Reviewed: March 24, 2007
Released: February 27, 2007
Trading Card games are not really meant to be played on a little screen like the PSP or Nintendo DS but it can be, and if you’re a fan of Marvel comics or trading card games this one may just be the answer. Marvel Trading Card Game from Konami is based on the Upper Deck Entertainment’s Marvel Trading Card Game and puts all the clutter of trading cards in the palm of your hand.
The trading card game is a simple premise with two players, a bunch of cards and turn by turn attacks based on the cards and rules. The rules, if you’ve never played a trading card game before, are rather difficult and you will definitely need the tutorials. But there is a lot of worthwhile gameplay here for those diehard Marvel fans or fans of trading card games in general.
You will definitely need to run through at least some of the tutorials unless you have played this before. The game uses lots of rules, lots of special situations and plenty of tiny little figures to keep everything straight. You’re given cards from your deck that you use to attack your opponent with. There are four types of cards for you to use against your opponents; characters, equipment, plot twists and locations.
Each type of card is exactly what it sounds like, they left little to the imagination here even with the title. To start off any match you place one card in your resource row, each card in the resource row is worth one point. To recruit cards to the front row or support row that you attack from you need to meet the resource requirements of that card.
Remember that each card in the resource row is worth one point so and each card you want to use has a resource requirement so building up enough decent characters and equipment will take time. After your recruitment phase to the front or support row you arrange the cards in those rows how you want, then attack your opponent.
Attacks happen to the front row and the supporting row is usually protected by them except when the front row character is stunned. There are all kinds of other things, rules and such, that occur and must be adhered to during the games matches but you get the idea. After attacks you recover your characters by saving one stunned character and any other stunned must be discarded.
The gameplay is a very long and complicated strategy or tactical card game that you can play against the AI opponent of the PSP or against real live opponents online or by AD Hoc or local setup. Online you can play several different types of games such as tournaments, single ranked games or practice games.
Online you have to register your account and get your starter deck. From the starter deck you can buy new cards to create up to five decks to be used online. In sealed tournaments you will have to purchase new sets to use in the tournament so everyone starts off fairly but in open tournaments you can use your card decks. There is a lot to do here if you’re into trading card games but it seems like you will have to buy some cards if you want to get anywhere in this game for the online play.
Marvel comics uses some great looking artistic graphics and drawings and the PSP Marvel Trading Card Game on the PSP is no exception. I really love the opening scene and the play is pretty good for the most part. The cards are very well drawn when you play them but that is the problem. The whole screen is very small to try and give you so much information at one time as well as enjoy the nice drawings and graphics.
The game is played out with three rows for each side and you also need some other information about points and resources, what step or phase your on and what each card is. This means so very little room to work with but they have done a pretty good job. Behind your rows are little partly transparent backdrop scenes of characters as well as the nice cards for each character, plot twist or whatever.
The graphics are pretty good and the scenes of each attack look very good with each card popping up on the screen and the action and outcome of the fight. There is not much here as far as graphics other than the great artistic drawings of the Marvel universe.
The audio in Marvel Trading Card Game is pretty much basic music themed to the Marvel comics of all the various characters. If you’ve heard one of the popular Marvel movies you’ve heard what is in this game. There is not much here for sound or audio but what there is plays just fine.
The single player campaign has two modes that are nice practice after you run through the games tutorials. You will really need to practice and get the hang of this game before rushing into online matches or the even tougher tournaments. The story mode single player campaign offers a good challenge and after successfully completing a battle you unlock the next part of the story.
The story mode is played from either a good guy or bad guy perspective with the story matching the side you choose. The Challenge mode of the single player campaign is a step by step playoff against ever harder AI opponents that you unlock playing in the story mode. At first only three opponents are available for you to play against but as you defeat more in the story mode more become unlocked in the Challenge mode.
The multiplayer modes include practice and ranked matches as well as user created and sponsored tournaments. You buy your trading cards online and can even play against other opponents that are playing from their PC or Nintendo DS. There are plenty of things to do with Marvel Trading Card game as long as you like this type of strategic card game. It does take some getting used to but is a very interesting and challenging game.
Marvel Trading Card Game is a pretty good game for its small problems. The size of the screen is not very good for this type of game but you can play it fairly well. This is not the type of game you can just pick and play for a few minutes but need to devote a chunk of time to it.
Marvel Trading Card Game is worth a look if your interested in this type of strategy turn based game. Konami has done a very good job adding this game to the PSP handheld system.