This will be a brief one - I spent most of the weekend and yesterday sick. Never any fun. The good news? Even when sick, I was able to camp out in bed and play some video games. Mostly Dragon's Dogma, Madden, Guardian Cross, Rage of Bahamut and Pure Chess.
I really like Pure Chess. I won't call this a review - it is pretty informal. Chess is essentially chess - you know how to play it or you don't. The only middle ground? Me - I play it, just not very well. I enjoy it all the same though.
The bells and whistles are there, or as there as they can be for a game of this nature. The board and pieces look great, and there are some options that let you change these appearances. These can range from marble to wooden pieces, and pieces designed by a few different makers. I definitely like some more than others, but they all are well-made and look authentic. You can also change your location as well. It, like the music and basic sound effects are all just a bit of extra on what is essentially a very good game of chess.
There are plenty of variables you can mix in besides just the piece appearance. The various levels of difficulty play quite differently from one another and you have a couple of different multiplayer options as well. The local version works fine, but most people are probably going to be interested in the online component.
Now, I will say that I am disappointed that the online doesn't have an actively playing mode where you and an opponent simply take turns playing - but it is all handled via the PSN mail system. Now for me, that works really well. I like to play with my dad, who doesn't use his PS3 real regularly. I play against Matt, who is in a different timezone. I even play against my son, who is in the same house, but usually on a slightly different schedule than me. This of course makes the games go by a good deal slower, but it is much more accommodating. Still, I can see where some people would feel this is pretty limiting.
All in all, I enjoy the game quite a bit and it has a perfect little slot in my daily activity as I fire it up each night, make a few moves and go about my other business. I highly recommend this to fans of chess, and those who don't mind taking the game at a slightly slower pace competitively.