It’s rather shocking to consider how few card games are on Switch today. Of course, there are plenty of deckbuilding roguelites that incorporate elements of card games into their design, but these don’t quite manage to scratch the same itch. Fortunately, Cygames has seen fit to offer its popular mobile game Shadowverse in the form of Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle, a full-fledged RPG built entirely around the card game. Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is a smash hit at what it sets out to do, delivering a compelling and enjoyable take on the genre that we strongly encourage you to check out.
Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle follows a typical Shonen School dramatic tale about an anonymous and silent new student at Tensei Academy. Both in the school and in the surrounding town, a card game called Shadowverse has completely taken over, and your character of course has an eerie natural ability to play incredibly well. One thing leads to another, and your character ends up joining the school’s mysterious Shadowverse club, which is oddly unpopular and underground given the prevalence of the card game literally everywhere else. Due to her decline, the school’s class president wants to shut down the club for good, but she agrees to let it continue if you and your friends can win the Shadowverse World Championship.
Of course, Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle doesn’t score any points for its extraordinary storytelling, but the narrative here proves surprisingly solid nonetheless. Your gang of Shadowverse enthusiasts all have quirky and well-defined personalities, and there’s quite a bit of character development happening across the board as you and the crew overcome the obstacles that keep you from glory. This is the kind of story that comes it feels good with his unwavering sense of optimism and hope, and you’ll likely find yourself attached to this world and its characters once you reach the end of the tale. It seems a little odd that Cygames has chosen to forgo taking advantage of all the rich lore of the existing dark fantasy universe that the real world Shadowverse has built in favor of this more kid-friendly anime storyline, but it had to. meaning given that this approach probably appeals to a much larger audience.
The main gameplay draw here is, of course, the Shadowverse titular card game, which has been fully adapted without being watered down or streamlined to match the more user-friendly aesthetic. The basic rules are a bit like a game of Foyerwith the main goal being to reduce your opponent’s health to zero before they can do the same to you. Each player accumulates “game points” with each passing turn, and these are then spent to play any cards you want from your hand, with the best cards almost always having a much higher game point value. Most cards have an attack and defense stat that governs how much damage they can deal or take, while Spell and Amulet cards are used as unique items that immediately cause some sort of effect.
As you would expect from a CCG, there is an absurd amount of strategy going into the way you play. For example, cards often have additional effects that slightly alter the rules of their use, such as how a Marching Band allows a card to have a passive effect that triggers on its first put on the board, or how Ambush prevents a card from being targeted by enemies until it acts first. Additionally, you are allowed to evolve cards after a few turns, which allows you to power up a card of your choice to boost its stats and sometimes give it additional effects. It feels like there’s no limit to the number of ways you can choose to build and run a given deck, effectively giving Shadowverse unlimited replayability.
Things are made a lot more interesting when you take into account that there are seven different classes of cards, each of which plays dramatically different the next. Forestcraft, for example, is built around you having a swarm of low value fairy cards in your hand. Higher value Forestcraft cards often have very powerful effects if a certain number of cards are played first this turn, prompting you to build a deck around your fairy pool so you can continue to feed your behemoths.
Bloodcraft, on the other hand, encourages a riskier strategy in which cards inherently become more powerful as your character takes more damage. The cards here are often focused on dealing damage to yourself safely so that you can reap the massive benefits that low health can provide faster.
You are not allowed to mix cards of different classes in the same deck, which means that you are best served by choosing a class that best matches your playstyle. At the same time, however, you must be aware of minus a general understanding of how other classes work and how best to counter them. For example, if you’ve built yourself a deck that doesn’t really make sense until late in the game and you’re preparing to fight a class that usually peaks early, tweak your setup to better counter that game early in the game. could make the difference. between victory and defeat.
Suffice to say that there is a your deep in Shadowverse. Over 600 maps spread across seven classes ensure that no two matches are ever the same, and the breadth of that depth can be intimidating for newcomers at times. Fortunately, Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle understands this barrier to entry and begins with step-by-step tutorials and explanations of the finer points. You are not just thrown in the deep end and expect to find out; things are presented to you layer by layer and presented in a way that everyone can understand.
This sentiment also applies to the construction aspect of the bridge. While you can of course build a deck from scratch if you know what you’re doing, winning battles often allows you to earn deck codes that offer pre-built deck templates that you can use in future battles. . Obviously, Cygames understands the difficulty of learning a new card game, and all of these features are a welcome inclusion. And don’t worry, the difficulty absoutely increases once you’ve proven you can do it on your own.
When you’re not engaged in another card battle, Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle plays out just like a standard JRPG, adding an interesting layer of “play around the game”. There’s a large, gradually expanding world to explore, filled with treasure chests to find, NPCs to challenge, and shops to browse. Collecting all of the cards in the game is a major secondary goal here, and there are plenty of ways to do it. You can spend money earned in battles at various vendors around the world and purchase card packs, which contain an assortment of cards selected at random. Then there are some cards that you can only get by completing side quests for characters or defeating particularly difficult NPCs.
Fighting with a deck based on a certain class will allow you to level up that class, which usually rewards you with more money and rare cards than you can get anywhere else. Additionally, your character has an overall rank that increases as the story progresses, and higher ranks give you access to tougher opponents and better cards. There is a very clear sense of forward progression that is still present in Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle. No matter where you go or what you do, Something gets better or better, which helps prevent feelings of stagnation or boredom.
When you’ve inevitably exhausted the mountain of content single-player has to offer, you’ll be happy to know that Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle features a full multiplayer sequel with its own separate progression. Your rank here is independent of the main game, and you can only improve yourself by competing against players around the world and coming out on top. There is also a season system in place, with daily and seasonal missions available that allow you to progress along a Battle Pass that has the typical dual track of free and paid routes. More particularly, there is no microtransactions as far as we can tell, which is a nice departure from the overall design of the main game on mobile. You can unlock all 600 maps from diligent, in-depth play in either multiplayer or single player, and while the Battle Pass seems like an ongoing add-on, the rewards offered there are largely cosmetic in nature.
In terms of presentation, Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle absolutely excels. The outside world and character design is reminiscent of the visual style of Yo-Kai Watch, with vibrantly colored animated visuals and upbeat music. In card battles, the card art is detailed enough while the neat effects when powerful cards are played help imbue the gameplay with much needed energy. The voice acting is also top notch across the board, with both the characters in the story and each card be just enough to keep things interesting without being too worthy of whining.
Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is arguably the greatest card-fighting RPG on Switch to date; an addicting and incredibly deep card game wrapped in a heartwarming and enjoyable RPG that complements and supports the powerful core gameplay in all the right ways. Dozens of hours of single-player content, combined with full-fledged online multiplayer, ensure you get your money’s worth, while the anime layout and detailed map illustrations and animations keep everything within reach. through. If you like card games, don’t waste your time deliberating – buy this game now. Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is extremely easy to recommend and definitely worth a shot.