Monday, April 14, 2008

Marvel Trading Card Game

I finally bought this for my PC for the low price of 10 dollars and I had high expectations for it. Trading card videogames don’t come around very often and the VS game engine doesn’t need lands or summoning sickness. Even though the presentation is impressive with little attack icons and changeable wallpaper, the game is not very fun for some reason.

The reason why the final game experience is lacking is because some of the small niceties (yes that is a real word) are left out. One, you can’t forfeit a game. While this is a minor thing, I end up playing through games just so I can close the program. Two, the program waits for the computer to play his cards and overall you do a lot of waiting. MTG Forge takes this to the other extreme and you don’t have to wait on the computer at all.

Three, the deck editor shows you of the cards that you can use as well as all of the cards in your deck. So if I have one copy of “Big Warrior” and I add it to my deck, it still shows up in my list of cards. The deck editor is also hard to use because you have a hand icon instead of a regular mouse arrow. Fourth, when you click on a card you have to play it, you can’t cancel. This is really frustrating for a beginner like me. Finally, this videogame is very picky about the video cards it can use. I bought a new one just to run this game and it still hangs up sometimes.

The single player game is setup so that you can either pick a “Hero” or “Villian” storyline. You start with a basic starter deck and you earn points to buy more cards. Overall this sounds very interesting, but even the beginning matches are hard. Maybe it’s just me, but even with all the cards (I used a cheat) I still had a hard time beating the first few computer opponents. Granted, I am trying to learn the VS rules by playing the game, but that usually works. I remember learning to play Magic through their interactive tutorial. In conclusion, I believe the Marvel/DC VS trading card game is very good and deserves a better videogame than this one.

This makes me wonder why Shandalar is so playable? Is it because Magic is so good or because it was programmed well, or both?


Unknown said...

The lack of a cancel option in the attack phase and some target choosing scenarios has been a big gripe of Forge for me.... So let that be your lesson to add it to Forge!

Dr. Rodney McKay said...

Like you the Marvel game got me very excited, then I got home and I did not have a proper video card for it, now it is gathering dust :)

I'm not sure why one would need a high-end GPU for a card game. hehe

Forge said...

Sorry rob. I guess I know Magic well enough it has never bothered me, but from playing the Marvel TCG I understand your frustration. I think I understand now that there should ALWAYS be way to cancel. (They didn't teach user interface design in school and books can't really explain it.)

I'm sure programming a video game is very hard, so some concessions must be made, like supporting a limited number of video cards. My guess is that they didn't know until the end that many video cards weren't supported, but there was nothing to do but ship it.

Unknown said...

The other scenario I was thinking of is declaring blockers. Sometimes I've clicked on creatures, intending to use an ability, forgetting that I haven't advanced the step-stop.

Allowing the user to either click repeatedly, TOGGLING the choice, or use a right-click or CTRL-click, since most macs don't have right mouse buttons.