Master X Master – Review
Follow Genre: Action Moba
Developer: NCsoft
Publisher: NCsoft
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Master X Master – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Refreshing for a MOBA
Bad: Master skills generally feel generic
User Score
6.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The MOBA market seems to be a hard market with many competing developers who try to give their own twist to the genre by using different characters or slightly different gameplay. Few succeed with games like DOTA and League of Legends leading the industry, but please read before you ragequit this article like a true MOBA player. A fresh wind is blowing in this world, and it might call your name.

MXM_1

Story

Master versus Master, (from now on to be called ‘’MXM’’) made by NCsoft, is a game where some characters previously created in other games by NCsoft return. Some new ones also show their face. The game actually has kind of a story, but not too much, which, to be honest, is still more than most MOBA games, where only background stories and sometimes occasional trailers are supposed to liven up your characters. Anyway, the story in MXM is about a spaceship that’s being attacked while your race has been looking for a new home since they were driven off their own planet some time ago. The attacking enemy mainly consists out of machine-like aliens which fill up most of the PvE gameplay later on. “PvE you said?” Yes. PvE. Next to being a multiplayer MOBA game, MXM also features PvE missions for you to play solo or with your friends, but more about that later on. If you wish to see a cinematic trailer that gives a little bit more story, it is added below this article.

Graphics

Let’s be honest, the graphics in this game look good. It’s not that something particularly stands out, but there’s quite some detail added to the worlds surrounding you, especially in the PvE section (we’ll get to that! Not yet!). The animations, special effects, it all blends very nicely which is a plus if you try to play a chaotic MOBA game. The masters generally seem to be differently shaped as well, where tanks look like they are actual tanky characters, and fast DPS dealers look like slim assassins. Sometimes, however, especially at the start, there might be some learning and exploring to do before you get to know the difference between each master. This happens mainly because of what we said before about how each type of master looks like the class they play as. If there are two female assassins with a sword, it might be confusing to keep them apart.

MXM_5

Sound

First off, the best generic sound of the entire game probably has to be the lobby music. It has that general big ‘online-game-night-with-your-friends’ ring to it, which really helps you to get excited. Not only that, other tracks from the OST also have some hidden gems. MXM includes a few character themes such as Taejin’s Theme, which you should really check out. (Added below underneath the trailer). They all have a high cinematic level of intensity and sound like they were well thought through.

The sound effects in the game itself and the voice acting also play off quite well. The voices are not only there for you in-game but also through the extensive tutorial which will take you a few hours to complete. Fear not though, they don’t let you go through it all at once.

MXM_3

Gameplay

MXM has a surprising start for a MOBA game. After a small introduction to the story, you immediately get to jump into the action. “Yes!” you think, “let’s defend some towers!” But like it has been said before, the game has a PvE mode (Yes, now we start talking about it). Surprisingly, you get to fight some mechanical crabs and other various creatures. This is the moment where you get to know your first character and your controls. You move around using the WASD keys, instead of clicking. It might feel slightly weird to experienced MOBA players, but hey, it works. It feels like you have more control over your master since you can instantly move around your own axis without clicking in a circle. What’s also different is that you can jump and dodge to try and escape those pesky attacks from other masters.

Your skills seem to fall a bit short since you only use a standard Q and E skill, which actually seem to be quite safe skill shots or gap closers for all champions in general. Nothing new there, even though you can switch them for other skills later on. You also have an ultimate on your R button which will be available to you quite fast since you are free to choose how you want to level up your skills during PvP gameplay. However, your ultimate has a larger cooldown so it might not be worth it to rush it fast at the start since you will be stuck with just one skill and your auto attacks.

MXM_4

The catch in the game is something that’s supposed to make up for these shortcomings. You see, you can actually play with two masters every game! That’s right. Two! Simply scroll up with your mouse button to let your second character take over when the environment gets that bit too hot for your health bar. You can only switch every twelve seconds though, so be careful when to use it. Also, this is a point where a major strength lies in MXM. It’s not been seen in any other MOBA so far, so it would at least be worth to check it out. It’s nice that you can be your own team, even when your teammates are not around, by choosing your masters carefully. Do you want a tank and an assassin to take and deal blows at the right time? Or maybe two tanks to become a force to be reckoned with? Mix and match till it feels right for you, or mix and match to give your team that slight advantage.

The other gameplay modes that you will be introduced to slightly later are 3vs3 deathmatch, which is great to test out a newly bought master, or 5vs5 which includes many of the classic laning elements. Since the 3vs3 is quite obvious as it’s just a top down slugfest, the next part will be focussing on 5vs5.

MXM_6

There are three lanes available to you like usual. Each lane has towers and a base that you have to try to destroy. Now first off, the game’s maximum playtime is 25 minutes. If there is no winning team by then the team with the highest score will win. The score is determined by i.e. killing enemy masters. In between the lanes, there are some jungle monsters which feel like they are either not that dangerous or like they suddenly appeared from a bossroom out of PvE areas. The more dangerous ones have to be encountered by entering separate rooms which even feel like those PvE areas. A couple of monsters just give you experience, some go and help you siege the enemy base once you’ve slain them.
Last but not least there are titan altars and shards, an important aspect of 5vs5 gameplay. You either free titans or collect shards to let you or a teammate become a titan himself, and unleash the hellish power it brings along on your foes. A very useful ally to win the game.

MXM_2

Conclusion

Master X Master is a really suprising addition to the MOBA genre by adding the tag system for each player where you can switch between masters. It also feels and sounds like it tries to become a part of the bigger online community, maybe even E-sports. However, due to most champions and skills feeling slightly the same this might not be the best MOBA for everybody. It’s recommended to play if you want to try something new with your friends, however, maybe you might just like it.

Story Trailer:

OST soundtrack:

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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Master X Master - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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