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Ok I believe I wasn't the only person who thought 'fantastic an AR game that is also an TCG (trading card game) at the same time, the developers really thought out a plan to milk us for all the money they can get from fans', that was until I tried the game with a friend, then went and bought the game the next day.
The game's rules are very simple take control over the majority of the playing field and you win, and since the playing field only consists of 9 squares as soon as you have total control over 5 you win.
Now the PlayStation 3 cam or eyetoy 3 or better known as the PlayStation eye is pretty impressive in this respect, as the need of tracking multiple cards is no small job and you can't do that with a low resolution camera.
The game gives you all the props you need to play the game, the matt, the cards (well start pack anyway) and the playstation eye, plus a special stand to mount the playstation eye so that it'll be at the right angle and distance. setting up is very easy, and even the most novice of gamers will not have trouble setting it up, the only problem would be finding space to set up if you live in a small apartment or just very messy.
The graphics is just enough for this type of game, the first couple of times when I summon a monster, the animation and music just blew me away, and kinda still makes me smile like a 5 year old.
Although I truely enjoyed the game as a game and as a TCG, I cannot help but think that the developers could have choose to make an existing TCG game into this type of game.
After a long time in development, and originally being intended for release on the PS2, Sony launched the Eye of Judgment along with the PS3's version of the Eye Toy. The games did originally retail at £69.99 with camera included and for me has been one of the most underrated titles on the consoles and one which is worth looking into.
The game is basically a card game. Card based games into which you "battle" other players, made wider known by the Pokemon card game which was a craze around the world, are popular throughout the world particularly in Asia and Sony intended to cash in on this by making a title on its new system.
In the box you get the game on disc, a starter pack of cards, the playing mate, the PS3 eye toy and the Eye Toy stand. To set the game up you ideally needs a flat surface. You place your playing mate, which is essentially nine squares on a 3 x 3 grid underneath the camera which is mounted on the stand. You need a bit of space to set it up but not too much. Avoid any over lighted areas or areas too dark (can cause problems with cameras detecting the cards). Then to play simply insert the disc, get a game going and scan the cards you wish to use in the relevant places on the mat and youll see whatever creature or action you chose represented on the screen.
Is it fiddly to set up? Not really it takes less than 2 minutes and the only problem you may encounter are the light issues but after years of playing this now I have had maybe one or two annoyances with this and that's all. As I said, just avoid bright and dark areas and youre fine.
The game itself is a simple head to head battle which can be played against either the computer or over the PS network with other players. To this day its still very very busy online and very very competitive so don't worry about having no one to play. The game is hugely popular in Japan by the number of players online.
The object of the game is to defeat the other teams by gaining control of 5 of the 9 squares by using a mix of straight out attacks, clever tactics using the three game elements (some machines work best on certain land types and will die on others) and spell cards. It may sound tricky and at first can be baffling to get your head round but the game has a great tutorial, has a good learning curve and a great community so its easy enough to learn and once up and running its great fun. Don't be put off if you think it sounds complicated as its really not once you have put the time and effort into getting the basics. Once you get the basic, probably after 3-4 games against the AI you just learn from experience.
You get 30 cards in the pack which sets you up and gives you a good basis to start matches. There are over 200 cards to collect now and it will be expensive getting them all but you really don't need them all to be competitive against AI and online. Buy a few packs and get a few decent cards and that's all youll need. Maybe set aside £20 or so on top of the price if you really wanted to take it seriously or maybe try and pick up packs on ebay from gamers tired of this now. Its very fun and addictive coming up with sets of cards to use in your team and combinations.
Fans of card games will love it but may find it a bit straightforward whereas for others it will be a good introduction to a hobby millions have over the world.
Its innovative, unique and unlike anything else out there. It's a different gaming experience from the norm and whilst is does require an investment of time, effort, patience and a bit more cash to boost cards, its well worth it!
Also on CIAO
The eye of Judgment (yes it does seem to be missing an E doesnt it?) is a PS3 game from the master of trading card games: Wizards of the Coast.
For years I've been a big fan of the Magic the Gathering trading card games, and thought Id take the plunge and give this game a go.
Whats unique about this game is that it actually used with physical cards, and a playmat. How it works is that there is a playstation eye (effectively a webcam, which is included) suspended above the playmat. You then play by placing cards tactically on the mat, either playing against the computer or with another online, or by playing against someone in the room with you.
From my knowledge of Magic, I'd say that this game falls somewhere between the Magic game, and the card sidegame from Final Fantasy VIII. That comparison will probably not mean much to most people, but if you do happen to be in the small community of people who are familiar with both things, then this game definately falls somewhere between.
What I like about this game (along with the excellent gimmick of animating your cards and actions in full next gen graphics onscreen), is that card state can be saved. To give an example of this, in magic if one of your creatures are attacked, at the end of your go their health is fully replenished (obviously a setback of a standard card game where it would be too difficult to keep track of the ongoing status of your creatures. The benefit of this game therefore is that all different statistics of your creatures can be changed (using spells and the like), and your playstation happily keeps track of this for you.
Generally the aim of the game is to occupy 5 out of the 9 squares (3x3 layout) by using creature cards. You can give aid to your creatures (or the opposite to your opponents creatures) buy casting spells (sorcery cards). On a high level its as simpe as that, but it is generally a pretty complicated and tricky game to get the hang of.
With the game you get the 30 card starter deck, but on release there were a total of 110 cards to collect (via pre constructed theme decks or random 'booster' packs), but there has since been 2 more expansions released, adding around 200 more cards to collect. If you are wanting to collect every card then chances are this will turn out to be a pretty expensive hobby (it also costs to update your game to be compatible with the latest cards), but in my opinion if its your kind of thing then it is alot more immersive than run of the mill games. The more cards that get released the more card combinations you can make, and effectively have an infinite possibilities of games and fun.
If this is your type of thing, and you are willing to spend time to really appreciate it, and dont mind spending tens of pounds after your initial purchase, then this will be an extremely rewarding investment.