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[PSN Review] Pure Chess

Throughout history, only one game has truly stood the test of time and made a significant impact on societies the world over. As fans of the sport, we felt compelled to develop a chess title that truly reflects the beauty and depth of the greatest intellectual game in the world.

The classic strategy board game comes to life in stunning detail.

* Staunton, Checker, and Williams chess sets created with stunning detail and precision
* Museum, Penthouse, and Library locations beautifully portrayed
* Comprehensive tutorial that teaches you basic, intermediate, and advanced chess techniques
* 3 Tournaments to test your tactics
* 100 Bonus chess puzzles to ponder over
* Play By Mail with up to 8 of your friends
* Track your ELO and Tournament ratings in the ranking boards
* FULL HD 1080p and Stereoscopic 3D support (PS3 only)

Pure Chess is the new release from Ripstone for your PS3 or your Vita, and it brings us a great take on a big classic. For those that have never played Chess, as well as for the people that played it at some point and might be a bit fuzzy on the rules, there is a very handy tutorial that explains everything you need to know about this ancient game.

When you’re ready to dive into the game, you’ll have the option of playing single matches, participating in small tournaments (with an increased difficulty bump), take on some very cruel but fun challenges, or even enjoy a game of online chess with your friends. Single game and tournament mode are easy enough to understand, since you battle against the AI in order to survive, and it is a straight up take on chess, with all the rules and nuisances involved. Therefore, let’s talk about the Play by Mail and the Bonus Play modes.

Back in the day, before the wonders of the internet and how it allowed us to speed up communication, people liked to play chess with other players around the world. How did they do this? Well, believe it or not, they played by mail! That’s right, they played by good, old fashioned post-office delivered mail. Games took weeks, months and, sometimes, even years. Pure Chess introduces a similar, but faster take on this mode: Play by Mail. In here, you start a game and make your move, which is then sent to a the friend you select from your contacts list, and they are prompted to send their move after opening your message and launching the game. Sure, it is not straight up “online chess”, but I definitely liked how I could be playing any of the single player modes, and I could get back to my Play by Mail game as soon as I got the message from my oponent.

Pure Chess 1

Bonus play is a mode on which you’re asked to find a way to move your pieces to checkmate your opponent. The first set of challenges only requires you to move one piece into the “checkmate” endgame, but as you go higher, you’re required to do it in 2, 3, 4 and, eventually 5 moves. The first two sets are easy enough for all chess players, but going from 1-2 moves 3-5 is something that not everyone is built for. Unless you’re a Chess Savant, the challenges over at the bonus play section of the game will take you anywhere from 4 to 10 hours to complete, and you’ll definitely feel very, very smart when you take care of the last 40 challenges.
Pure Chess 2

There is also one more thing I should mention about Pure Chess..Game. Looks. Amazing. You can tell, from looking at the images from this review, that a lot of care was placed on the board and the pieces themselves, as well as on the space on which you’re playing (the library, for example, has a nice attention to detail all over the place). You can zoom into each piece by changing the camera, and you will get a 1080 view of some amazing craftsmanship. You can select different styles of pieces, as well as picking the material they are made of, in order to customize your gaming session as much as possible. There is also a DLC pack that introduces a new setting, as well as new gorgeous chess pieces you can use for your games. More DLC is surely being worked on right now, and I can’t wait to try them all.

Pure Chess 3

Pure Chess is a great option for all chess fans out there. You can either get the game for your PS3, or decide to buy it for Vita so you can get your chess on in a portable package. The smart AI,the Bonus Play challenges and the Play by Mail mode all add to this release, and make it a purchase worthy of your time and money.

[review pros=”Excellent AI
Amazing lifelike graphics” cons=”One extremely difficult trophy” score=90]

This review is based on a PS3 copy of Pure Chess provided by Ripstone