Review: Final Fantasy Trading Card Game – JRPG on the table
„Listen to my story. This could be our last chance.“ [Tidus, FF X]
And there will be several stories joined into one, because today, we get all these unique and unforgettable stories of Final Fantasy games bleded together in box called Final Fantasy Trading Card Game (TCG). Author of the game is Mr. Kageyama. Illustrations of the story were taken care of by authors of the original graphic, Yoshitaka Amano and Tetsuya Nomura. Published by its licensee Square Enix in 2016 and distributed by Esdevium Games.
And because it is a collectible game (TCG = trading card game), players will get their ration of cards in a small white box titles Starter Set. Each Final Fantasy game has its own color-coded lines on side of the box. Middle of the packaging has a window, through which players gain insight into its heart. Cards are well protected, because they are hidden inside plastic blister. You will find fifty cards in there, together with folded paper plan and one sheet outlining the rules.
Before the beginning, each player can create his own deck out of all the cards in his possession. It does not matter from which set or booster this cards are in their origin. By doing this, he needs to meet only one rule – no card can be represented more than three times in there. Each of two rivals must have his package ready, shuffle it and set it on specified space on his plan to form a drawing pile. Both rivals draw top five cards from there to make their starting hand (with one chance for a mulligan).
At the beginning of each round, player draws two new cards from his deck. Then he can play them after paying the price (at least one point in the element corresponding to played card) to set new character on the battlefield. Fighters are divided into offensive and support. And then, there is a special category for summons, which are huge magical creatures bordering with gods. Their skills (text written on the card) can be also used for action.
But how to obtain necessary resources? They can either be gathered by dulling the supporting card (turning it by 90 degrees), providing players with one crystal point or discard (irreversibly) a card from hand. Such sacrifice will rewards owner straight with two points, also in the element accodring to discarded card.
But at that moment, when a summon card (or card effect) is used, players can use layering of effects. Rival of active player may use another card to react, either another summon or using text capabilities of some card. Such reaction package is then evaluated from upper card downwards, so the answer always comes up first. After performing any number of actions, that allowed him to use resources, player can finally attack opponent’s army.
Active player chooses one character to attack with (he can not use already exhausted character or vice versa hero immediately after being played). Opponent also chooses his soldier to block the attack. Both heroes attack simultaneously and each would take damage according to enemy stats. If this number equals or exceeds number of his lives, this character is broken and moves to the corresponding package. Attack can be carried out in groups, if more heroes under player command belong to the same element.
Other things happen, when a defensive player did not stand in the way of attack (because he did not want or could not) with any hero. In this case, attacked player takes damage directly and must take top card of his drawing deck and move it to damage row.
At the end of the round, player can still carry out actions and other events as before fighting, reacting to battle outcomes, and still has to discard any excess cards to hold maximum of five. Only then he passes the word to his rival, who first stands back all of his characters (which can be used now), draws two cards from his deck and continues with regular turn.
Taking direct hits and injuries is one of the ways to lose. If a player gets seventh direct scratch (= card to injury row), he is immediately defeated. Losing occurs even in the event, when player needs to draw another card from his pile, but it is already empty. At that moment, it is always clear, which of the opponents is the winner.
Final Fantasy TCG is a purebred dueling card game. There is already quite a lof of these on the market and many of them are very good. It should therefore be no reason to take home with you this new. And even given the collector effect, which forces you to be constantly buying booster packs? Actually, the last sentence is the answer. Collectible games are not so usual these days and tension of opening booster pack is something to remember. Other games (I am looking at you, LCG!) cannot replace that feeling. Of course, it has a shady financial side.
This new game, however, is primarily amazing addition for all fans of digital Final Fantasy games, that in a few cases can even be found on PC. But they mostly dominated console market and offers tremendous stories and experiences for lovers of RPG games. Essentially, it’s a separate branch called JRPG (Japanese RPG). And as such, it has a huge base of fans, who certainly are happy to see anything with this brand come out. Its just like we mentioned with Skylanders.
Fortunately, they will not be disappointed, because Final Fantasy TCG is from any perspective a hilarious game. It does not have anything absolutely new to brag about, but it has some interesting elements, like live points counted in thousands. There are characters and monsters from most famous adventures, so everyone will find his favourite hero or heroine.
Purchase and activation of cards is dependent on eight elements. Players must have a foundation of supporting characters on the board or sacrifice cards from their hand. Only then are they able to move forward with their development. Special effects, direct attacking of rivals or chance to block enemy attacks. But the most interesting is stacking cards with summons and ability to respond, which makes combat a real delicacy.
Always only two adversaries compete and their games have clearly defined limits. Once they run out of cards, it’s over. Winner is the better. The game is not somehow extremely dependent on luck, because it is mainly about compilation of your deck before the match even starts. Luck is then hidden only in shuffling and drawing cards. Game itself has no luck in it, even in battles.
Graphics on the cards is quite nice. Although it is a copy directly from the games (sometimes of poorer quality), but it all works well and compactly. It has correct distribution of printed gaming values and important information on the cards. Everything is clear and simple, including the game rules.
Final Fantasy TCG is pleasant and very confrontational card game. It is clearly focused on fights, that can be done in several ways. Characters also have special abilities and offer all the important and interesting personalities from games. Final Fantasy TCG is a sturdy duel card game, which is especially suitable for fans of Final Fantasy games.