Marvel Trading Card Game

This is a version of the Versus System CCG that was quite popular for a number of years (using only cards from the Marvel expansions).

The game’s success was due to a number of reasons.  It was based on the intellectual property of the two most popular comics companies in the world.  Why summon a Grizzly Bear, when you can recruit Batman? It had stupendous prize support, including an ambitious ProCircuit from the get-go, and more t-shirts than you can shake a stick at for prereleases (I have many many of these, some of them quite cool [yes, I’ll be wearing my Avengers one in Summer of 2012…]).  It was also an extremely good game, built around a ridiculously elegant and deep combat system.

This game is an exact port of the cards and rules of the original card game, even down to the written phrasing of the printed cards.  Sometimes, this doesn’t work so well.  For example, there’s the odd bit of text that is only relevant because other cards (not present in the game) trigger off it (e.g., willpower and construct).

Nonetheless, the game (cards and mechanics) is as good as it ever was, and it was a delight to re-immerse myself in a ‘Versus’ mode of thinking: hoarding plot twists, optimising attack sequences, etc… I started the game with a junky sinister syndicate aggro deck, and was delighted to be able to put together a killer doom control deck as my collection of cards grew.

There are two major problems though.  The first I gradually overcame, but was the cause of many losses early on:  The control system is super awkward.  Many and more are the times when I skipped playing a resource or failed to recover one of my characters.  There’s nothing to be done about the second, which is that the AI is absolutely dire.  The computer uses a couple of heuristics to figure out what it should do, but there are all sorts of situations where they just don’t work, making it fairly easy to defeat even decks that are a lot more powerful than yours.  This problem (along with it being a bit too long/repetitive) convinced me not to go through with completing the hero plotline after I was done with the villain one.

Recommended (assuming you played the card game, otherwise, I’ve no idea).

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