Updated: Sep 27, 2019
Arena of Valor is something I have been very interested in and have played it since it was in BETA. If you have played League of Legends, DOTA 2 or Hero's of the Storm this will feel very familiar. To those who have never played a MOBA style game let me explain how these games work.
All MOBA's have the same base game play to them - each has their spin on genre though. In Arena of Valor you are on a team of five trying to defeat your way to the enemies side. There are 3 lanes, meaning three paths, where there are towers you will need to defeat. Defeat all the towers to get the nexus, enemies base, and defeat the nexus to win the game. Now, it sounds simple but you have waves of minions and five enemy players trying to stop you. You also get gold by defeating minions, enemies, or towers from which you can use to buy items to power your champion up. That's the game in a nut shell - of course there is a lot of strategy that is involved but that may be a later blog.
Match making is very important in online multiplayer games. What I mean about match making is, "Does this game handle the different levels of talented players and try to make the teams even?". In my experience I will say it does a very good job of this. I never once felt the other team was miles ahead of mine. Yes, sometimes there is one player that is higher and carries but that happens in these types of games.
I played a lot of League of Legends a couple years ago and have a lot of experience with MOBA's and how they play. I was very worried when I saw this was a MOBA on a console, something I have never heard of, and wondered how it would play and how the controls would work. You can see below how the screen layout is and what some of the controls are.
Surprisingly, the controls are very well mapped and didn't feel uncomfortable. The one thing I still don't like is not being able to click on a tower, champion, or minion to attack. This game selects the target according to your settings. You can choose to have your auto attacks hit the lowest health or the closest to you.
Something that helps the pace of this game is that you don't have to go back to your nexus to shop, you can shop while you are in lane. You can also turn on auto purchase for your items (You can set this in the game menus before the game) which helps so you don't have to hold down the button to shop while in lane. Both of these functions help speed up the game; most last between 15-30 mins. This is huge, as League of Legends is anywhere from 30 mins - 1 hour. Being a parent I have limited time to play games and I want to play more than one match.
Something that does bother me about this game is that it is free. I know free is awesome sometimes but in this case it can be very annoying. You earn coins for playing each game that can be used to buy more champions to play as. To get enough coins to do so takes a ton of game play. I wish they would lower the amount of coins needed for a champion or give you more per game. You also need five champions to played any ranked matches. To me it seems paying will get you further in this game faster. Now, I know its free to get into, but I would rather buy the game with everything up front.
This is a very good MOBA game on the Switch. I feel this is also a good entry into this genre, as it doesn't have as steep of a learning curve. I do feel the auto attack is a little clunky but I don't see an easier way of doing this on a console. The speed of matches is something I really appreciate in this game, it compliments the portability and my current situation. If you are looking for a MOBA on the Switch or just looking for a good online multiplayer, this is a good choice for you.
Price: This is free on the eshop.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
+ Match making
+ Length of games
- Auto attack design
- Paying gets you farther faster
For ages 13 and over for difficulty reasons