Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is a new card game by Cygames. Though the original mobile and PC game called Shadowverse was released in 2016, this Switch game adapts the anime series. This means a high school setting and characters that should be familiar to people who watched it.
After choosing between a male or female character, the player joins Tensei Academy. On the first day, a complete newbie on Shadowverse, the protagonist, is introduced to the card game by some new friends. Together they’ll try to find a rumored Shadowverse club while they enjoy some heated duels along the way.
The card game itself plays the same as the mobile title and is actually beginner-friendly for those who haven’t experienced it yet. Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle has a great first few chapters to ease the player into it while introducing the basics. After the tutorial battles, the player can move around the school, the dorm, and the general neighborhood looking for quests and people to challenge.
Each NPC has specific decks, and the school courtyard has every one of the game’s seven classes (Dragoncraft. Forestcraft, Swordcraft, Runecraft, Shadowcraft, Bloodcraft, and Havencraft). In Shadowverse, the player has to pick one of them to build a deck. It’s a shame there’s no way to mix and match, but those monotypes each offer specific synergies and gauges to explore.
Though a few initial battles have opponents with their defense (the equivalent to HP or LP) reduced, each player should start with 20. Playing a card costs play points, which are restored and increased by one when the turn begins. Therefore, this gauge can only hold a maximum of 10 points.
One specific rule to pay attention to is evolution, which can be a big game-changer during battles. By spending one evolution point, the player can upgrade a follower, increasing their attack and defense. Some cards also have specific effects activated after evolution.
Though evolution points are limited (2 for the first player and 3 for the second one), it allows followers that were just placed in the field to do battle with other creatures. Also, it can only activate from the second player’s fourth turn onwards, which means good timing is necessary.
Defeating the NPCs they meet along the way once rewards players with their deck codes. These include a listing of the cards and a description of how they should work. Not only can the player check what’s missing to complete the deck, but it’s also possible to pin the deck, so whenever the player sees the card, it’ll be easy to notice if it’s one of the necessary cards.
Other rewards include cards and money, which the player will get every time they defeat the NPC. In addition, each character has specific cards they may drop, usually including some of the rarest cards from their deck. The player can check those before the card battle to see if they are pinned.
Further, players can use the money on machines called Shadowvendors, including individual cards, sleeves, and packs. They are available in multiple areas, and their offerings are different, meaning the player should check all of them at least once if they want to collect everything.
From what I’ve played of Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle, this is a solid card game that offers exactly what I expected of it. I’ve been playing more matches than I dare keep track of, and I feel like I barely scratched the surface. Nevertheless, this is definitely a title to keep your eyes on if you just can’t get enough of collectible card games like me.
Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle will be available on Nintendo Switch on August 10. A demo is currently available on the eShop.
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