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Clint: Urban Rivals

Score: 88%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Acute Mobile
Developer: Acute Mobile
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 2 (Online)
Genre: Card Games/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

Games donít get much more portable than Clint: Urban Rivals. As a completely web-based game, it is something that can easily be played just about anywhere as long as you have a connection to the Internet and arenít locked out due to those pesky workplace restrictions nearly every one of us has to deal with.

As both a web-based game and a card game, Urban Rivals doesnít offer much as far as presentation, though the little it does offer is pretty good. All of the cards feature artwork by various artists. Most stick to the same style, though minor differences are present. As with any card game, some cards look great while others are simply okay. Cards gain experience as you play with them, and each rise in level is accompanied by new art. Again, the style doesnít change, but it is cool to see how your characterís appearance changes as they grow.

Compared to the cards, there isnít much in the way of variety when it comes to arenas. Most depict landscapes which I can only assume are meant to represent the home turf of the rival gangs.

Sound is a non-issue. The only background music youíre likely to hear is whatever CD or MP3 you currently have playing and sound effects are limited to random clicks during battles.


Gameplay:

Clint: Urban Rivals plays like any other Customizable Card Game (CCG). Once you sign up for the game, you are given a set of eight character cards which serve as your starter deck. If you want to expand your selection of characters, you can buy credits which can then be used to purchase booster packs. New characters can also be purchased using an in-game currency that can either be purchased from the store, or by winning matches. Buying single characters is the best way to get the exact character you might be looking for, though they are pricey. In the long run, buying boosters is a probably a better choice; not only is there a chance of getting a particular character for cheap, but you may also find a sought after character that you can then sell on the marketplace.

Urban Rivals is a completely online game, so thereís no single-player mode. The online community is pretty large, though a majority of the players are overseas. Lobbies are set up based on ranks, which are earned by playing and winning matches. Once in a lobby, you can click on any other player to check their rank, send them a message or challenge them. The community is active on the gameís board, though I would have liked some sort of in-game chat function.

Matches are played between eight characters, four from each playerís deck. It begins with one player selecting a character and adding a certain number of modifiers called pills which increase your playerís power. This is one of the few strategic elements in Urban Rivals. You are limited to 12 pills per match, so you have to be careful about how your spend them. The problem is that the actual power boost is based on a math problem that you are supposed to do in your head rather than showing you the exact number. While I tried my best to do the math, I usually ended up throwing pills and hoping for the best.

Once both players have selected characters and assigned modifiers, the two enter a static battle sequence with the each character exchanging blows until one is destroyed. If the winner has any leftover power, that damage is rolled over to the playerís life bar. This continues for four rounds until a player runs out of health or all of his characters are gone.


Difficulty:

Matches in Clint: Urban Rivals usually last about five minutes, making it great for sporadic play. At the same time, the strategic elements arenít as deep or complex as other CCGs, resulting in a game that becomes almost routine and mechanical after a few matches Ė at least when you first start.

After reaching level 20, you can access ELO matches, which have a little more strategy to them. Here the game becomes a bit like HeroClix, where you have point values for teams, canít use doubles and canít go over a certain character level.


Game Mechanics:

Deck assembly isnít much different than other card games. Thereís no limit for how many characters a deck can contain, though you must at least have eight. Sticking to the lower limit is usually the best strategy, only because it increases the odds that youíll get the exact characters you want.

If you get into ELO matches, your deck strategies become more complex and more interesting. It also becomes a matter of toying with each cardís special abilities. Most cards come with some sort of ability, though it can only be activated when another member of their gang is in a match. This adds an almost Poker-like element to the game, since youíre hoping that you draw that right hand of four players.

Iíve played my fair share of CCGs in the past, and Clint: Urban Rivals isnít the best Iíve played, but it is a still a good one. The price of entry is right (free), though it takes a while before the real game opens up to you. If youíre looking for a good, addictive online game, check out Clint: Urban Rivals.

Game Vortex Readers: Get 20 free credits through the end of March 2007! When creating an account, the player simply needs to type the code ď Vortex Ē in the special offer box and 20 credits will be added to his/her account to buy the booster of his/her choice in the shop. So what are you waiting for?


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Minimum System Requirements:



Internet Connection; Web Browser
 

Test System:



Windows XP; Pentium 4 1.8 GHz; Radeon 9250 256 MB; 640 MB RAM; DirectX 9.0c

Sony PlayStation Portable Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 Windows Grimm's Hatchery

 
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