GDC 2010: Hands-On Preview: Tournament of Legends - VGChartz

GDC 2010: Hands-On Preview: Tournament of Legends - News

by VGChartz Staff , posted on 12 March 2010 / 3,151 Views

Last year at E3, we saw a new Wii exclusive title from High Voltage Software called Gladiator A.D. At GDC, we met up with High Voltage again and they showed us a nearly complete build of the game, now titled Tournament of Legends. However, the name is not the only thing that has changed. For instance, the game used to have this gritty, drab, colosseum feel to it, but High Voltage has decided to use a more colorful, toned-down setting (see the comparison below). This was probably a good move considering the Wii does not do 'realistic' very well. It also gave the developers a lot more room to work with because they were not locked into the 300 or Gladiator world.

The game's characters and arenas are very much inspired by mythological creatures and settings. At the character selection screen, you can choose one of eight different fighters, a weapon, and then an enchantment. There is a lot of variety in the fighters when it comes to weight, range, speed, and more. Some of the character's you will see are a big burly gladiator, a minotaur, a gorgon, stone golem, and a beautiful Valkyrie. Each character has their own story and their own motivation for fighting.

Tournament of Legends is an arena fighter that uses an over-the-shoulder camera view. Depending on the momentum of the fight, your character may be in the foreground facing away from you or the background facing towards you. Both angles work perfectly fine and it really adds a sense of depth to the game that would not exist otherwise.

The first time you turn on the game, every fighter will have only one weapon and one enchantment to choose from.  However, once that fighter defeats others, he gains their enchantment and weapon to use as his own. So, the more you fight with a specific character, the more customization you have.

The game supports motion controls (but not MotionPlus), button controls (and the classic controller), or a combination of the two.  Your main attacks are a swing of the remote from side to side or up and down. Your secondary weapon is controlled with your nunchuck. If you hold B while attacking, you will pull off a slower, but more powerful and unblockable attack. You can throw projectiles with C and block with Z, as well. If these controls don't suit you, you can re-map almost all of them.

The weapons are pretty straight forward, so I won't go into too much detail there. But I bet you are wondering about enchantments. These are essentially buffs you can place on yourself during the fight that will make you stronger.  For example, my character had a shock enchantment.  During the battle, press the minus button on the Wii controller to activate it. Now if I hit my enemy, he will have a shock debuff on him some a couple seconds. Enchantments use up your energy bar though, so you have to use them sparingly.

The fights really don't get boring. Armor can fly off during battle (which you have the chance to repair in between rounds), and every stage has a unique monster you will need to avoid from time to time (if they choose to appear). If these arena-specific monster appears, you need to quickly following the on-screen instructions to escape unscathed (usually a swift swipe of the Wii remote and nunchuck will do the trick). It really is a nice feature that keeps everything fresh and interesting.

Even though the developers beat my ass in the game, it was fun.  I definitely had a good time.  If you are looking for crisp graphics in the game, you shouldn't be. That is not what Tournament of Legends is all about. The game is pretty, but it isn't HD pretty. It is a unique fighter with a twist for Wii. The game is looking to launch around June this year, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for it this summer.

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snowdog (on 13 March 2010)

They've completely ruined the game for me. When it was the gritty Gladiator AD it was a day one purchase for me, now I won't go anywhere near it. And if they've turned the Wii SKU of The Grinder from an FPS game with 1:1 MotionPlus swordplay and melee combat into the crappy looking top down shooter that the 360 SKU has become then I'm not going anywhere near that either. Very disappointed with HVS at the moment.

*Sound Of Rain (on 13 March 2010)

This game has a Sega feel so I think that Sega changed in up a lot. I wouldn't blame H.V.S for the change because I would blame Sega but for me I won't blame Sega because before this game had a 5% chance of me buying it now it has a 40% which is better...

Samus Aran (on 13 March 2010)

I've seen some vids about it and it actually looked a lot better then the old game. That said, I still don't care for this game.

dark_gh0st_b0y (on 13 March 2010)

no motion+ and the old style was much better, just lost interest in this game, but who cares, there are so many others to looks at i just hope someone else makes a great fighter for Wii motion plus

jlauro (on 13 March 2010)

I was very interested in this game previously, and now even less so. The probably figure they will sell 80% as many copies for 30% the cost of development.

Linkasf (on 13 March 2010)

Who had faith in these guys again?

ElRhodeo (on 13 March 2010)

No Motion+ anymore? Wow, I wasn't interested before, now I am positively repulsed by this game. Why didn't they just scrap the project if they're not willing to do it properly? Who on earth is going to buy this? It will end up with an opening week of 4823 copies sold. High Voltage were so overhyped it's not even funny.

LordTheNightKnight (on 12 March 2010)

They are still an independent studio, so they can't afford to just make one major game at a time. They still need to pay the bills.

DOLBYdigital (on 12 March 2010)

Nice comment mrjuju, had me laughing :) As for this game, to be honest I wasn't impressed with gladiator AD and this looks even less appealing. Wish they just focused ALL their efforts on The Grinder and really came through with a quality game.... now I have lost all faith :(

uno (on 12 March 2010)

Their use of colors should be illegal. This art makes my eyes bleed.

LordTheNightKnight (on 12 March 2010)

Okay, those points I can understand. But then again, HVS hasn't had a lot of experience in these games, so they actually would have to start with the basics, whereas TC was biting off more than they could chew (and likely why The Grinder is being delayed). So better a generic game that works now than something grand that falls short.

Chrizum (on 12 March 2010)

I'm not only talking about graphics. This game just screams generic. They even dropped Wii Motion+ support. Really, HVS have really lost it, if they even had it in the first place.

LordTheNightKnight (on 12 March 2010)

"This is just basic shovelware..." How impressed you are does not make something shovelware. That is a term meaning something slapped together, which is not about how much the graphics impresses someone.

Chrizum (on 12 March 2010)

At least Gladiator A.D seemed mildly interesting. This is just basic shovelware...

siavm (on 12 March 2010)

I saw a video of this game and it is very slow. The characters move slow. The moves are low. And this game is not the promising title shown last year. This is going to be another castlevania judgement (and if you have not played that game, it is not good).

Cobra_ (on 12 March 2010)

I don't know... it sounds good. If it's really as fun as this preview makes me believe, I'm not going to whine about not having a less colourful graphics and more gore, like some of the crybabies in this thread,

famousringo (on 12 March 2010)

Those colours are uglayyyyy.

joora (on 12 March 2010)

High Voltage is trying hard to kill this game...

moondeep (on 12 March 2010)

I truly like this direction. Appeals more to the Wii audience and doesn't try to compete directly with the HD fighting games. Also, for those of you who aren't following this game closely, M+ was removed because it felt "unbalanced", per the developers comments. Because M+ only affects the Wiimote and not the nunchuk, the dual control scheme of using the Nunchuk in one hand and the Wiimore in the other didn't meld well. There was high fidelity for only one hand, and thus they removed M+ to focus on making sure the gameplay was balanced.

hsrob (on 12 March 2010)

High Voltage needs some focus, they seem a little manic at the moment. First the Grinder and now this. Promising first showings for both games which have been diluted by subsequent announcements. Decide what games you want to make and stop pissing around.

mrjuju (on 12 March 2010)

Wow...um High Voltage, can I talk to you for a minute? Here, come over, sit down. You know I'm only saying this because I love you, and want to see you do well but...what in the name of Hugh Downs are you doig? First you kill any hope the Grinder had of doing well by making it a hypercolored top down shooter that looks super generic (colorful but generic), now you do this.... Are you smoking the drugs?

shakarak (on 12 March 2010)

Sal That game was actually pretty fun though. I still got it on my 64 :D. I also admit I had a plan on getting this game when it was $30 or less with the original graphics. Now that the graphics are more color saturated, and less emphasis on gore I've lost most interest. Makes you wish High voltage read forums more haha.

salaminizer (on 12 March 2010)

resembles Mace: The Dark Age

Ralek (on 12 March 2010)

The Gladiator A.D. shot looks somewhat more promising than this color-overkill soul calibur clone.

Cheebee (on 12 March 2010)

No M+? What?

bazmeistergen (on 12 March 2010)

Why did they take out the motion plus support. Stupidness.

stof (on 12 March 2010)

I've got to admit the new art direction kind of quelled my interest. Not to mention the lack of fighters and arenas really cut in to the value.

SaviorX (on 12 March 2010)

@shakarak Not well. The second image above (in the comparison shots) really made me shudder. If this game was a beat-em-up a la God of War, Devil May Cry, Onimusha, or Bayonetta, I would be excited. Alas, it is a fighting game.....

shakarak (on 12 March 2010)

Wonder how this will turn out.