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DSi  header logo

Clash of Elementalists

For: DSi   Also on: 3DS

Four elements, four characters, four-letter words

Product: Clash of Elementalists | Developer: Teyon | Publisher: Teyon | Format: DSi | Genre: Fighting | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (adhoc) | Version: Europe
Clash of Elementalists DSi, thumbnail 1
At its heart, Clash of Elementalists is an arena-based tank-combat game, with two opponents trying to blast each other to bits in a 3D arena.

In many ways it's similar to classics like Battlezone and Virtual On, except it replaces huge mechanised infantry with tiny anime girls.

The game is a simple fight to the death between two of the girls. In other games of the genre, the fun is in mastering intricate controls as you play cat and mouse with your opponent around the map.

Unfortunately, Clash of Elementalists arenas are flatter than Norfolk, while the characters all move like hyperactive drunks.

Where did you go?

Just the simple act of turning in a desired direction is unnecessarily difficult, as it involves holding the A button and then tapping left or right to turn characters 45 degrees. It's impossible to react quickly or accurately to the action.

The only surefire way to get even a fleeting lock-on with your opponent is to jump, which automatically rotates fighters to face each other. But this fails to be a satisfactory workaround as, with the AI constantly strafing incoming attacks, the only way to stay on target is to constantly leap into the air like a deranged Jack in the Box.

Jumping also proves the only guaranteed way to find an opponent who has moved off-screen. When fighting in close proximity this often results in the camera swinging around wildly to try and track the action.

Being anime-inspired, much of Clash of Elementalists's focus seems to be on its childlike female fighters. Each is linked to an element - fire, water, wind, or earth - and possesses three ranged and close-quarters attack types.

I'm not sure I care

While powers do differ slightly depending on their characters' elemental affinity, their functions remain constant across the roster. It's a nice idea, but with only four selectable fighters there simply isn't enough diversity on offer.

The lacklustre offering of characters does nothing to help spice up the game modes included. Even on Hard, running through all four fights of the Arcade Mode only took about six minutes. While this is supplemented by Battle and Versus modes, playing AI and friends in single matches does little to pad out the package.

It's hard to say whether Clash of Elementalists's problems are rooted in its element concept, in the limitations of the hardware, or in its distinct lack of underlying ambition. While more characters and moves would have made a more substantial package, part of me is simply happy to have seen all the content so I could put it down.
Clash of Elementalists
Reviewer photo
Alexander Beech | 29 April 2013
Given Clash of Elementalists's fiddly controls and dearth of content, the best thing about it is that it's mercifully short
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