All About Witchblade13
For the past I dont know how many years, Ive been quite the card toting warrior. Battling mostly friends and the occasional friendly match with a stranger in Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and good old Pokémon. As I grew older, some of the games seemed less engaging. Pokémon felt stagnant and Yu-Gi-Oh!, well it had run its course for me. But MTG was always there for me, with something new and shiny (mostly shiny) and some new way to experience the game. In that horizon comes with a lot of fears and hopes.
Now, all I play is Magic the Gathering, however Ive seen a vast emergence, I do use that word lightly, of trading card games. Some are physical but most are digital. Games like Rage of Bahamut, Cabal, Deity Wars, Shadow Era, Carte, the list goes on and on. People complain about the whole paying to win aspect of these digital card games. But thats what the card game is about, buying and trading cards to get ones to fit a players style or even just to collect. Personally Im a player and collector. Mobile card games, these are a very shady bunch. They require players to spend money on so few cards and have a very low chance of obtaining a really good ultra-rare card.
Rage of Bahamut was the first one I tried. It was fun, but felt more like an RPG rather than a card game. The interphase was card focused but more on leveling monster cards, fusing them and enhancing them. To win against other players and quest bosses, it all came down to numbers. Is a players monster card team powerful enough to take on the enemy? It wasnt all that competitive, more recruitment based. A player joins a guild, randomly accepts or adds other players to get points to spend for free on card packs where they get an insane amount of the weakest monster in the game. Once in a blue moon getting any variety. Rage of Bahamut is not the only culprit, Deity Wars and other such games have the same model with a different paint of coat. I realize its all dependent on the player whether or not to spend money on them, really my fear is that this is what people are going to think of when they hear Trading Card Game. And in no absolute way is there any real player interaction other than people asking to trade and join their guild or be in their friend list, for the sole purpose of increasing their own wealth. No hate to those games listed beforehand just business practices like that really hurt the honor of the card game. (I think that sounds like a martial arts movie)
Some people complain of expansion packs for card games and how its hard to get into them with so much that has already been released. I will agree with them, but offer the alternative of wikis and guides, as well as asking other people. The card game community isnt based on elitism; people are generally nice during matches and when spectating. Also they do offer trial decks at comic shops.
As mentioned before there are digital card games that do not suffer the whole money-grabbing tactics of the companies. Hero Mages, is a bit like Dungeons & Dragons. Shadow Era, does have an in game currency but it offers the RPG feel where you duel characters and after you win you get experience and gold. As you level up you get 25 shadow crystals, the currency needed to buy packs and digital card sleeves. What Shadow Era does right is that it doesnt require too much money to be put into it. Players can sell cards they used shadow crystals for to gain gold from the merchant. Then can purchase cards using that gold. So it balances itself out, players dont feel to shamed to be putting money into it. That system also gets rid of any feeling of rushing players to buy more now. Carte, a pc only card game, had a great system, brilliant card art, but failed in the marketplace. It was easy to get single cards in the game. But packs required a lot of cash, and when it was just starting out it was an overload of packs and cards. And for a digital game it didnt have much of a tutorial or guide on buying cards, it felt that way. Digital card games cant make players feel too overwhelmed to buy or purchase in bulk at once just to enjoy the game.
With Pokémon not doing so well in sales from what I gather. Yu-Gi-Oh!, is still going to be around, even if it isnt as strong as before. Magic, need I say more? There is a young cub entering the card game ring. Cardfight Vanguard, or simply Vanguard to players, it has the same humble beginnings as Yu-Gi-Oh!, where players play the game thats played in the anime. Only one difference makes Vanguard more interesting is that if a person watches the anime, they actually learn the real rules. This really impressed me from watching nearly all of Yu-Gi-Oh!, with most of the stuff they do that really isnt in the actual game. Cardfight Vanguard, follows a fantasy story in a reality setting, but puts the card game as a card game not the means to saving the world or sucking away peoples souls. The card games in the anime do get pretty tense, I was watching them as if they were real games. Not wanting to spoil the plot or story but it is highly recommended. Watching the anime made me go through nostalgia with Yu-Gi-Oh!, and I have been considering purchasing a starter deck or two to check it out. Its fan base has been growing since last inquiring about it. Im actually glad that another well-crafted card game can stand up to Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon, while its basically in the infantile stage.
Card games are going through a massive change now that phones and tablets can handle a lot more now. People are missing a lot of good stuff with these Ponzi scheme built mobile games, and are being cheated on most (not all obviously) digital card games. The ratio of getting foils and rare cards drops significantly because its computer based. Shadow Era, for the record has a good ratio for getting good cards and being able to profit from useless ones is good. One game I should have addressed is Eye of Judgment for the Playstation 3, and that one just failed. It seemed like a good idea, had potential but didnt quite get enough people. There is another game called Elemental Monster Online. $5 gets you a booster pack of 24 cards, it seems decent.
(Shadow Era is a bit reminicent of MTG, but with a class focused twist.)
Of course within card games and gaming itself people are going to have to give in some money to buy cards. Its a matter of Is it worth my time to get better at this game? As with any competitive game there are tricks and the like to use. No person should feel burdened to buy a card pack or two, rather fell excited to buy something new to see what they can get and a new deck to utterly own against their opponents. Hopefully Vanguard can stand the test of time and be in the big leagues. And when that happens, I want to be right in the fray.
Lately there have been games that have been video game franchises crossing over with each other. Street Fighter with Tekken, Left 4 Dead is supposedly crossing with Resident Evil. Also there was the Street Fighter X Megaman mash up game, which was honestly pretty cool. Curious as I am, I wonder what other video game franchises would cross well with each other even if they appear to be pretty random and or out of place. There is a lot of possibilities but I will just be doing this as a test to see how my ideas flesh out. Without any further ado, here is a possible crossover I thought up.
Megaman X + Metal Gear Rising + Strider= Strider Cross : Rebirth
I was watching a Lets Play of Strider 2 along with another LP of Metal Gear Rising Revengeance and I got to seeing a possible mixture of these two. Sad to say we havent seen a revival of the Strider franchise in recent years. A game called Moon Diver does make a good attempt to pay homage to it though.
Gameplay: It would be just like the Strider games, side scrolling slash em up. Only with a bit of a Megaman flair. From bosses a player would get powers and special upgradable outfits as well as weapons from major bosses. It would be as fast as Metal Gear Rising, with a parry mechanic that would be easy to learn yet difficult to master for bosses. Each boss comes with a main and substitute weapon drop, allowing players to fully customize Striders weapons as well as his outfit as each main weapon will determine the main look while substitute weapons will change smaller accessories and added armaments. One can save outfit/weapon sets and switch between them in a small menu during gameplay opening players to a certain degree of freedom in playing with various weapons. There will be melee, ranged, and specialty weapons and items. Strider will have his staple robotic animal companions at his side.
Graphics: Strider, foreground, and enemies will be in a sweet anime cell shaded style, while the background will be in crisp high resolution graphics. Reason for this is to give an interesting contrast between foreground and background. So that nothing seems to merely blend in. Strider himself will dawn a new sleek cyborg outfit, because cyborg suits are in this year.
This has been a small taste, I do have another one that involves Magic the Gathering, but I may hold off on that one.
In my last part, I talked about and named off MMOs that were on consoles. And how they fared. This time, I will talk about reasons why there should be more. As well as the pros and cons of C.MMOs.
First off, people rather play MMOs on computers. Some find it simpler and easier to download on their computer while doing other things on their computer or even their console waiting for it to finish. Mouse and keyboard are just what most MMO players are used to. Granted a controller does do well if the game is tailored to that certain mode of gameplay. Having a mouse and keyboard game but using a controller will feel odd, naturally.
Action and gameplay. DC Universe did a fine job at offering weapon combos along with quickly activated skills to mix up battle making it feel fast and intense. Though having a more slower and calmer paced MMO wouldn't be so bad. It would certainly make a person think clearer about what to do next rather than just wanting to get the enemy's health bar down or healing. Which is the problem DCUO faces. It's cut up into the bare bone of classes "Tank", "Heal", "Buff/DeBuff". That's it. Simplicity is fine but having something so bland causes problems in terms of character development.
Installation is also a major issue. Installing a game on a computer is no problem. On a console it varies. DC Universe online took me about 7-8 hours to download/install. Which was quite a lot of waiting but the overall game was worth it. Im pretty sure if I had the disk (I downloaded it from the Playstation Store) it would have been much fasterprobably. Also on a console you cant do anything else but stare at the slowly crawling installation bar.
Its quite a lonely market at the moment. There arent many console MMOs out there. DCUO is one and one could add The Lord of the Rings Guardians of Middle Earth being the first MOBA game to hit consoles. And the ones coming out are pretty far away, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and my personal favorite Blade and Soul. Blade and Soul is out in Korea on pc at the moment but there hasnt been any news of a North American or European release date yet. Thus without much competition there arent many clamoring for the top console MMO title. So its open for any willing to try.
Subscriptions. Now people who want to play a game with a subscription have every right to pay however much the game costs monthly. However, on a console the situation is a bit different. People usually are not going to pay monthly for a game on a console, even if it is an MMO. Also having a free-to-play model coupled with micro transactions also makes players feel a bit relieved of the stress of having to pay to play. Personally Im okay with micro transactions; I can get what I need when I need it without having to put in more- money while having to pay for what I need. Free-to-play is the new way to go, its just a nice gift to gamers so they can play the game, enjoy it, and put money into it if they want/need to. And usually its the latter reason that has many playing Free-to-play MMOs.
Console MMOs offer easier access for players who dont have a powerful enough computer to run the PC version. It allows a pretty much ignored player base to experience the game and have a unique MMO experience. It would be epic to see TERA Online or some other MMOs on consoles. I remember reading in Game Informer awhile back that Perfect World Entertainment was considering putting Jade Dynasty on consoles, but seems that was just an idea. Way to crush my dreams P.W.E.
A new way to play for gamers. Having controller based combos along with the usual skills greatly opens up a whole new means of deepening class and player skill. One person may play a tank differently than another. As seen with DCUO, players can mix a wide range of weapons and powers together in unique ways that makes everyone feel quite original to a point.
Leveling and character progression in terms of skills. C.MMOs shouldn't have to rush players to reach max level only to find that they have to grind money to get more gear. There should be a balance of fun with progression instead of pushing players to keep playing and finding themselves at max level with little to do.
Fear of failure. Many developers are probably pretty unsure of how players would feel about their MMO going from PC to console or going straight to console. It would be great to see more MMOs on consoles really. That fear and uncertainty is warranted. There are many things that could make gamers shy of playing a console MMO, besides the usual They are better on PC argument. Not to mention glitches. No one likes glitches in a game, and sad to say some MMOs post-launch do suffer from glitches still but people still play them because they are enjoyable.
Console MMOs are few and far between, it is a very open genre that has potential really. If an MMO is done well enough to work on a controller and run spectacularly on a console then its worth the merit to be played. Developers shouldnt be afraid to port their MMOS to consoles or even make console specific MMOs, it is certainly something worth venturing in. For now the world can only wait and imagine what the future of this genre has, and enjoy what has already been offered.
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