October 15, 2012

Happy Wars: Review in Progress

 

Happy Wars is Microsoft’s first dabbling into bringing free-to-play games to the Xbox 360, in many ways it succeeds. The game is fast paced, fun; there is plenty of re-playability and lots of equipment and challenges to complete, for something that is free there is a girth of content. The game comes from a small Japanese developer, Toylogic, relatively new to the gaming scene. This surprised me that Microsoft’s new foray into freemium would be lent out to a Japanese dev, a country where the 360 has not been warmly welcomed. The reason I am not giving it a full review yet is there are still some issues I think the developer can work out fairly quickly and hopefully give this fun game long legs. As of right now the game is playable and all its modes and content work fine, the issue lies in the matchmaking, which to say is slightly broken.

 

What is Happy Wars? Happy Wars is a team based, 15 vs. 15, action game that feels like it has some League of Legends roots. The 6 maps vary in size but there are two castles at either side of which you must defend. You will build and control spawn points placed throughout the map, all sounds familiar right? Where Happy Wars starts to vary from LoL is its third person perspective, real time combat. There are three classes; a warrior, cleric, and mage. Each of the three classes has their own abilities that are chosen at random before the game begins and are unlocked as you level during game play. The combat is typical hack-n-slash and the powers do add some strategy to just hammering the X button to death. You do have team powers as well that require your teammates to congregate around you and can release devastating attacks, like arrow volleys and tornadoes, or you can buff your teammates, with magical songs or phalanx positions. The game ends when either a team rushes the enemy’s castle and destroys their tower within, or the timer runs out and the team with the most spawn points held is deemed the winner. The games can last a few minutes or well into the timer’s countdown of 15 minutes. The visuals are bright and colorful and seem to have fallen out of a children’s fairytale book. The look works and is far more violent when combat starts once the center of the map is up for grabs. The 15 on 15 can get a bit hectic on screen but out of the several hours I played the game there was no sign of slow down. As I stated in the opening paragraph this is all fine and works well but getting into a match is the biggest problem of all.

 

The matchmaking is borked. It can take a few minutes to find a match or it could take upwards of 20 minutes. Typically once you are in a game it carries over into the next round but it has dropped me on several occasions. I have tried playing with a few friends, the party system will queue up a team of 15 if you have it, but it would kick us out of the matchmaking stating we could not connect to the game and making us all have to join up again. A game that relies heavily on an online multiplayer component it’s sad to see these types of problems because it could kill the potential community. Toylogic is aware of the issues as well as the fine people over at Play XBLA and from what I have read there are fixes in the works. This game is worth checking out, it’s fun, addictive, and best of all if you don’t want to spend any money to play it, you don’t have to. The game is available to download now off of the Games Marketplace, which had its own issue on launch day but it has been ironed out. I will update and give a final verdict when the game is patched and is in the form it should have launched at, but as we know with the games industry and this generation of consoles, sometimes games are better as they progress with patches.

 

3 comments

  1. The guy who wants to play with their friends on Happy Wars but can't. - October 28, 2012 7:39 am

    What is frustrating on this game is the fact that you just can’t add another controller to join, like a Guest. It’s stupid as the whole point of the game is the fact that it’s multiplayer. I really hope Toylogic sorts this out otherwise their going to receive some angry reviews.

    Reply
  2. Adrian - October 20, 2012 9:20 pm

    It’s a very nice game… except for one thing:

    MATCHMAKING SUCKS!!! IT’S TOO DAMN SLOW!!!

    Reply
  3. ScrotusKilmystr - October 16, 2012 11:23 am

    this game is a fun diversion when you looking to play something a little different and you can’t beat the price unless you start shoveling MS points into it to level up your gear. But I agree the match making is woefully broken and needs to be patched soon…

    Reply

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