Video Game Rentals Delivered

Chessmaster Live (XBLA)

David Yun (Xbox Live Gamertag - Vawce) David Yun (Xbox Live Gamertag - Vawce): (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-06-25 00:58:54

Chessmaster Live (XBLA) - Rank C

Developer: Ubisoft Bulgaria
Publisher: Ubisoft
Date: 1/31/08

Chess is, of course, an S Rank game. Chessmaster Live? Not so much.

Chessmaster is the best selling and most venerated chess franchise of all time. Chessmaster Live is a stripped down version. You won't find extensive tutorials, analytical tools, or historic games to study. This is where I'm docking the grade. It's difficult to justify spending money on it when you can play chess for free on any number of internet services. I always felt that the chief function of purchasing a chess program was to access information and guidance that would actively help you become a better player.

Aside from that, Chessmaster Live plays a solid game of chess. I don't look for bleeding edge graphics or audio in a chess program, so I can skip those items on the "game reviewer's checklist". Chessmaster Live offers functional online play and a slew of A.I. opponents with varying degrees of difficulty for single player modes. This is essentially what you're paying for. Each of the opponents display their ELO ratings so you know exactly how tough of a game you're in for.

For players serious about improving their chess skills, I recommend ponying up for a copy of Chessmaster (or Fritz for the hardcore chess player) on the PC, but for a quick and dirty fix, Chessmaster Live is a reasonable value at $10.

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