By crithon 31 Comments
I really don't get Card Games.
So, my sister's husband has dragged me into Hearthstone thanks to a long teaching lesson from his brother. So it's the three of us playing with one another just for fun no real sense of direct competition. He's doing a heavy amount of teaching because even with tutorials are loosing my interest.
A bit of history with me. For the past 20 years, I've had a bad relationship with trading card games. Early on, I would say I was a casual paper and pencil RPG fan but that would be of an exaggeration since all we really did was spend time drawing from of the Monster Manual, eating Cheetos and listening to Manowar. But once the craze kicked in, my best friends would try to teach me how to play, and I would fall asleep on them. This would continue even long into art school where I was asked to draw cards for friends and still fall asleep while playing games with cards I had just made. And even now, I'd discover someone like my cousin who lives in France showing me a Magic card art he adores and frames it above his computer monitor. The still art looks like a squiggly mess.... and this coming from an artist.
I don't hate TCG genre, I know people love it and it's something special for them. But I feel like around 1995 when it hit big there was a point where I realized I loved Street Fighter more. And it had a lot more to do with that direct input and reward mechanic of performing a move. Now, the skill of fighting games aren't easy, they take time, as much time as strategy games themselves. But I do feel that mastery is still immediate. You can spend 80 hours in an RPG finding an epic armor set but I can still perform a dragon punch as the round starts. The waiting and the randomness of card games turn me off when I want bright creative Capcom sprite animation.
Now here's Hearthstone.... you could say this is really catered to me, a person who doesn't consider myself a trading card gamer. The presentation is over the top silliness..... still not keeping me awake. There's still a bit of fun with the audio from WoW..... still I'm looking for a volume option, and keep hitting any button to skip the little dialog. The art is actually better then most TCG I have come across..... but they are so small and blurry when zoomed in even blown up on a larger Computer Monitor. There is no way to zoom in to fill up the whole screen, still my sister's husband's brother has found a way to put it as his cell phone wallpaper. A silly Swamp thing looking card, wonder if Alan Moore should be depressed about this? "Maw-gic Cave"
I've been playing since Saturday and I must confess, it's handled better then I imagined. The gem system and turns makes sense and it's easy to fallow even on modest simple matches. A friendly Peon worker Orc sound effect to tell me I could perform every move is there to assure me I'm read. The game is designed more to have impact on each card drop, and it's a bit silly how it looks but it's effective. The unpacking cards is actually very creative way to keep the free element and enjoy the presentation of unpacking a real set of cards. These are elements I can respect. I can kinda see how some people are hooked, but it's not getting me there yet. Even with my small group of friends to play with I don't think I will continue playing it with them. I feel I might loose one purpose to at least let them feel better about themselves.
Right now, my main problem is that I am slapping cards down. Any cards, it doesn't matter I just don't care for strategy. Because they are just digital cards that really have no value in my own mind. Honestly, I keep turning my head up and looking at these VHS tapes of Lone Wolf and Cub series and wonder if I could beg my neighbor to barrow her VHS player while she's away for Europe this week. The value I placed to them is a big different, since they were given to me by my best friend who bought them in a flea market 10 years ago, and I'll probably use them to be inspired with.
the allure of fixing the tracking of a worn down VHS tape is it's own reward.