Product Type: Konami Nintendo DS games
Newest Review: ... player into increasingly difficult matches and that's about it. The card game itself lost me early on, unfortunately. I do not intend to... more
You can't even play snap.
Marvel Trading Card Game (DS)
Member Name: illogicology
Marvel Trading Card Game (DS)
Advantages: Some nice artwork, intricate game rules all included.
Disadvantages: Slow, complex, poor tutorial, interface issues.
Marvel Trading Card Game is a very complex game spawned out of a very basic concept. A computer version of the real life game is worked into a loose story involving famous Marvel characters. This story is told through some very pleasant comic book art that is clean and sharp on the DS screen, always looking authentic and well put together. Each "Chapter" of the story contains a few card battles and progressing through them will unlock new cards, "puzzles" and continue the story. The story itself is not very deep, serving as little more than a framework to put the player into increasingly difficult matches and that's about it.
The card game itself lost me early on, unfortunately. I do not intend to go into great depth with the rules, they are numerous and intricate even at the earliest stages. It involves taking turns picking cards, placing them, placing things on them and drawing new cards through multiple phases (Build, Recruit, Combat, Recovery) to make up a "battle." Cards come in multiple forms but essentially consist of either characters to fight one another and effects to help or hinder. It's a tedious system to get used to and not terribly exciting but I imagine it is an accurate recreation of the tabletop game. There is a tutorial included but it is a slow, lengthy affair that lacks interaction. Where a step by step "now you try" approach might have one me over, the game merely includes a point by point description of the rules like a player's manual. Unfortunately, once you've used the tutorial you have to start a new game to run through it again. A flip through rulebook or tips function would have cleared things up immensely. I did my best to muddle through for a while but eventually gave up with the long, slow and dull battles. To be fair to the game however, my experience is likely to be very different to someone who has played the original game or has a lot of experience with similar hobbies.
The adaptation of the game to the DS itself seemed to be a little problematic. The DS is held like a book with all the action taking place on the left screen, the right screen is generally unused until you tap a card. The right screen then displays a detailed view of the card in question. While being able to view the cards in detail is an essential function, it is not necessary to examine them and look at the entire play area the whole time. The game could have adjusted very easily to fit across both screens, it has a dual area setup anyway (for you and your opponent opposite) and you are not required to interact with your opponent's cards quite to regularly. This might seem like a minor issue but it would allow much more space to the various intricate controls needed to play the card game. Inspecting a card could then cover the opponent's area briefly, as the game is turn based with consequences invisible to the other player until the "Pass" button is pressed, the player could take as long a look as was needed without issue. These issues are more universal and would probably be of just as much annoyance to the Trading Card Game veterans.
Lastly, the game suffers from some issues of presentation. While the comic art used to relay the story, such as it is, remains attractive and well designed, everything else isn't. The meager resolution of the screen is needed to resolve fiddly little cards and buttons, very little of the original card's art is preserved and in general the game feels a little cheap. The sound is functional enough but is often drowned out by repetitive, over dramatic background music that I could have done without.
I suppose Marvel Trading Card Game is a little hard for me to judge. It is an unusual product, a game of another game that is best suited to the original players. But then who is it aimed at? Spider-Man and Wolverine leap enthusiastically off the cover as an invitation to comic fans everywhere but the game itself is such a niche product. I can criticise its poor interface elements fairly enough but I'm not sure where I stand on a game that is clearly not aimed at me. I didn't like it and I think most people reading this won't like it; is it a bad game? No. It's a complicated, fiddly, card game, authentically adapted onto the DS with some technical niggles and somebody out there has a DS all for it.
Summary: Fiddly, a little awkward and slow.
More reviews in the field of Nintendo DS Game
- Jewel Quest Mysteries 3 - The Seventh Gate (DS)
- Call of Duty: World at War (DS)
- Lego Ninjago - Game plus DVD (DS)
- Beat City (DS)
- Secrets of the Titanic (DS)
- Ben 10 Omniverse (DS)
- Ice Age Continental Drift (DS)
- Jewel Link Galactic Quest (DS)
- Mystery Stories: Curse of the Ancient Spirits (DS)
- TMNT Arcade Attack (DS)