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Unicorn Overlord's Greatness Is Distilled In A Piece Of Optional Side Content

For fans of tactics and strategy games, the recent release of Unicorn Overlord is a decadent treat. The latest from developer Vanillaware delivers large-scale battles full of varied and complex systems, requiring the player to constantly pay attention to the micro and macro of a fight. Within the large fantasy world of Fevrith is the coliseum of Baumratte, an optional feature that many players may never interact with. Don’t make that mistake. Those who do take up arms within the coliseum are treated to a perfect distillation of everything good about Unicorn Overlord, and it is not to be missed.

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The coliseum in Baumratte offers a reprieve from the longer battles of the main story and offers players a series of skirmishes that pit single units against each other. By doing this it, strips Unicorn Overlord’s deep systems down to their most basic building blocks. There’s equipment, character classes, stamina, Valor Points, tactics, rapport, and more. The list is extensive. But at the core of Unicorn Overlord are units. These are formations organized in two rows of three spaces, allowing up to six characters to make up a single unit. In the game’s main battles, units are directed in real-time across the map until they clash with enemies.

Within the coliseum there are no real-time battle elements. That means there is no need to strategize movement of multiple units. It’s just a duel between two units. While simplistic, it highlights how the unit system of Unicorn Overlord is the mechanical center of the game; a tactical puzzle for players to solve. In both offline and online battles, players enter the coliseum and are presented with an enemy unit. You observe its organization and character makeup in order to inform your own strategy.

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Completing a battle in the coliseum requires you to design the perfect unit for success. It demands an understanding of Unicorn Overlord’s intricate class system, as players must know what will break through the enemy’s defenses. But as players can discover all too easily in larger battles, the details of a unit can change the course of battle in a second. A thief can effectively dodge enemy attacks, giving them high survivability—but place them in the wrong row and they become useless.

Furthermore, editing the Final Fantasy XII gambit system-like tactics menu can be the difference between success and failure. What makes the coliseum’s unit-on-unit warfare even more enticing is how quickly it occurs. Most of your time spent in the coliseum will be spent fine-tuning your unit organization, but the actual clash is over within a matter of seconds. As opposed to the often drawn-out battles players engage with elsewhere in the game, the coliseum offers an immediate payoff.

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