daavpuke's Marvel Trading Card Game (PC) review

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  • daavpuke has written a total of 24 reviews. The last one was for Catherine

Not unplayable, but if you're not into it, you won't get into it.

 What could be better than reading comics? Playing with comics and seeing those characters dance to your will. It is in theory, at least.

I'll try to keep it brief: Marvel Trading Card Game holds something only for fans of this particular TCG. And in the very large spectrum of available games, this isn't quite the large audience one would suspect.

I started with the idea that I love comics. Spider-man was one of my favourite cartoons and seeing those come to life from the very first chapter, was something I couldn't wait to see. Given, I'm also a big Magic: The Gathering nut and this combo just could not fail. Again, that's in theory. Marvel TCG, leastwise combines both the power of comics with the gameplay of TCG, to sway it's fans and more into their world. A bold approach, I'm sure, but perhaps not the wisest. Straight from the start, I experienced that this was something you either love, or completely hate.

The problem with these Trading Card Games are that it only appeals to someone who will already have a knack for it. As comics do also interest select audiences, the pool of people it could appeal to, remains rather small. And, since I qualified for said things, I gave it a shot.

Marvel TCG is presented beautifully, as a comic game should! Menus and backgrounds are filled with nice comic panels, twisted away in a futuristic setting. A menu can be accessed by sliding away another and everything looks awesome. From the drawings to the amazing use of cel-shaded graphics, it's all good. At first sight, anyway. Coming more into the game, you notice that graphics won't hold much more than that first appeal of panels. Effects, attacks and such will not be portrayed as gloriously as they could have been. All in all, it will remain cards flipping about on a comic background. A damn shame, as this could've turned out much better, which it sort of had to! Shame on you, Marvel. Think for example of an attack that consists of a standard beam going to another card, accompanied by a crashing sound. Now, I grew up on Atari, so I'm used to working my imagination, but this should've been animated. More so, it should've blown my mind every move I made. We're talking about the creator of dreams, taking the easy way out. What were they thinking?

It's not all bad though. In between battles, you'll get rewarded with more graphic novel cutscenes. This will tell the story of the campaign in true comic styIe with a fast pace and a sharp wit to accompany it. A way to get you from boring battle to boring battle, I suppose.

Because, here's where the game breaks down. I'm not saying it's unplayable, but if you're not into it, you won't get into it. A battle consists of building up your cards as resources and putting down cards as creatures. Those have attributes of attack and defence and can be accompanied by other cards to boost or cripple them. In short, any variant of TCG you know will apply. However, this type of Trading Card Game is not a kind that's easily appreciated. Most games I played boiled down to no tactics at all. Either you're in the battle from the start or you're down from the start. And then, chances you'll win, will come down to your opponent not drawing cards or you hitting some incredible luck. Either way, in any battle, it will boil down to who has the biggest "assets". There are subtle ways to counter an attack, but they won't ever make or break your game. So, if you thought flipping cards was boring, just bashing your foes with dudes turn after turn is not going to help the matter.

It's such a tragedy, because games like Magic: The Gathering can be so much fun. In fact, they can build a wide variety of tactics to give everyone something to love. This game, does not, it's as easy as that.

So, if you're not a hardcore fan, you'll get little enjoyment, more than watching Spidey and friends tear it up a few scenes. After that, the card turning becomes to basic and dull to continue and you'll likely watch Tobey Maguire or Hugh Jackman instead. And that is a sad note to conclude things with.
Dear Marvel, next time, please fine-tune your game or overflow us with your magic. Preferably, do both.
Thank you. 

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