It was originally supposed to be a first generation game, wasn’t it? It was released in Japan in November 2006.
I ordered EOJ from Amazon, but they say they’re not shipping until next week. Which is crap. If I see it locally this weekend, I might just cancel my order and buy it at retail.
I wasn’t all that interested until I played a demo match twice at PAX. It really is a well-designed card game. It’s easy to understand - much easier to pick up or explain to someone than, say, Magic the Gathering. You can technically play it without the PS3 even, but keeping track of the damage and stuff would be a counter nightmare. It’s a design that really “works” because it uses a console to keep track of the elements of each square, health, and mana. You wouldn’t want to attempt the same design with a tabletop card game unless you want to ship it with a shitload of counters. :P
It’s a game of position, not combat. Sure combat is how you eliminate your opponent from a position, and it’s important, but it’s like they said on PA today: you win by having 5 occupied squares. If you go crazy just killing the other guy, treating it like a combat game, you’re gonna end up with a board half full of weakened critters and an opponent with a big 'ol bag of mana. One big spell and half your positions are empty.
I’m curious to see how they’ll expand it in the future. I’m mostly getting it to play in-house with the GF, since we’re both recovering MTG nerds looking for something fresh.
But I gotta say, why all the hate about all the “downsides” to it being on a console or whatever? So you have to spend 5 extra minutes showing your deck to the camera, one field of cards at a time. How else are you going to prevent cheaters from just claiming they have cards they don’t? Same with it telling you which card you draw in an online match. Otherwise, people would “conveniently” draw just the card they needed all the time, y’know? In a local match it doesn’t make you do that because you have the other player there to watch you. I mean, order your cards by type and mana cost or what-have you (usually you’ll do this as you construct it anyway, right?) and it should take all of five seconds to find it.
Really, showing my constructed deck to the camera and having to rifle through it when it tells me what to draw is a small price to pay for a CCG with real-world cards you can play online in a cheat-free environment.
So yeah, Gary, I’m getting it. :P
I don’t hate it at all because it’s on a console. I’m glad this sort of thing is coming to console. Well, in general. I’d prefer that if a product is going to expect its customers to spend well beyond the initial investment (though purchase of boosters and theme decks), it be architected in a sensible enough way that it’s a good value and will likely have a long and popular lifespan. Most CCG’s, physical or digital, have a hard enough time wrestling with that. But this one has shot itself in the foot more times that Yosemite Sam.
This problem was solved a looooong time ago, and the answer is very, very simple: Don’t base an on-line CCG around physical cards.
I mean, these cards are so butt-ugly that nobody would want to stare at them to play without the PS3. And you (and others) have already pointed out the math and stat-keeping is complicated enough that it’s best to have a computer keep track of it for you. So if nobody’s going to use the physical cards for playing a physical CCG, why the hell isn’t this a digital-only CCG?
There are plenty of well-designed, cheat-free, online CCG’s you can play right this very minute. Magic On-Line. Star Chamber. Stargate. Legends of Norrath. Maybe even Chron-X if it’s still up. And lots more.
Again, the only thing this game offers that those games don’t is the novelty of seeing the 3D models lined up to green arrows on physical cards on webcam video, and that causes all sorts of otherwise-unnecessary hurdles.
Gamers tend to migrate to games with the best usability and convenience, and by that measure this game’s popularity should wane very quickly. And that, if true, is bad news for people expecting much long-term value from this CCG investment.
(EDIT: Sorry, double post due to server weirdness.)
True to an extent, but it’s pretty rare to hear about digital CCGs being successful. I think this bridges the gap a little, and it’ll be enough of a novelty - particularly at the low-ish price - to attract in some of the mainstream. People dig novelties, remember. That, and the fact that having physical props is a pretty cool thing, and you’ll be able to sort out decks and shit without staring at the screen for hours.
I don’t think it’s going to be particularly groundbreaking, but I think it’ll be more amusing than most have given it credit for. I’ve not played it, though.
This struck me as a niche product from the first time I heard about it. I think it involves too much specialized setup to really hit mainstream. Yeah, so does Guitar Hero, but there’s a world of difference between plugging in a funky guitar shaped controller to stand by the console and clearing space by your console to hook up the camera, finding room for a table, and then hovering around it while you play. Heck, my gaming area barely has enough room for the furniture that’s already there, and now I have to find a flat space for the gameboard and accessories? Sorry, not gonna happen.
Personally I wouldn’t spend my money this way because I think it has almost a zero chance of widespread adoption. And if you and your pals are into CCGs there are better ways to do it than with this.
I’m hoping that the basic game is fun and enjoyable enough as a strategy title that lack of adoption won’t matter (to me, personally), but otherwise I agree.
I’m assuming that Magic Online was probably the most successful, although maybe not most profitable. But when it came out, people were really against the idea of having to pay so much for an intangible object, when the real thing was basically the same price, and you could enjoy its artwork and trade it and show it off etc.
That was a long time ago, though. I think gamers are okay with paying for digital items now, what with all these digital marketplaces and microtransactions.
In five years we’ve gone from complaining about paying for a digitized version of the most integral part of the game to horse armour.
If this game could legitimately stand on it’s own as a CCG then I’d say it’d have a chance. The nigh-impossibility of playing the card game without the PS3/Eye just drives home how much of a gimmick it is.
The control scheme of using physical cards along with a webcam provides only one benefit - when playing the game against a physically present human opponent your hand can be kept secret.
When playing the game online there is absolutely no need for the gimmick, and in fact the control scheme becomes incredibly obtuse, space-consuming, and time-wasting.
Admittedly, I haven’t played it yet, but I don’t get what people are saying about the difficulty of playing without a PS3. The numbers are all really small (e.g. health and attack values in single digits). I’m guessing it is because the indivual units have their own health values as opposed to a game like Yu-Gi-Oh where you only have to track health for the player, but with the most units you ever have to track being 4 at any one time (since 5 wins), is this really that big of a deal?
You also need to track the terrain of each square, along with what terrain each square flips to when a terrain swapping card is played, and take that into account as kinda a hidden modifier to the life of each unit. Has playing restricted creatures been unlocked yet? How do you differentiate between your creatures and their creatures since orientation/position tell you nothing? Different colored sleeves? What about if you take control of your opponent’s creature? Swap sleeves?
No one is saying it’s impossible, just that it makes the game more an exercise in carefully tracking a bunch of numbers/states/statuses than anything fun. The PS3 provides all this information at a glance using overlays, coloring, and transparency effects. This game was never designed with the intention of being played without the system, and hence the game is twiddly as all hell, especially considering how simple it is.
Gotcha. Not sure I’ve said this over here or not, but what I’m really hoping for out of the game is one where the rules are fairly simple but the tactics are deep. I find that CCGs like Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic are just way too darned complicated for my tastes.
OTOH, a card game like Anachronism was a neat idea but was a little too simple. I want the game to play out in such a way that decidng where to play and in what orientation plays just as much of a factor as what cards I have, if not more.
I think the game looks interesting. What concerns me is it has been said that the cards can be copied on a quality color printer. If that turns out to be the case, online mode is going to be ruined for the non-cheater.
Surely the sign of a gimmick would be if you could play the game just as easily without the PS3.
If you haven’t tried it, I strongly recommend that you try Astral Masters for PC, which is a great, inexpensive, fixed-price CCG where you can play against the AI, in a campaign, or on-line. It’s the sequel Astral Tournament, which was good, but Astral Masters is orders of magnitude better. And I heard through the industry grapevine that Richard Garfield himself is now working with the developers on the design of the 3rd entry in the series.
And available for $10 or less in any bargain bin is the Dual Masters CCG on PS2, which was designed by Wizards to be a simplified M:tG (but still has lots of depth.)
Actually, if that’s true, that’s almost the best news I’ve heard about the game. Because that would basically turn it into a fixed-price CCG where all players are on a level ground, rather than a $70 starter set for yet another CCG where more money = more deckbuilding potential and flexibility.
What I can’t quite figure out is: what does having physical cards add to the game? If this was a “virtual” CCG like Culdcept, wouldn’t it be a lot easier to play? It just seems like the mat and cards and EyeToy are a lot of hassle for what is ultimately just a cumbersome gimmick.
BTW, speaking of CCG-esque videogames, I’ll also give a shout out for the Etherlords series, which has a fun card-based combat system; so did Phantasy Star Online III. And though I didn’t care for them, others liked the Lost Kingdoms series, a pair of action-RPGs on the Gamecube.
I think that this entire concept is so gimmicky, that it sadly ends up being a gimmick either way.
If you must have the PS3, the question is why have the camera and cards at all? It would work better to just have it be a digital CCG. The physical cards become the gimmick.
If it played just as easily without the PS3, then what’s the point of having the software and console? The tying of the card game to the console becomes the gimmick.
I don’t know…I think having the physical cards and laying them down on the mat with your own hands adds something to the feel of it.
Consider a DS implementation of the game. On the bottom screen is a static picture of the playfields, yours and your opponent’s. On the top screen the action animates, focusing in on a specific card to show it doing something.
Why two screens?
You can show off the detailed prettiness on one screen and still keep an eye on the overall picture on the other screen.
The mat/cards/EyeToy are the “second screen”. Whether that works well or poorly is up to the game.