When it comes to games inspired by popular anime and manga, half of the games offered seem more like a cash grab rather than a fun game to play. From the early 2000s to the mid-2010s, a good majority of anime and movie video games were strictly cash grabs. Some of the few exceptions were the Dragon Ball Z, Yugioh, Pokemon, Naruto, and One Piece game series. Fast forward to the mid-2010s and anime game developers can no longer put out mediocre game content without drastic repercussions. The overall quality of Anime inspired video games has improved thanks to the help of CyberConnect2, Bandai Namco, Aquria, and other passionate gamers/workers. At Anime Expo, we had the chance to check out a new one called Black Clover M: Rise of the Wizard King.
At Anime Expo 2023, we had the opportunity to preview Black Clover M: Rise of the Wizard King at the Garena’ booth. The booth offered guests the opportunity to take photos with Black Clover cosplayers, Asta’s swords, the Black Bulls banner, and a grimoire tower. After taking part in these photo opportunities, attendees had the chance to try out the upcoming mobile game. Sadly, we noticed that most guests were only interested in the photo opportunities rather than the game itself. In fact, we’d have to say that it was maybe at best one in every ten guests that was willing to try out the demo. More than likely it was probably closer to one in every twenty-five guests. Honestly, that is kind of a shame based on the quality that we saw while playing the demo. So let’s jump into our overall experience, rather than telling you that the game was enjoyable.
Black Clover M Demo Preview
First off, we will preface this preview by stating that Black Clover M: Rise of the Wizard King can be an idle turn-based Gacha game; the game can be played on auto-battle. The game’s normal challenge – Memory Hall – demo was divided into two chapters: the Ice Mage Attack on Saussy (Ice Mage – Health) (Chap 1) and Lotus of the Abyss and Inner Dungeon
Conflict (Mars) (Chap 2). According to the developers, the game will feature the first three arcs of Black Clover‘s story at launch with a fourth arc releasing shortly after.
In each chapter, players pick a team of up to four mages to take on each level’s challenges. Mages can rank from R to LR based on their overall strength. Each mage’s grade can be upgraded to make them even stronger. Each mage has a friendship level that can be increased by battling or interacting with the character and by giving them gifts. Each time a mage’s friendship increases, players have the chance to receive rank-up material; these rewards can be seen in the bond chart.
For combat, you will need to pick a variety of mages in order to take down the chapter’s enemies. When selecting your team, you can see what type of mage the chapter will have; with this in mind, you will need to choose between Healers, Debuffers, Attackers, Supporters, and Defenders. Each mage has a type associated with their card, with a mage being either Powre (red), Sense (green), or Technique (blue). The combat system uses a rock, paper, scissors style with red being strong against green, green strong against blue, and blue strong against red. Using this system increases the amount of damage a character will put out against their weaker opponents. Depending on each character’s position and squad composition, a special attack can be released based on the character’s bond with each other character (Bond Cooperation).
Gacha Rewards and Side Quests
Unlike many other Gacha games, most of the Gacha rewards or unlocks focus on special outfits each character can wear. players have the option to obtain seasonal version characters with exclusive appearances through the Gacha system or unlock different costumes for each normal character. Fire mages can have a special firefighter costume. Meanwhile, some of the other characters have costumes based on one of the sketches by the creator and even fan art that the developer liked. Once you are done customizing the visual aspects of each character, you can go into the gear section of each character and attach special equipment to increase their stats. Next, we checked out the talents menu that allows you to modify a character’s attack, morale, endurance, defense, swiftness, and resistance; these stats are modified by using Black Crystals or talent flourish material.
Outside of story progression, players can engage in side quests where they are tasked with certain missions and requests (challenges). These missions and requests range from talking to certain characters, completing a chapter in a certain way, or competing in mini-games. During our playthrough, we got to explore the Distinguished Service Ceremony that is showcased during the Defending the Royal Capital arc and explored the Black Bulls hideout.
Interactions with different characters can lead to different mini-games. When talking to Yami, the Black Bulls captain, we were offered the chance to play Speed. Vanessa offered us the chance to craft or disassemble items. Meanwhile, Charmy allowed us to create different recipes. Based on just these three interactions, we expect that each character will have their own special interaction with the player. At the moment, the game has the Japanese character voices; when we spoke to the developers, they stated that it was their intention to get the English and other voice actors in the game to create an experience that anyone can pick up and connect with.
Before trying Black Clover M: Rise of the Wizard King, I was a bit skeptical about how the Gacha mechanics would work. Would the Gacha system be the only way to get prized mages? According to the developers, no, all mages within the game can be earned naturally but the Gacha system makes it easier; the system is mainly meant for cosmetics and to make players’ lives easier. Players can also unlock different mages through the use of Black Crystals. If I were to associate the gameplay to any other game it is similar to Kingdom Hearts Union χ. The combat is fairly simple to understand but it does seem like that there will be a good bit of grinding for players to enjoy.
At the moment, the game is currently available to preregister for. As players preregister for the game, special unlocks will be earned for the community. Once the preregistration reaches 5 million, the community will receive a special costume for Mimosa (Cafe Uniform). Some lucky gamers who preregistered for the game can potentially win an iPhone, Razar RGB headphones, an iPad, and Google Play or App Store gift cards. We will definitely be checking out the game when it releases. The game is set to release on iOS and Android; we expect that the developer will be able to make the game available on Mac and PC sometime after its launch; if not players will make it available similar to Pokemon Go and other popular games.