Shadowverse holds a special place in my heart. For the three years that I played it on mobile, it was my most played video game on any platform. I fell out of Shadowverse in early 2020, but the fond memories stuck with me. It didn’t take long for me to get sucked back in though thanks to the Nintendo Switch release of Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle.
Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is a mostly single-player collectible card game with a full story mode that loosely follows the plot of the anime series. Players will take on the role of a mostly silent protagonist who recently enrolled in an academy that is swept up in Shadowverse mania. Just about every student plays the hit game on their phones, and there are massive arenas for tournaments just outside of the school. If you have seen the anime series, you will mostly be familiar with what happens in Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle, though there are some changes due to the player controlling the new student.
The story itself isn’t really anything special, but it is still enjoyable enough for players who want to explore the world of Shadowverse. It’s a pretty typical anime card game setting, with cheesy voice lines, silly high stakes, and crazy fashion. The player starts a club with all of the anime protagonists and works to help the club rise to prominence. As players go through the surprisingly long story mode (If a player decides to collect everything and battle against the majority of the AI opponents they will spend at least 50 hours), they will rise to the top of the Shadowverse leaderboards, becoming a famous player. As I said, it isn’t particularly special, but the charming tropic characters are at least engaging.
The Shadowverse card game itself is fantastic. Anyone who is familiar with Hearthstone or Legends of Runeterra will at least be somewhat comfortable with the gameplay. Players will build a deck of exactly 40 cards built from one of eight crafts. Every craft has its own unique identity to stand out from the rest. Forestcraft has a mechanic that counts how many cards are played each turn, allowing for strong effects to activate if enough is played. Bloodcraft has a high-risk mechanic that activates special effects when the player’s HP gets low enough. Runecraft has the infamous spellboost mechanic that overpowers cards just by playing spells.
On each turn, the player gets a play point that can be consumed to play cards. On the first turn, players will just have one play point that is typically used for a weak follower or spell card. On turn two, players will have two points, and this will keep going until turn ten when players will have ten points to work with for the rest of the game. Each player starts with 20 health and will use their followers to attack the other player until their opponent hits zero. Of course, the game isn’t as straightforward as just attacking your opponent’s face. Players will need to trade with their opponent’s followers to avoid getting overwhelmed with strong attacks and effects. It’s not an overly complicated game but it is addicting.
There is more to Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle than just singleplayer. There is a robust online mode where players can participate in matchmaking or private battles. Exclusive online missions reward players with more in-game currency to get better cards. A big difference between this game and the original mobile game is the cost. Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle has the upfront cost of purchasing the game, but that’s mostly it. There are likely planned microtransactions that will encourage players to spend more money, but most players won’t need this. The story mode provides plenty of currency to acquire cards. If players duel every AI at least once and participate in side quests, they will have almost every card before they even complete story mode.
Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle includes the Classic set, Darkness Evolved, and Rise of Bahamut expansions. It feels refreshing to play, taking players back to a time when Shadowverse was much more simple.
The presentation of Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is unmatched by any CCG on the Switch so far. The story mode is much more than I expected, with a full overworld populated by AIs to challenge. Small features like character bonds and puzzle modes add a little extra to the game as well. When compared to the story mode of games like Yugioh Duel Links, Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is in another league. The graphics are fine, with simple but appealing 3D models.
The duels themselves look and sound great. I felt nostalgic hearing some of my favorite voice lines again. Every card is fully voiced in English, with beautiful art and fancy summon animations to complete the package.
Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle is a fantastic experience for newcomers and veterans alike. The story mode isn’t deep or anything, but it’s much more than one would expect from a card game. Anyone who is interested in Shadowverse but is turned off by the predatory nature of mobile games will want to pick up Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle.
Looking For the Legendary Cards in Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle? We Have You Covered Here
Shadowverse Champion's Battle
Shadowverse: Champion's Battle is a fantastic experience for newcomers and veterans alike. The story mode isn't deep or anything, but it's much more than one would expect from a card game. Anyone who is interested in Shadowverse but is turned off by the predatory nature of mobile games will want to pick up Shadowverse: Champion's Battle.