- NA release: 10th June 1998
- PAL release: July 1998
- JP release: N/A
- Developer: Titus
- Publisher: Titus
- N64 Magazine Score: 76%
I wasn’t expecting much from Virtual Chess as it’s just chess, but at least you can’t mess up chess – or so I thought. Against all odds, Titus have managed to achieve the impossible and create a chess game that looks bad and controls poorly.
The analogue stick or d-pad move the cursor, but way, way too fast so you need to perform the quickest tap or move the stick immensely slightly. With the 3D view, you expect the c-buttons to control the camera and they do – at least two of them do. c-right spins the board right while c-left spins the board up. It’s impossible to find a good camera angle and adjusting is itself a big pain.
When a piece is taken, you see the pieces fighting (similar to Battle Chess), only the designs of al the characters are absolutely hideous and carry no charm whatsoever. As it doesn’t happen with the other pieces on show, it also feels completely disjointed from the main game.
You can choose a 2D board. I turned it on and was pretended with a really baffling design. I checked the options and found no way to change it – although I eventually figured out that c-left and c-right can change the the look of the board and pieces.
Now, there is one aspect that Virtual Chess is competent in, and that’s playing chess. The problem is that it’s too good. While it’s got 17 levels of difficulty, the first beginner level will trounce most people – especially if they’re using the 3D view that makes it very difficult to judge how pieces can move.
There are plenty of good chess games, but this is just trash. I’m amazed that it got good reviews
The game itself is pretty difficult, as you’ve expect but, throughout the contest, you can seek the CPU’s ideal move by pressing the B button. Strangely, though, it’ll sometimes tell you to move to a certain place – which you do, trusting its judgement – and then move in on your King and devastate your second line. This back-stabbing occurs pretty frequently so, for the first timer, there’s really very little margin for error.Tim Weaver, N64 Magazine #18
Remake or remaster?
You can get much better chess games on your phone for free.
Official ways to get the game.
There is no official way to get Virtual Chess 64
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