Monday, June 28, 2010

Other TCGs

I’ve only played a few other trading cards games but I’ll give my review of them. In the beginning, around the year 2000, I started playing Yu-Gi-Oh on Gameboy Advance. And while I know Yu-Gi-Oh is reviled in many circles it was a great “starter TCG”. The rules are very simple.

1. You can play a level 4 or lower creature once a turn.
2. The creature can be played face down in defense mode or face up in attack mode.
3. You can play as many trap and spells cards face down as you want.
4. Any creatures higher than level 4 require you to sacrifice one or more creatures in order to summon it.

The rules were very simple and understandable. I figured out that I should have only best level 4 creatures or other creatures that had “flip effects” when they were attacked. Penguin Warrior was insane, he could bounce 2 of your opponents creatures, even the creatures that required you to sacrifice other creatures in order to play them. Overall I didn’t think Yu-Gi-Oh had much tactical depth because the biggest creature always won. (As a side note I enjoyed the cartoon which added interest to the game. It was cool to play Swords of Revealing Light like the TV show.)

Then I stumbled upon a few 9th Edition preconstructed decks. I ended up playing only 3 games but it was enough to get me hooked on Magic Online. (Those 3 games were the only time that I’ve played Magic in the real world.) Magic Online was great except that I was on a very tight budget. I hated rare cards because I owned so few of them.

Some of the Magic Online games were good but others were pitiful, especially when the other guy would disconnect if he was losing. Nowadays “Peasant Magic” seems very strong and I would have enjoyed that format. (Deck construction allows commons and only 3 uncommons, I think.) Peasant Magic is ideal for me and other people who don’t have a ton of money to spend.

I also picked up the 2 starter decks from Marvel/DC Vs. The card art was great and I enjoyed rearranging my creatures depending on if I attacked first or second. You could arrange your creatures into 2 rows and your opponent had to attack the 1st row in order to attack your 2nd row. Marvel/DC Vs is different because you can play any card as a resource (aka. land) and you don’t have colors, instead you have numerous “team affiliations”. Marvel/DC Vs also didn’t have evasion like flying or fear.

In Marvel/DC Vs creatures could attack as a team if they had the same team affiliation which was cool, so you could take down a bigger guy. And in 1-on-1 combat, every creature dealt trample damage, so you were always whittling down your opponent’s life. Each turn you drew 2 cards so you usually had plenty of options.

I didn’t play Marvel/DC Vs much but it seemed like it had tons of potential. The only downside was that the cards seemed less flavorful that Magic. Most of the cards were very wordy and while the card art and name were great because they tapped in the comic geek gene, the cards didn’t really convey what they did like Shock or Giant Growth.

So my TCGs experience has been very limited. Once I learned that Magic was the best of the best, I sort of stopped looking for another great TCG. Magic has so much potential that it makes most other TCGs look downright puny.

I discovered Shandalar, the old Magic PC game, and thought it was great. Playing sealed deck was phenomenal but the cards were very bad. I began working on Forge because I loved playing sealed deck so much.

I also played the horrible Marvel/DC Vs PC game. It didn't have a cancel button so if you clicked on a card, you had to play it. It was downright tortuous for a newbie like myself. No wonder that the online version didn't do well.

What TCGs do you enjoy? I've heard good things about The Spoils.


Sean said...

The Spoils - It's a great CCG. It rounds off some of the randomness of other CCGs by 1) starting you with two basic resources at the start of the game and 2) always allowing you to pay 3 to draw a card. So, there's never a turn where you are left with more than 2 unused resources, which I think is great. (The game itself is also pretty solid.)

Maple Story - It sounds silly, but the mechanics for this game are really interesting. Each turn, you can level up your character by placing a card from your hand underneath the character. (At the bottom of every card is a character ability.) Then, you go down the list activating all of the abilities that you are high-enough level to use. It's a fun game.

tehdiplomat said...

One "dead" CCG that I've had a fair amount of fun with is called Magination Duel.

Instead of using mana, your would have 3 magis in a separate deck. You would only have one in play at a time. The magis started with a certain amount of energy and "energized" a lesser amount each turn. To cast things, you transferred energy off your Magi to the creature, or just discarded it for artifacts or spells.

Creatures power and toughness were both based on the energy on them, and every creature had an ability or two so there wasn't really any boring Grizzly Bears.

It used to be available to play online via CCGWorkshop, but they closed shop and it's no longer available.

Luis Eduardo said...

Can you guys release a new version that include eldrazi´s card images?

I can´t wait to have it.

Awesome work