Mas­ter X Mas­ter

Ju­lian Rizzo-Smith blasts masters like it ain't no thing

Hyper - - CONTENTS -

Mas­ter X Mas­ter is a bit of an odd beast. It’s a strange hy­brid of action RPG and MOBA with the unique quirk of play­ers tak­ing the role of not one but two he­roes (hence the ti­tle). With char­ac­ters from es­tab­lished NCSoft games such as Guild Wars 2, Blade and Soul, Wild­star, Aion and lineage, as well as unique new he­roes, Mas­ter X Mas­ter will boast around 30 playable he­roes, with more promised af­ter launch.

The se­lec­tion of he­roes may be large, but even more im­pres­sive is the di­verse se­lec­tion of game modes. In ad­di­tion to a tra­di­tional three lane MOBA, Mas­ter X Mas­ter boasts a PVP arena, a sin­gle-player PvE mode, and a co-op PvE mode.

This fo­cus on a ded­i­cated sin­gle­player game that's more than just a tu­to­rial is ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing. Play­ers can take their he­roes through a se­ries of lin­ear dun­geons, bat­tling bad­dies and pick­ing up loot and powerups be­fore even­tu­ally meet­ing and (hope­fully) de­feat­ing a mas­sive boss. Al­though the equip­ment picked up dur­ing the sin­gle-player game will not trans­late across to mul­ti­player (aside from co-op) for balance rea­sons, in game cur­rency earned can be used to buy new char­ac­ters that will be avail­able in all modes.

The MOBA el­e­ment will be mostly fa­mil­iar to fans of the genre, though there are a few twists worth men­tion­ing. Earn­ing enough cur­rency and com­plet­ing some core con­di­tions en­ables a team to sum­mon a mas­sive ti­tan to rush down the cen­tre lane and clob­ber ev­ery­thing in its path.

Sum­mon­ing a ti­tan is not the be all and end all of strat­egy though. Killing an op­po­nent’s ti­tan will re­sult in a ti­tan frag­ment that can be taken back to your base. Col­lect 10 of these and you can turn into a ti­tan for a lim­ited time. Char­ac­ter titans have two modes, a mo­bile, fast mov­ing and fast hit­ting form for at­tack­ing op­pos­ing he­roes and creeps, as well as a far less mo­bile siege mode that at­tacks slower but is ca­pa­ble of dish­ing out apoc­a­lyp­tic dam­age to en­emy tow­ers and bases.

NC Soft is billing Mas­ter X Mas­ter as an “Action MOBA”, and from the way the game plays it’s easy to see why. Rather than a click and hotkey in­ter­face, MXM con­trols much like a twin-stick shooter, with the WASD keys con­trol­ling char­ac­ter move­ment and the mouse used to aim. Each char­ac­ter can also jump, giv­ing the game a dash of ver­ti­cal­ity un­char­ac­ter­is­tic of a MOBA.

To sur­vive, it's nec­es­sary to pay close at­ten­tion to the en­vi­ron­ment, with the game's dense and in­tri­cate level de­sign re­ward­ing a keen eye for op­por­tu­nity. De­fen­sive move­ment like jump­ing over a laser or dodg­ing to the side uses a mana-like recharg­ing re­source, so it won't be able to abuse these abil­i­ties and be­come a Cap­tain Can't Be Killed. Thank good­ness.

Whether Mas­ter X Mas­ter can ex­e­cute all its great am­bi­tions re­mains to be seen, what we’ve played so far is fun, ex­cit­ing, fast- paced and dif­fer­ent enough to war­rant a sec­ond-look in an over­crowded genre.

CHAR­AC­TER TITANS HAVE TWO MODES: A FAST HIT­TING FORM AND A SLOWER SIEGE MODE FOR DISH­ING OUT APOC­A­LYP­TIC DAM­AGE TO EN­EMY BASES

Dunno what they're do­ing in the XCOM base, but that new juke­box is boss

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"I'm sorry, Ice Guy, I just feel like you're half the man I need right now."

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