The best thing about Massive Chalice might be the thing you hate about Massive Chalice

Title The best thing about Massive Chalice might be the thing you hate about Massive Chalice
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Game reviews
When June 11, 2015

I suspect a common complaint about Massive Chalice is that your heroes die too quickly, and you therefore can't get attached to them in the same way you get attached to your heroes in X-com, XCOM, the XCOM add-on, and other such games..

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I kickstarted this and had the beta but I was waiting until it was done. Glad it's turned out like it has. Great read, Tom.

Awesome. I had heard all of the grumblings about it stemming from people's thinking that the features are great, but it just doesn't work well together as a game. As usual, your take is different than most and well laid out. I have almost picked this up despite what seems to be a growing, irritable consensus. I will for sure now. Well, once the Summer sale offers it up to me. Nice mention of Hero Generations. I have really enjoyed that. If you are careful enough, that game can start to drag. I forgot how many generations I made it through and decided to take a break. I have had about 13 hours of fun with it however and will be going back.

I agree with everything in this review, and yet so far I've still bounced off of Massive Chalice; I think it's because the battles themselves for me (so far) are underwhelming games of "clear the fog of war and hope you brought the right guys", with too many duds in map generation department. I love the strategic part, but the tactical part is missing the tightness of XCOM's sleek design.

That said, it is a game I _want_ to enjoy, so I'll apply myself a bit more over the summer and see if it gets its hooks into me.

What a great review. spot on
"Bravo, Double Fine. It’s easy enough to make a good game a lot of people will like. It’s not so easy to make a great game only some people will love"


My main complaint isn't that I only get 3-4 battles out of a squad, but that there's not really anything else to do with my heroes. I can use them to breed/research/train others, but then they're locked in until they die, or they can be on standby in case of a fight.

It's quite boring and does little to immerse me into the game.

Review mentions the long timeline, but Crusader Kings 2 has a longer timeline, with characters usually dying off much quicker, and yet I find myself caring much more about these characters. That sense is entirely lacking in Massive Chalice, and Tom's "persistence" mechanic carrying over in the form of relics just isn't quite there, in my opinion.

On a technical level, not much to fault, just personal preferences over the graphics (don't much like them but they get the job done) but the tactical battles are not what they could have been. There's a distinct puzzle element, as opposed to fighting a battle, that starts to grate on me. The enemy sit there until you wander into their arcs of observation, so simply stay out of that and there is no pressure.

Review says that hero death serves to mix up the tactical fights, but ultimately heroes are faceless ciphers for tactical possibilities, which remain the same, so tactical fights don't get mixed up, until the sporadic introduction of new enemies, but the same basic tactics will serve you fine for pretty much the whole game. I used a single Hunter concealed much of the time as a Scout, 2 Alchemists and 2 Caberjacks. I mixed those with Hybrid classes sometimes (Shadowjacks let you sneak up and then hit hings in the face, which is nice) but essentially every fight (other than the end fight) unfolded thus:

Hunter to scout, position the others to isolate enemy, kill isolated enemy, find next bunch, rinse and repeat.

There is no equivalent, thus far, of the Zombie village mission from Xcom (the one where everything is going fine and then you get f*cked).

I think though that people have indeed been overly negative, probably down to lingering concerns over previous DF releases.

I backed this game, and played it in the beta, and it is better than it was, but overall, not worth of 5 stars.

It's a good game, it could have been a great one.

"...with a game that’s been through a thorough beta period."

They borrowed from their other unfinished betas.

Just a tip for anyone starting out, Hitting the F key when a melee character is highlighting an enemy will change the position that character attacks from. This, in conjunction with the caberjacks knock back, makes the battles way more fun. It allows you to stun lock opponents.

I know this review is for PC, but I just got this game as free with Gold on Xbox Live on Xbox One. I don't know how long it'll remain free with Gold, but it currently is.

If only I had an XBox. Thanks for the heads up, though.

Einstein: "Damnit Tom, I'm a physicist not a eugenicist!"

Meanwhile, I was on the fence about this game, but the screenshot of an eleven year-old girl signed up for "Advanced Caberjack Training" has pushed me far over to the "sold" side.

Is anyone playing this on Windows 8? Steam says Windows 7 ... and I know generally what runs on 7 should work on 8, but, I'm a little leery since I couldn't find anything about it.

It must be a great time to be a turn-based RPG fan. There so much good stuff to choose from these days!

"you know how to set up your noble houses [to] survive the sweep of time"

This game reminds me of a watered down version of Venus and Braves for the PS2 which was never quite localized for the US market. That game carried the same hereditary lineage classes over a millenia that Massive Chalice tries to imitate but ultimately fails. Venus and Braves was fantastic because the protagonist (who is immortal) gets to live through and watch his companions die of old age, and have interactions with their descendants. It touches on inevitable conflicts and tragic themes that Massive Chalice never quite explores. Also, I found the lack of mid-boss, or final boss characters to be kind of underwhelming. Killing the cadence (especially after the ending narrative) becomes as fun as pulling weeds.