Pure Chess - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

December 05, 2014

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
6.4

Summary:

Pure Chess is the perfect way to learn one of the greatest strategy games ever created. Choose from a range of intricately designed sets, from the antique to the modern, put your tactics to the test in step-by-step tutorials and then take on your friends in turn-based online matches. Are you a grandmaster in the making?

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Release Date: 11/18/2014

Details

Technical Information

  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Required Disc Space:
    • 397MB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 37 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-02-21

Den_Merry

Writer

PS4

6.0

In the world of video games there is something for just about everyone. For the PS4 the team at VooFoo Studios released their latest installment in the legendary game of chess. This game is called 'Pure Chess' and it released in April of 2014. The game is meant to be played single player unless you are online and it provides a whole new medium for gamers who want to push their abilities to the limit against other players and the computer, as well. Are you ready to take the leap and play some chess against the best in the world? Let's first find out if this game is even the medium for you to do it.

A classic game in a modern format.

Chess is one of the most strategic board games in the history of the medium. From the intricate movement patterns all the way to the delicate point and counterpoints, chess is considered the game for gentlemen and scholars. With technology coming so far it would make sense that there is the chance for a great video game adaptation of chess, right? Well, that has always been the host yet we always seem to be left wanting more. Whether the games have suffered from imbalance in the AI or inability to hold opposing players accountable online, something always seems to drag people down.

For those that are interested in risking a change in format, 'Pure Chess' can be acquired via digital download from the PlayStation Network. The game is a small download but it still packs quite the punch. The problem with this game isn't that it misrepresents the original formula, no, instead it misses the mark at points where we would otherwise expect relative perfection. While the game is hopelessly difficult, it isn't fundamentally complicated. So when VooFoo flounders we are left shaking our head. Why?

The perfect single player experience.

For gamers that have no interest in playing chess with other living, breathing humans there is no better chess game available. 'Pure Chess' offers a slew of offline, single player game modes that will allow you to prove both your skills and your mettle as a chess star. Let's take a look at a few of the basic game modes available for the single player individual:

1) Exhibition Mode

In this mode you will find chess as it has been played for centuries. You will line up your pieces across from the AI and compete in a head to head game of chess. You can cycle through various skill levels in order to find the AI that most readily matches your own abilities. The AI is generally proficient and they know when and how to make moves. You'll never feel overwhelmed, as long as you match your difficulty, and you won't feel cheated either.

2) Tournament Mode

Tournament mode adds a new wrinkle in the game of chess. You will play against the AI in three tournaments that consist of four games each. These games will be varied in difficulty and the only way to advance into the next round is to win all four games. This game mode will push you to your limit as you find your opponent madly inconsistent and ultimately befuddling. You will have to learn from your mistakes and make sure that you do not repeat them again, going forward.

3) Tutorial Mode

In chess, with so much to learn, you have to start somewhere. For new players, and players looking to wash away some rust, opt to go through the different tutorial modes. Learn the ins and the outs of the game before you take on legitimate opponents and you will be a better player for it at the end of the day.

The death of online play.

As an adapted game it seems logical that chess shouldn't suffer from common technological problems. There is no insane amount of data to transfer back and forth and there should be little reason for hiccoughs. Yet here we are, in 2015, and 'Pure Chess' can't get online play done well. Instead of matching in a traditional online game, players will instead be matched in what can only be described as a 'snail mail' version of chess. By going into the online mode you will be matched with an opponent. Therein you will play the longest game of chess in your life, no matter how frequently your opponent is making their moves. Games can last for days at a time and the whole feel of 'chess by correspondence' seems dated, tacky, and irrelevant in the age of high speed internet.

A solid looking game.

Let's just be honest, 'Pure Chess' doesn't have to do much in order to succeed in the category of graphical representation. As long as the game doesn't look terrible, nobody will care. The game pieces and board are represented in 3D and they take on different patinas depending on the set you choose to roll with. There is nothing spectacular here to pay attention to. Don't expect to find commentary like it is some sort of ESPN3 match up. This is chess, through and through, and what you see is what you get. The music in the game is irritating after any prolonged amount of time and you will soon find yourself opting to hear your own tunes instead. That's fine, as you should be focused on making your next move above anything else.

'Pure Chess' on the Playstation 4 takes on the unenviable job of transporting a classic game into the modern world without losing any of the charm. The sad truth is that chess, for most people, is an intimate game. It is meant to be played against a person who is sitting across from you, face to face. It is a game meant to be experience physically and in real time. 'Pure Chess' does what it can to recreate the feeling in the single player mode, but its lackluster online mode completely ruins the experience.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
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Feb 5, 2015
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