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Chess Ultra Review (Switch) 
Posted on November 13, 2017 at 07:15 AM.

I had high hopes for Chess Ultra on the Switch, I enjoyed Pure Chess on the PS4 so having chess on the go was a big plus. Unfortunately, I was almost immediately let down with this title. I didn't care for the menu system at all, over to the right was a non-descript "Chess Ultra" tab which just goes to a currently non-existent DLC page. Playing a game was okay, you have several tabs to have multiple games going at once, which is nice. Unfortunately I didn't care for any of the locations where you get games going on. They felt dark, drab and boring. The locations from the original game are all gone replaced with 3 new or redesigned locations, none of which were any good. Shockingly, the props around the table while you play chess actually have an affect on the framerate making it feel a little jerky when you move your pieces.

There were also a lot of unnecessary background sounds while you play. I know they were trying to create a setting to make you feel at the location, but they were distracting to a fault. I also tried the game in tablet mode with the touch screen controls and they felt absolutely broken. When you go to move a piece, the camera goes very wonky.

Online was a mess. Trying to find a game was hard enough, then it's move and wait. There's no notification system letting you know the other person moved so the games just become abandoned which is very disappointing.

I did like some features, loved the challenges portion, it was neat to figure out the puzzles. Overall chess gameplay is fine, especially using the generic top down camera. Enjoyed couch play with it as well, even with the confusing menus to set it all up.

Overall, it's a disappointing effort for a game I was really anticipating. Hopefully it's patched and ends up being a better game in the end, will definitely keep an eye on it going forward. The foundation is there, just the issues are larger.

4/10 (copy of the game was provided by the publisher)
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