Marvel Trading Card Game

Reviewed by Martin Henely, Posted on 2007-08-26


Developer: Engine Software Publisher: Konami
Release Date: May 22, 2007 Also On: PSP

Card battle videogames are nothing new. Indeed, due to such licenses as Yu-Gi-Oh, theyíve been around for a while. In the past few years, however, the concept has been applied to other things. A few months ago, a game was released bearing the DragonballZ name that used the concept. But now Konami has seen fit to release such a game utilizing characters from Marvel comic books. Is this game a worth looking at for the fan of card-battling games? Read on to find out.

Graphically, the game looks okay. The graphics give off the appearance of a comic book, up to and including the fact that the textboxes look like they would if they were in a comic book. However, this comic book appearance comes at the cost that there are no fancy graphical effects. Still, this isnít the type of game that one is going to play for its graphical prowess, so its graphical simplicity is forgivable.

In terms of sound, the sound effects are okay, but they arenít anything worth getting too excited about. All of the plot progression, the tutorials, everything of that kind is carried out through textboxes, so there is no voice acting to be had in this game. Musically, I guess the game is okay, although it has too little variety to it, and what music there is will get old since battles will tend to take a long time. So, overall, the sound is average. Perhaps youíd be better off listening to a CD instead since the sound plays no integral role in the game, but the sound isnít abysmal either.

So far as gameplay is concerned, as I mentioned earlier, this is a card battle game. This isnít an overly simplistic one either. Fans of Yu-Gi-Oh and the like will find that this particular card game is about as complex as those are. For the serious fan of card battles, this will be a plus, but the game makes little effort to acclimate itself to those who are less familiar with the concept of card battling. The difficulty of the game is fairly high at the outset for those unfamiliar, even assuming that they have read through the tutorial.

As long as weíre discussing the tutorial, let me say a bit more about it. The beginning of game tutorial is quite lengthy. Itís always a bad sign when the beginning of game tutorial is so long that it takes more than half an hour to read it all for the fastest of readers. And yet, the tutorial to this game seriously is that long, just an omen of how complex this game really is to play.

However, with all this complexity comes many options. You have characters to recruit, equipment to arm them with, locations and other cards that change conditions in the battle. This isnít a pick-up-and-play card battle game like DragonballZ: Harukanaru Densetsu, but a legitimately complex game, which is both good and bad, good because those who care to learn it will have the enjoyment of having more things that they can do, but bad because most people will give up rather quickly when their lack of understanding of the intricacies causes them to get their butts kicked multiple times in the first battle of the story mode (which I know can happen, as it happened to me).

The story mode is incredibly lengthy, as each battle tends to take at least half an hour to forty-five minutes and there are many battles within the story mode. But, on top of that you have a challenge mode that can be played in single-player, so even for the single player this game will last quite a while. But, if you have a friend who also has a copy of this game, you can play against that person in multiplayer, or, barring that, you can take the game online and play against somebody else that way. Third-party DS games with online multiplayer are still uncommon, so the inclusion of that option is a definite plus for this game. All of these options add up to a game that, assuming you donít become frustrated with it, has great potential to last a very long time.

What then is my conclusion? If you are a serious fan of card battle games, this is an excellent game to look into buying, as it likely has everything you would look for in such a game. If you are not a serious fan of card battle games, Iíd start out with something simpler, such as the aforementioned DragonballZ: Harukanaru Densetsu, or just avoid the genre altogether. If you arenít sure how youíd feel about a game like this, rent it or borrow it from somebody who has it before laying down too much money to buy it.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 6
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 6.5
Written by Martin Review Guide

Reviewed by Martin Henely