• Publisher: Microsoft Studios
  • Developer: Toylogic
  • Platform(s): XBLA
  • Release Date: October 12th 2012
  • Genre: Other, Action & Adventure
  • Website: Visit Website
  1. Audio 5.0
  2. Graphics 6.0
  3. Story 5.0
  4. Gameplay 7.0
7.0 Overall Score
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Happy Wars: Review

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Happy Wars starts out with you looking in on the people of the world. Then finding out that they’ve decided to argue the point over something that doesn’t really matter. This then ends up in a full on war between the two factions that are formed over the disagreement. As this happens, you’re then pushed into a tutorial of sorts to explain your classes and what’s going on.

The game’s extremely simple in nature, and it works well when you’re not being kicked from servers or having issues connecting. Even though the game is free to play, you don’t really need to pay any points towards playing the game. But you will have some advantage over layers who don’t buy happy tickets as you will be able to upgrade and obtain items far quicker than fi you were to just play normally.

As you start out the gameplay is a little confusing as it’s so hectic, but you have a primary goal os taking over the other teams castle while playing in co-op or multiplayer. The single player aspect has a rather different take on how you play, so you will find some variety once you level up to unlock these stages. There are also several other mini games which will require happy tickets to play. You will need to buy these tickets, though the spinner will allow you to play with stars earned by playing the game.

On top of the various game modes, you also have the ability to upgrade your weapons, armor and equipment through spending stars on your items. This will give you some advantage over your foes, but the game also have a unique leveling system within each match you play. There are 5 levels which you will need to gain through earning XP in every game you play. Once you reach level 5 in game you will unlock the various special abilities you have access to. This resets every game, so everyone playing starts out on a somewhat even playing field.

Audio:

To begin with the audio is very suited to the style of the game, but after a while it starts to get quite repetitive. You won’t hear much of a soundtrack over the sounds of other plays fighting and all the action in the game, but the music you do hear between menus and various parts of the game rarely changes.

The audio doesn’t really make the game in my opinion, but a little variety would have been nice. Even though the music and sound effects do start to wear on your nerves, it’s still very well done. The music is very fitting to the games style and design, and so are the sound effects. Just don’t expect to hear the soundtrack of the year while playing this title.

Graphics/Visuals:

The graphics may not be the high point of the game, but they have a rather simple and unique cell shaded style behind them. You will see some low res textures in sections of the maps, but this shouldn’t distract you from the overall gameplay. The game also holds up very well with so much crazy action. You would think having 22 players attacking each other with various skills and powers would cause some slow down in the framerates, or create screen tearing, but it’s not something you will see with this title.

This is a very fast paced action packed title, but the simplicity of the graphical style and gameplay seems to compliment each other very well. The biggest drawback from my point of view is that the game is very colorful and bright. I know this isn’t something to pinpoint as a lot of games are washed in out in greys and browns, but the color and fast paced action may give some players a headache. So be wards, you may want to play this in short bursts if you’re sensitive to bright colors.

Story/Writing:

There’s not much to the story in Happy Wars, but there is enough to give the single player reason to play. There are six stages which are broken up with mini stories with one main story in which you need to save the princess. This all comes about after two factions in the world not agreeing with each other, which then turns into a war of sides. The single player is broken up into objectives rather than just trashing castles, but there is a narrative behind each quest you need to take part in.

The writing is simple quirky which fits the feel of the game perfectly. It doesn’t take it’s self too seriously, but it gets to the point which is what you would expect.

Gameplay:

The gameplay takes some time to get used to, but you’re basically playing a two sided tower defense which requires you to either complete the objective in single player, or trash the other teams castle in multiplayer or co-op. The rules are simple, rush to various towers, then beat down the enemy as you rush their castle and push them back. One unique element about this is you can have up to 22 players in a mass player vs player brawl. This can be quite interesting and hectic at the same time, but you can also play co-op where your full human player team takes on an A.I team.

You have three classes to pick from, Warrior, Cleric and Mage. They all have very different play styles, so you won’t find Mage players trying to rush in and act like a Warrior for instance. If you play as one player for a long period of time, it may take some time to adjust to the other classes, but they offer such differences, it’s worth trying each class several times to find the one you like the most.

Even though you’re playing with other people, everyone is on an even playing field as your characters overall level, doesn’t mean much inside the game as you still need to level up while playing to access your abilities. The only difference is, being a higher player you may have slightly better weapons.

There are other aspects to the game such as leveling up your characters weapons and armor. Which comes with greater rewards when you level up overall You can also modify your equipment to make it stronger, and enchant them with various other modifications to give adverse effects when fighting.

The gameplay has a lot to offer even though it’s a simple concept, but this game is plagued with connection issues. We’re not sure if this game runs off a dedicated server, or if it runs off peer hosting. But one thing we’re certain of, trying to join games or playing for extended periods of time just isn’t going to happen without drops in the connection or errors with trying to join games. Hopefully this will be corrected at some point in the near future as the gameplay really suffers when you’re kicked from the game for no reason.

If you’re looking for just a single player experience you may want to look elsewhere. Even though there is a single player portion of the game, you need to level up your overall skill level through the multiplayer modes to unlock the different sections of the story. This is somewhat of a letdown for people who want to just play on their own, but it’s a unique way to get you to experience parts of the game some people may never play.

Conclusion:

So how does this Happy War shape up?, it’s well worth the time and commitment if you’re into wacky, crude and fast paced beat em’ up. Then Happy Wars is the perfect title for you, and even better, it’s totally free to play. Even though there are micro transactions, they’re not really a requirement to play the game and they don’t give you much of an advantage.

Even if you’re not interested in what the game has to offer, there’s no reason not to try it. I found myself presently surprised by what is on offer.