Clan of Champions, known overseas as Gladiator Vs, is the third entry in a long running gladiator simulator from the Japan. The series is rife with brutal combat and not much else, and this latest entry is no exception. Clan of Champions starts up with a modest back story before outright throwing you into the fray. Some faction known as the Al-waav Urban Forces is out of control and three nations are battling for resources and land. Every time the game starts up, you’re visually assaulted by these quick lines of text, as if to reinforce the deeply engrossing story that’s about to unfold. Just kidding; you’ve got some arena duels to survive. Before each mission there’s a bit more story explaining your motivation for going to fight in each locale, but beyond these two instances, the story is left rather deflated. There’s a small tutorial that shows how to perform the usual assortment of actions. Attacking, blocking, dodge rolling; all of these are covered once in the tutorial and afterwards you’re on your own.
Let’s check out what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Clan of Champions.
Combat is broken into magical attacks and a series of three attacks: high, mid, and low. Mashing one of these tends to yield great effects, especially when breaking an opponent’s gear. Each piece of equipment has a given guard value and doing enough damage to surpass that value is enough to either make the opponent drop said equipment, or shatter it entirely. Only once a body part is exposed after losing armor can damage be dealt directly to an opponent. It’s a nice variation to other role playing games where just poking away at someone’s plate mail was enough to slowly kill them. Items that have been dropped (mainly the two weapons and helmet) can be picked back up by anyone, so be careful around people that might want that greatsword you’ve been cleaving heads with all day long. On the other hand, once a given piece of armor such as a chest piece is broken, it’s gone for the remainder of the mission. Not even dying and re-spawning is enough to restore it to its original condition. Thankfully, items that have been shattered or dropped are replenished at the end of a mission.
Clan of Champions is much more than just a single-player role playing game. Every mission is set up to be run with a squad of three people in total. By yourself, you’re accompanied with two mindless NPCs that rush out and attack anything on sight. When replaced with two human players that know what they’re doing, most encounters are handled with ease. The last boss, known for its unblockable attacks and ‘bullsh#t tactics’, can be dispatched in only a couple minutes with harmonized attacks.
Lots of loot
Clan of Champions is one of those games where levelling is pretty much non-existent (save for a persistent experience system between the three weapon stances) and everything is based upon skill and gear. Dozens of weapons are available for each type of gear. Whether you play the mage type that relies on wands or want to get up close with a brawler and don a pair of brass knuckles, there’s more than enough gear to tickle your fancy. Numerous armor sets exist in the game and can be mixed as needed, each piece upgraded and socketed individually. The only thing missing is an option to preview what a piece of armor looks like before you purchase it after a mission.