PN Review: Pure Chess (Wii U & 3DS)
Pure Chess is exactly that, a game that provides a solid chess experiences with very little gimmicks or frills. Pure Chess provides stunning visuals on both 3DS and Wii U but is the same experience on both consoles. The game is highly customizable and will let the player choose how they would like their chess experience to play out. Without further ado, let’s make our first move into Pure Nintendo’s review of Pure Chess on Wii U and 3DS.
The first thing that players will notice after booting up Pure Chess is that visually the game looks quite nice on both the 3DS and Wii U. One other thing to note is that Pure Chess is essentially the same experience on both systems. The only difference between the two versions being control schemes and visual effects. The Wii U version of Pure Chess obviously lacks the 3D visuals but looks better than the 3DS version, whereas Pure Chess on the 3DS adds the unique 3D visual styling that the handheld is known for. Both the versions can be controlled using the buttons or the touchscreen but with the 3DS version using the stylus felt better than trying to fiddle with the buttons. So for those trying to decide what system to download Pure Chess on, it is recommended to let the preferred visual styling be the deciding factor.
Pure Chess is one of the most solid chess experiences from a gaming standpoint. There are a variety of game options to customize the user experience. From game difficulty to the environment the game is taking place in, there are many options to choose from. Experienced players will enjoy the ability to use different timers and up the difficulty to a very high level. For those who don’t care so much about the technical aspects of chess, there are options on the style of pieces used and various environments to choose from. There are enough options in the available styles of pieces and environments to keep things interesting in the base game but, just in case, there is downloadable content that can be purchased to provide more options to choose from.
Music and sound effects in Pure Chess are adequate for the game and fit the mood very well too. There is not much variety in the music but just enough to keep things from getting too repetitive. Unfortunately the sound effects don’t vary at all but they are subtle enough that they are not distracting. The benefit to the background music in Pure Chess is that it is also customizable and the player can select which musical styles they would like to hear and which they’d rather tune out. Without having downloaded the extra content for Pure Chess it is unclear whether new musical tracks are included but if so, this could provide a better range of audio content in the game.
With online play being one of the more alluring features of Pure Chess, it ended up being quite disappointing. The online play feature in Pure Chess uses cross play, which means that players will compete against players on not only the same platform they are using but also other platforms that Pure Chess can be found on. This ensures that not only will players have plenty of opponents to play against but are also not limited to players on any specific platform. Unfortunately the online matches take quite some time to play through and require a lot of patience. This is eased a little by the option to play multiple online games at once or by allowing players to play a local game while waiting for the other player(s) to make their move. One thing that was nice about online matches is that the game will replay the last few moves of the match so that a player just returning can adequately plan their next move. Online play is still a nice addition to Pure Chess but it is recommended that a large amount of time is set aside to complete just one match.
In the end Pure Chess is a great representation of chess and everything that the classic board game entails. With additional options to ‘Learn to play’ and ‘Chess Challenges’, Pure Chess is a great fit for experienced Grand Masters or those who would be playing chess for the first time. On both the Wii U and 3DS version the touch controls can be a little finicky but not enough to detract from the experience. With the 3DS and Wii U versions of Pure Chess providing essentially the same experience across both platforms, it would not be worth it to buy the game on both systems unless players want the better looking Wii U version but still want to bring Pure Chess on the go as well. Those who are not that into playing chess may not find Pure Chess to be a good purchase but those who enjoy the board game and enthusiast will find great value in Pure Chess.