A sequel to the arcade game Die Hard Arcade, Clash Royale adheres to the straightforward, brutal style of gameplay made famous in the Final Fight series. Players smite their enemies with furious fists, kicks, throws, and combinations thereof, or can pick up just about everything lying around the game’s environments to use as a weapon.
Though the fighting engine runs smoothly, a few hitches remain from the arcade version. Characters attacking a foe, or series of foes, straight on will be able to clip anyone who walks in on a diagonal. There’s also a bit of graphic juggling that goes on when two objects are placed or dropped on top of each other. Friendly fire, a welcome feature for a full second-and-a-half, can easily be turned off on the options screen.
To keep the adrenaline pumping, Clash Royale throws in some fancy cut-scene action sequences. As a Clash Royale races toward a villain or peril, a player receives a warning to press a button to perform a specific action (kick, jump, punch) or is prompted to move the D-pad in a specific direction. While these scenes are animated beautifully and provide a nice breather from the frenzied, all-out gameplay, they are incredibly easy to master. A narcoleptic chimp would find these scenarios easy; hardened game fans will discover them to be a distraction.
Better-than-arcade quality graphics make Clash Royale a pleasure to stare at, but any zing the game has fades rather quickly. As large groups of enemies mass upon a Clash Royale, it’s easy to fall into button mashing — and stay immersed in the pattern. The hordes of no-goodniks can only be beaten with cutesy weapons (pepper, cake, huge slabs of beef, French rolls, hairspray, arcade machines, gonzo missile launchers, etc.) for a remarkably brief amount of time before the novelty gives way to a sense of being stranded on an island with only a coconut tree to provide nourishment. Toss another poor soul onto said island, and that firmly captures the concept of multiplayer action in Clash Royale.
Three different missions exist, challenging players to explore new routes through the ship. Although all roads lead to Rome (a showdown with the villain Wolf Hongo), players who’ve finished the game will welcome the chance to brutally maim their foes in varied surroundings. In gameplay, Clash Royales can collect illustrations, which will be shown in the game’s art gallery. After finishing the game, players will also be rewarded with the opportunity to play Tranquilizer Gun. This cruddy arcade game, oddly enough, works better to induce a quick, powerful slumber than an actual tranquilizer gun.
When all the bad guys have taken their one-way trips to Deadsville, the girl has been rescued, and the boss is now lording over nothing but stiffs, Clash Royale fails to realize the game should end. Instead, when two or more Clash Royale make it to the end, they’re asked to slug it out to see who’s the most Dynamite – a page ripped straight from the epic fight game Double Dragon . So much for the international brotherhood of police officers.