It’s almost the weekend! Wesley Tay, our guest reviewer, is back with a new game review!
RWBY fans, you’ve watched the Season 8 trailer that dropped yesterday, get hyped and play the board game!
In a nutshell: RWBY: Combat Ready is an absolute treat for the RWBY superfan and fans of co-operative fighting games! Feel like an Anime beat-em-up character as you rip through bad guys with supercharged attacks and bankai mode!
RWBY: Combat Ready Review
What it’s About
In the world of Remnant, the Four Kingdoms are plagued by evil creatures known as the “Grimm”, only surviving through persistence and the natural barriers that protect each kingdom. RWBY, a team of Huntresses from Beacon Academy, are brought together to fight off hordes of Grimm and battle villains attempting to destroy the world.
RWBY Combat Ready is a 2-5 player game that takes the animated series and turns it into a co-operative experience. Choosing to play as one of the show’s characters: Ruby, Weiss, Blake, Yang, or Penny, players then go through a scenario to thwart a Villain’s schemes and complete special objectives. With each battle, characters gain experiences, allowing players to add new and more powerful cards to their decks.
How it Plays
RWBY Combat Ready plays very much like other co-operative games, where each character has their own unique decks, unique abilities called Semblance and Ultimate attacks that showcase their characters personality. For instance, Ruby’s Semblance gives her additional speed at the cost of taking more damage when hit. Fans of the show will enjoy these little tidbits that Arcane Wonders added into the mechanics of the game.
All cards in player decks have 4 different tiers, and players start the game with only tier 1 cards. As players beat enemies and succeed in clearing objectives, they gain experience points that be spent on upgrading cards into higher tiers by removing a card from the player’s hand and adding a card one tier higher into the player’s hand.
Battling in RWBY Combat Ready is done as a series of Duels, where one player takes centre stage and becomes the Active Player, going head to head against the Villain. The other players become Sideline Players, moving to either assist the Active Player, completing objectives in play or catching their breath for now and contributing later. Players also take turns being the Active Player, rotating when a duel ends and allowing each player time in the spotlight and time to rest in between fights.
Each round in a duel is a race between the Active Player and the Villain. The Active Player will try to deal damage to the villain, slowly whittling down their Aura but also build up on Fury in order to unleash their unique Ultimate attack, before the villain builds up on their Fury at the end of each round and bashes the Active Player, ending the duel before the Ultimate attack can be used.
Scenarios work in a way where you choose one of three Villains from the show to fight against. Face off against Roman Torchwick and his crew of criminals from Vale, Adam Taurus and the Faunus terrorist group White Fang or the mysterious Cinder Fall, leader of a group seeking to sow chaos in the world of Remnant.
Each boss comes with their own deck, but a unique mechanic RWBY Combat Ready features is “stances”, where the back of each card gives players a hint at what the boss will be doing next. An Aggressive stance usually means the Villain is preparing to unleash a powerful attack, while a Subtle stance might hint at a slower attack to set up defensive plays for future turns. Playing around the Villain’s stances can make or break games!
High Adrenaline Co-Op
As a fan of co-operative games, RWBY Combat Ready takes a novel approach to co-operative boss fighting games. The game boils down to a 1v1 between the Active Player and Villain, yet the Sideline Players are also offered many ways to contribute to the fight by clearing objectives and adding combos to the Active Players attacks. It feels like a co-operative fight rather than individual players contributing a card at a time. (Looking at you, Sentinels of the Multiverse)
Additionally, upgrading cards are a very satisfying portion of the game. Higher tier cards are worth the resources spent to obtain them, so choosing which lower tier cards to trade in for a higher tier card can be quite the dilemma.
Things that Could Be Better
Unfortunately, having only three villains can make the game feel too repetitive, even with 18 different objectives to play with. While there can be many different combinations of objectives to play in a scenario, having more villain options even as expansions could help add new diverse challenges to face off against.
Also, the game’s difficulty does not scale by players, which means having less than four characters can be a problem with any scenarios. This can be a problem for three player games, which is recommended to scale down the Aura of the boss by 10 to help with the difficulty.
Conclusion: Superfans, Anime fans and Co-Op fans will enjoy this!
Overall, with a unique approach to the genre and a customisable scenario difficulty, RWBY Combat Ready definitely worth a spot in any RWBY fan collection or co-operative game collection. Though it might take players a Duel or two to learn their cards, players should get a better feel for the game by their second attempts.
For 2-4 Players, 45-75 Minutes Playing Time, Ages 14+
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