Marvel Contest of Champions

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Marvel Contest of Champions
Marvel Contest of champions official banner logo.jpg
Developer(s)Kabam
Raw Thrills (arcade)
Publisher(s)Kabam (Netmarble)
Dave & Buster's (arcade)
Platform(s)iOS, Android, Arcade
ReleaseDecember 10, 2014
Genre(s)Fighting
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Marvel Contest of Champions is a 2014 fighting video game[1] developed and published by Kabam. It was released on December 10, 2014 for iOS and Android.[2] The fighting game is primarily set in the Marvel Universe.[3] The game is strongly based on the events of the limited comic book series Contest of Champions.[4][5] An arcade version was released in 2019, developed by Raw Thrills and exclusive to Dave & Buster's locations.[6] The arcade cabinet claims that the game is inspired by the film Captain Marvel, but this was done for marketing purposes.

Within the Marvel Comics Multiverse, the Marvel Contest of Champions universe is designated Earth-TRN517.

Gameplay[edit]

A gameplay screenshot shows Spider-Man fighting Captain America at Stark Tower.

Players assume the role of a Summoner, tasked by The Collector to build a team of Marvel heroes and villains and pit them against one another in combat. Gameplay is similar to that of Injustice: Gods Among Us and Mortal Kombat X, where the game's fighting arena is rendered in 3D with a 2D plane for the superheroes' movements and actions. New players begin with access to two 1-star characters, and can work to access additional characters including Captain America, Thor, Doctor Doom, She-Hulk, Dormammu, Namor, Domino, Man-Thing, and Groot. Each of the 176 playable characters is upgradable, featuring their own classes, movements, traits, abilities, and special moves, although many share animations.

Gameplay features an energy system that limits the number of quest-based battles in which players can compete. Energy recharges automatically at a set rate over time or players can refill their energy manually. The energy limit is increased when players increase their level. Game items (such as crystals) that impact play are found at the end of quests. In addition to quests, users can battle opponents in the game's "Versus" mode, pitting their champions against those of another player in one-on-one matches or three-on-three limited-time arenas. However, the opponents are A.I.-controlled so it is not an actual real-time player battle. Marvel Contest of Champions requires a persistent Internet connection for both single and multiplayer modes.[7]

Controls are designed for touch, rather than adapting buttons or virtual joysticks. Gameplay includes light, medium, and heavy attack options, as well as block and dodge. The character can shuffle back or sprint forward, and each hero has three of their own special attacks (unlocked with ranks and stars), as well as unique abilities and a signature ability. Synergy Bonuses reward the player for combining characters who have a unique relationship. For example, putting Doctor Doom in the same team with Mr. Fantastic rewards every team member with a 6% increased attack. As characters take and deal damage, a power meter fills which indicates the potential for unique moves. When the player levels-up their characters, more-powerful special attacks are possible but can be used less frequently due to their higher power cost.[8]

Characters can be leveled up by using ISO-8 and Gold and ranked up with Catalysts, which are all gained when fighting in Story Quests, special events, and arena. Class-specific ISO-8 provide heroes of the specified class a bonus. Completing quests provides XP (experience points) and unlocks the ability to add more heroes to the player's questing team, to a maximum of five heroes. In addition to taking part in a global chat feature, players can also join alliances. Alliances allow chat amongst other members and provide the opportunity to work together in alliance quests and wars, to earn glory for rank up materials and shards to form crystals.

Other quests[edit]

To tie-in with the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Contest of Champions was updated in late April 2015 to include Ultron-centric events and characters. To assist in the Ultron missions, all players received 2-star Black Widow, Vision and Hulkbuster characters. The new quest, called "Ultron's Assault", was a limited-time Story Quest; it contained many quests, referred to as Event Quests, and provided new rewards through play. Old event quests, including Ultron's Assault, are now being released in a new, harder difficulty, known as variants. These variants are reimagined versions of the old quests, with new nodes(that affect champions abilities).

Event quests[edit]

Event quests are quests brought into the game every month and are active for 35 days upon the time that the update is released. 5 different levels of the routine event quests are released. These levels are, from lowest to hardest difficulty; Beginner, Normal, Heroic, Master, Uncollected (which requires the player to have summoner level 40 and have beat The Collector at act 5, chapter 2, quest 6 in the story mode) and Cavalier (which requires the player to have completed Act 6 chapter 1). The event quest coincides with new characters being released throughout the game. Usually, two characters are released along with the event quest. The players also take place in fighting these characters for the event quest completion, as they serve as bosses, usually in the final 2 quests of the event quest.

Alliances[edit]

Alliances are the groups or parties of the game, which can include up to 30 players and be private or open. Alliances allow players to gain alliance crystals and to access alliance quests. These alliances can be created with battle chips or units. Alliances can also take part in Alliance Events, such as "Item Use", "Villain Use" or "Summoner Advancement", each granting player rewards. Members of an alliance can assist one another in quests, and alliance members are ranked in relation to each other. The alliance leader is able to choose which members become officers, who are able to remove players from their alliance. In "Alliance Wars", two alliances compete head-to-head, with a defence phase in which each alliance will place their own defenders on a map for the other alliance to fight, and an attack phase, wherein each alliance will traverse across the opposition's map.

Locations[edit]

There are a number of different locations where the battles take place. These include: the Avengers' Tower, the Astral Plane (overseen by the Eye of Agamotto), the Sanctum Sanctorum, Asteroid M, the Asgard throne room, Asgard vault, Asgard power station, The Kyln, Hell's Kitchen, Knowhere, the Savage Land, a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier hangar, Sokovia, Grandmaster's 'Galactorum', the Wakandan necropolis, and an Oscorp laboratory.

Titles[edit]

With the two-year anniversary of the game (Version 11.1 – 10 December 2016), Kabam introduced titles that players can select.[9] The player starts off with the default title "Summoner" and the various other titles are unlocked by fully completing quests or meeting other in-game achievements.

Arena[edit]

Players can battle other players characters which are play by AI. After winning a round consisting of 3 fights, the player gets gold,"battlechips" and arena points. After reaching a certain threshold of arena points a player can get ranked awards depending on their arena points and their rank on the leaderboard of the arena. These arena ranked awards usually contains champions and crystals. A player can also get additional rewards by arena milestones which are obtained by reaching certain amount of arena points.

Incursions[edit]

Players can team up with other players up to 2 players to enter a dungeon, where there are 6 enemies and a boss. There are 2 paths in the map and the player has to choose to fight a enemy from a single path. Each enemy has a linked node which players have to defeat to weaken the other enemies. This mode introduces a new mechanic called "hacks". A player can choose a hack when arriving on a hack node. After defeating the boss the player can go to a node where they are presented with 3 options: Revive their team members with 20 percent health, have option to choose a boss hack or heal 40 percent health of all their living teammates. Incursions can award you with gold, crystal shards and a new currency called artifacts. Artifacts can be used to purchase crystals and crystals shards from the incursion store. When a incursion dungeon is complete the player is awarded with points and after reaching a specific point criteria the player is awarded with gold and shards.

Characters[edit]

Marvel Contest of Champions features many playable heroes and villains, referred to in the game as "champions". Playable champions can come in one of six tiers, signified by a series of stars. Not all champions are available in every tier, and while most can be obtained through "basic" crystals and limited time arenas that offer two different champions per round, others can only be obtained via specific crystals, arenas or special promotions.

Each playable champion is assigned to one of six classes: Cosmic, Tech, Mutant, Skill, Science, and Mystic. In some quests, using the champion of a particular class will get the player through "gates" that block other paths. There are also relationships between the classes, and each has an advantage over another (e.g., Cosmic has an advantage over Tech, Tech over Mutant, Mutant over Skill, etc.). Champions with a class advantage over their opponent gain a class bonus, boosting their base attack by a certain percentage during the fight. There is also a Combined class that has an advantage over every other class, though only non-playable characters may belong to this class.

Some characters, such as The Collector, The Grandmaster, the Doombots, Adaptoids, Dark Phoenix, Jessica Jones, Lockjaw and Maestro, are non-playable, serving either as permanent bosses in the Story Quests, or as temporary opponents or allies in Event or Alliance Quests. Of the playable champions, ten were originally created for the game: Guillotine, Civil Warrior, King Groot, Morningstar, Symbiote Supreme, Sorcerer Supreme, Venom the Duck, Ægon, Guillotine 2099 and Storm (Pyramid X). In addition, there are seven playable trophy champions: Goldpool, Platinumpool, Kang, Thanos, Ultron (Classic), Iron Fist (Immortal) and Wolverine (Weapon X).

Development[edit]

Kabam creative director Cuz Parry describes the game as a "one vs. one, arcade-style fighting game with multiplayer as well as role-playing game elements with a quest/story mode where you're pitted against a wide range of heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe".[citation needed]

Expansion to China[edit]

On April 2015, Kabam and Longtu Games announced Marvel Contest of Champions to be published in China in late 2015. Some elements of the game were changed for the Chinese market.[10] The version was later shut down and all players were transferred to the international version.

Comic book adaptation[edit]

In June 2015, Marvel announced to publish a comic book adaptation of the game that takes place in the main Marvel universe. The comic also introduced new heroes such as White Fox, a heroine from South Korea, and Guillotine, a French heroine with a mystical sword who was the first original character to the game. The Maestro served as the antagonist in the series.[11][12]

Realm of Champions[edit]

A spin-off mobile game was created by Kabam and Marvel Games. Realm of Champions takes place in the same universe, and expands on the story from Contest of Champions.[13] The synopsis stated that Maestro brought the shattered realms together as Battleworld and ruled it until he was mysterious slain causing the Barons to rise up and control their lands.[14] The trailer showed Tony Stark: CEO of House of Iron meeting with the House representatives in a secret location like Madame Web: Master Weaver of the Spider Guild, Skaar: Warlord of the Gamma Horde, President Peggy Carter of the Patriot Garrison, Stephen Strange: Ancient One of the Temple Vishanti, War Thor: Warrior Queen of the Asgardian Republic, Logan: Shogun of the Clan Wolverine, Queen Shuri of Wakanda, and Pirate Deadpool (who was referred to as "Deadpool Supreme") as Apocalypse: Pharaoh of Pyramid X, King Groot, and Vivian Vision also showed up to the meeting. Tony Stark proposes that they shape the upcoming conflict that they can control.

Currencies[edit]

Marvel Contest of champions features 3 main in-game currencies namely gold, units and battlechips, there may be special event currencies. Gold is used to upgrade champions, buy alliance tickets and items from the summoner sigil store. Units is the premium currency which is used to buy potions, revives, crystals, bundles, mastery items and alliance tickets. Battlechips are used to purchase arena crystals which can give you a chance to get gold, units or Punisher character, it costs 2,000 battlechips. There is also a uncollected variant which costs 10,000 battlechips and offers more gold, units and a chance at 5 star Punisher.

Reception[edit]

Marvel Contest of Champions has received a generally positive response. Upon release in December 2014, the game was named Editors' Choice on the App Store. As of 2015, it had more than 40 million downloads.[10][needs update] The 19.0 update caused issues with iOS devices overheating, but it was later fixed.[citation needed]

The game was also nominated for the best action game at the 2019 Webby Awards.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shaul, Brandy. "Marvel ContestChampions". Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions release date". Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 21, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Marvel's Contest of Champions Comics and Games -A History – SuperHero Reviews and News". superheroreviews.com. July 24, 2016.
  5. ^ Sherr, Ian (June 29, 2015). "Marvel's Contest of Champions leaps from video game to comic book". cnet. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  6. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions arcade cabinet". Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  7. ^ Fahey, Mike. "There's Not Much To Love About The Latest Marvel Game". Kotaku. Retrieved February 5, 2017.[better source needed]
  8. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions Review: A Superb, Simplified Slugfest – Gamezebo". gamezebo.com. January 2, 2015.
  9. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions Changelog". playcontestofchampions.com.
  10. ^ a b "Kabam and Longtu Games Announce Strategic Agreement to Launch Marvel Contest of Champions in China". marketwatch.com.
  11. ^ "Marvel Announces "Contest Of Champions" Series From Ewing, Medina". comicbookresources.com. June 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS #1: Are You Not Entertained?". ComicsVerse. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "NYCC 2019: Become Your Own Marvel Super Hero and Conquer the Battleworld With All-New 'MARVEL Realm of Champions' Game | News | Marvel". Marvel Entertainment. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  14. ^ https://www.marvel.com/articles/games/marvel-realm-of-champions-global-pre-registration
  15. ^ "Marvel Contest of Champions for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
  16. ^ Musgrave, Shaun (December 19, 2014). "'Marvel Contest Of Champions' Review – So Where's The Mango Sentinel?". TouchArcade. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  17. ^ "2019 Winners". The Webby Awards. April 23, 2019. Retrieved April 24, 2019.