I picked up Chessmaster: the art of learning for the DS today. I've only had 2 minutes with it and so far I'm very impressed with the exception of Josh's mouth moving while reading his dialogue. ... Really gotta say as constructively as possible, That ain't right.
Full review to follow.
Okay, I've had time to further assess the situation for Chessmaster: the art of learning for the Nintendo DS.
Yay for having up to four profiles that track your progress as a player - I think it's a GREAT idea. I have an elo rating, and the opponents in the game gain or lose elo points depending on my play history
Nay for not keeping game records - Considering how minuscule a pgn file can be it's a really obvious feature I think should have been included. I know that not every gamer would want a record of games played in the past, so it could have been an option in preferences. Speaking of which...
Nay for not having unlockable chess sets - Come on guys, another obvious feature that has been a part of the Chessmaster series for good long while now. I know there is a storage issue when it comes video games but seriously, not even different versions of Staunton sets? ... Really?
Yay for having a tutorial mode - "You are as good as those you play against", a friend told me. I'm glad there is a tutorial mode and frankly, I wish there was more information in each section and I wish there were more sections, on like say, I don't know, popular openings?
Nay for have Joshes stupid face all up in my grill - I don't really have a problem with Josh, at least I didn't until he kept sighing at me for taking too long to move. #^*% you Josh, you don't know me. This is the sort of thing that is taking up precious memory on the gamecard that could have been filled with famous games from the past, or walkthroughs for said games or online play, AT ALL.
This review is getting a little too negative so I'm just going to sum it up.
At it's core Chessmaster for the DS is really great. I mean that. The chess engine has all these different personalities that really play like, well, a person. The fact that my elo is tracked and that I can play wireless, and I'm playing with a touchscreen are also great pluses, the main reasons I purchased the game.
But I really think Ubisoft let us down in the extras department.
- no online play, seriously, wtf. You could have had correspondence matches, online chatting with opponents, Hell even online tournaments.
- The board set up mode doesn't allow some set ups, so Chess 960 isn't really an option.
- no famous chess matches.
Final summation: It's like having a master chef prepare the finest hamburger steak ever. ever. And then letting McDonald's but the rest of the burger together. with stale bread. and old mayonnaise. and hair.