available. How the troops come into the battle is solely dependent on chance. The player can only decide which troops are available to him. The two screens of the DS show the player's troops at the bottom and the enemies on the top arranged in eight rows with up to six units. If three normal units of the same color are stacked upon each other, they make a formation and get ready for combat. Elite units on the other hand need two normal units to be activated, master units four. Each unit type has a timer and a certain amount of strength associated with it. The timer tells the player in which round the unit will make their attack move. Until then the unit's strength will increase at the beginning of the player's turn until it reaches its maximum. If an enemy attack hits the same row during this charge time, the damage done by the enemy is subtracted from the strength of the unit until either the enemy's units or the unit's strength reaches zero. Inactive units also weaken the enemies attack force but much less than an attack formation. If units are formed into an attack and they have the same duration left until attack and the same color as another unit on the board, they'll link up and get even stronger. If two attack forces of the same color are formed in the same row, they will combine, more than doubling their strength.

The goal of most of the combats is to get the enemy hero down to 0 HP. This is done by successfully getting an attack formation through the enemy forces with at least one strength left. The heroes themselves are not represented on the battlefield but if their units damage the enemy hero or the hero gets hit himself, his mana will increase. Once it is full they can cast a spell like a lightning storm which is unique to that hero. Each hero and their units belong to one of the five factions including Inferno and Necropolis. The gameworld they move around in is also part of that factions home.

To spice things up, the game features boss fights which are very different to normal fights, as well as other story-relevant battles that differ from the standard "Kill the Hero" format. Godric for example has to free some prisoners by hitting two switches at the same time with his attack groups. Also available are combat puzzles where the goal is to wipe out the enemy troops in just one turn with pre-defined units.

Spellings

  • 魔法门:英雄交锋 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Nintendo DS version)

139 People (127 developers, 12 thanks) · View all

Developer
  • Capybara Games
Producer
Creative Director
Lead Designers
Designer
Additional Design
  • Capybara DS Team
Lead Writer
Additional Writing
Lead Programmer
Lead Battle Programmer
Lead Engine Programmr
Lead Script Programmer
Multiplayer Programmers
Additional Programming
Art Director
Lead Environment Artist
Lead Battle Artist
Lead Artist
Lead Animators
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 85% (based on 36 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 34 ratings with 1 reviews)

Not your average Might & Magic.

The Good

  • Original, well thought out game play mechanics
  • Fun, challenging boss fights
  • Fantastic artwork
  • Long campaign mode with lots of side quests
  • Some genuinely funny moments


The Bad

  • Some battles feel a bit too influenced by luck
  • Too easy to lose expensive units
  • Music can get repetitive
  • Not much to do outside the campaign



The Bottom Line
Trouble has befallen the world of Ashan, with the Demon Hordes of Sheogh plotting a scheme of epic proportions, and... ok, do you really need to know all this? Let's sum it up this way: Bad mojo going down, get out there and stop it. You control five characters over the course of your journey, all of which have a vested interest in stopping the evil that threatens the land (interest of the you-killed-my-family variety), so this is a little off the beaten path of your typical "fight for honor and justice" RPG plot.

Regardless of how you feel about the storyline, you have to admit that Clash of Heroes is a truly unique game. The fusion of match-3 puzzle mechanics and tactical strategy is seamless and addictive. The game mechanics do create some contextually hilarious situations (you'll likely laugh out loud the first time you see some of your soldiers literally turn into walls), the strategic underpinnings of the battles in Clash of Heroes make up for it, and you'll see why the game designers chose to devise the system as they did.

As satisfying as the game play is, there's certainly room for improvement. Because your soldiers set up in completely random arrangements, you will probably feel that some of your encounters are more guided by lady luck's hand then your own. Sometimes you'll be able to set up formations with the greatest of ease, while in others you'll spend precious turns rearranging your units while your opponent rains attacks down on you.

Clash of Heroes main attraction is the campaign mode, which takes you through the above mentioned storyline. During the course of your journey, you'll acquire new types of unit, gain experience from battle and grow in power, find ancient artifacts to help augment your abilities, and get into some pretty unique boss encounters. In fact, the boss fights are the high point of the campaign, because they almost always take on a different formula from the usual "kill the enemy leader" battles. Sometimes, you'll have to hit specific targets behind ranks of soldiers in order to win, while other times you'll be faced with a giant, powerful monster that will move around the battlefield and launch punishing attacks.

My only complaint concerning the campaign centers around the more powerful units -- they're expensive, they take up a lot of room on the battlefield, and until you get them into a formation, they can be killed in one shot by any other unit in the game. It gets a bit frustrating to watch your expensive units go down so easily, to the point where you might reload a previous save and retry a battle you already won just to see if you can get through it again without losing so much money.

I should quickly mention the artwork -- despite the fact that Might and Magic is a western RPG series, the anime style used for this game fits very well. All of the cut scenes used in this game are terrific -- the composition, color scheme, and design of all the characters is dead-on.

There's even some humor injected into the narrative, which does a lot to add life to an otherwise typical high-fantasy narrative. During your travels, you'll encounter a drunken guardsman who insists on referring to you as "fancy boy" as well as an undead dragon and his warrior slayer that continue bickering in the afterlife.

The only other thing I can say against COH is the fact that once you're done with the campaign, you're done. There are single battles you can play to hone your skills, and you can jump onto the wi-fi and play against your friends, but the core of the game lies in the campaign. In its defense, the campaign will likely take you 20 hours or more to complete, which still makes COH longer than your average DS game.

Whether you like puzzle games, strategy games, or RPGs, Clash of Heroes is certainly worth a look. Addictive game play coupled with strong art direction and even some decent writing makes this a strong title regardless of how many people might actually pick it up. Just don't expect a traditional Might and Magic game, because Clash of Heroes is a very different creature indeed.

Nintendo DS · by The Cliffe (1552) · 2010

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2010 – #2 Best DS Game of the Year
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Best DS Strategy Game (Game of the Year Developers' Choice Awards)

Online servers

The game's online servers for the Windows version were shut down on 1 June 2021.

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Related Games

Heroes of Might and Magic II
Released 2000 on Game Boy Color
Might & Magic: Heroes VII
Released 2015 on Windows
Heroes of Might and Magic V
Released 2006 on Windows, 2007 on Macintosh
Legends of Might and Magic
Released 2001 on Windows
Heroes of Might and Magic
Released 1995 on DOS, 1996 on Windows, Macintosh
Might & Magic: Heroes VI
Released 2011 on Windows
Might & Magic: Chess Royale
Released 2020 on Windows, iPad, Android
Might & Magic: Heroes - Era of Chaos
Released 2019 on iPhone, Android, iPad
Heroes of Might and Magic IV
Released 2002 on Windows, Macintosh

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sicarius.

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 added by erjk whfierow. iPhone, iPad, Android added by Kabushi. Windows added by jaXen.

Additional contributors: Big John WV, Patrick Bregger, Plok, FatherJack, 一旁冷笑.

Game added January 28, 2010. Last modified June 20, 2024.