Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Eye of Judgment Review

Eye of Judgment Review:

It's not your traditional card game. Eye of Judgment is a card game build for the PS3 (A later version was ported tot he PSP) The game showed off what the Playstation Eye could do.

Eye of Judgment is played with real life cards, and the Playstation 3 by using the Playstation Eye to read the cards. For those of you who don't know, you might be asking yourself, why do I need the Playstation Eye to play a card game?

It's simple! It comes down to the fact that Eye of Judgment PS3 games, uses the camera to read the card, and then on your Television a 3D model of your creature emerges. It's a really cool concept, each card has a specific pattern on it, and the game is programed to read that pattern, the placement of the card (Facing North, South, East, or West) and displays a virtual rendition of that card.

The game is kind of played like a bunch of other card games, taking some parts from one or another but really giving it a nice unique feeling that can not be ignored.

The game is played on a 9 field board, 3x3 setup like this:

This is what the play mat looks like. The Camera symbol on each of the four sides shows where the camera can be set up, the two little symbols next to it are Discard pile, Library.

Just a basic rundown, I'm not going into full detail here:

Each person (This is a two player game) draws 5 cards from their 30 card deck (no more, no less) During each person's turn they get 2 mana at the start. This is used to activate cards, e.g. use a spell, place a creature, activate a creature, etc.

The goal of the game is to occupy 5 of the 9 tiles on the board before your opponent does. It's sounds simple, but it's really not.

There use to be 4 ways to “play a game” they are as follows:

  • Human vs Cpu
  • Cpu vs Cpu
  • Human vs Human (Offline on the same PS3)
  • Human vs Human (Online)

Online was discontinued about 3 years ago, so that ends online play.

One of the best things you co do for yourself though, (especially if your new to this game) is to put the Cpu on the highest skill setting and watch them battle it out. Starting off the only deck registered is the starter deck that you get. After that you can make and register more decks, which is great. You can buy a theme deck, use the Playstation Eye mode in deck builder so it reads the cards and adds it to the deck list, then have the cpu's battle it out to get an understanding of how the decks plays out.

The graphics are pretty good in my opinion. The field looks nice, there's animation in the field. The using of spells, or summoning creatures looks really well thought out. The 3D animations are also really good, the 3D animations give this an extra point in the graphics department because they are animated in the battles (kind of a given) but they are also animated when not doing anything, just waiting around, you can see them move. It gives it a nice realism, which is one thing that really raises the bar.

Story = NONE. No really none, the PSP version has a story part, but the PS3 version does not. I guess you could say that the main intro of the game is the story, but by itself, there is not story mode where you can go around and fight enemies.

Learning Curve = WTF??? This game does a good job of explaining the rules to you, but it would be better to watch a video on youtube since they go more in depth in letting you know the little ins and outs of this game. Even setting the CPU level to beginner for noobs will still pose a good challenge to you if you don't know what your doing. I learned more from youtube than I did from this game, so take my advice, as someone who's been playing card game for well over a decade now, I found learning easier online watching and listening to others. Also learn how to use the action cards, like turn end, action, status, cancel) these are special cards that don't go into the deck, but stay off to the side. Action card will let you attack with a specific creature that you play it down on. Status let you check the status of all cards on the field, turn end, well ends your turn. Cancel card, cancels the current event.

Music is well tricky, the music is really great on one hand, but sucks on the other. There's one song that plays more than anything else, unless you or your opponent gets put into check. While I do know that there is an OST for this game, I've only heard a few metal songs in the game, so like I said, it's good on one hand, but bad on the other.

Replayability = hardly any if you only have one deck, A.K.A. The starter deck. With more decks, you can try out more things and can even go against those decks with the CPU to see what they might tend to play, to give you a better understanding on how the deck works. Plus you can always play 2 players on the same PS3 and just have fun with a buddy!

The main problem that this game had was the launch price of it. The game came bundled (and still does on Amazon, only much cheaper) With the PS3 game, Playstation Eye camera, Play Mat, Camera Stand, (The camera has to be pointed down towards the mat in order to see all of the cards) Starter Deck, and a Booster Pack. All of this was launched at $59.99 which is your typical starting price point for Playstation 3 games, the only problem was the fact that the Playstation Eye was relatively new and people didn't really know what other things you could do with it.

The kill shot for this game though was Sony's statement that these cards could not be copied. Well it didn't take very long for that to be proven false as I believe the same year that this game came out, people were already proving that they could copy the cards. Sony's master plan failed because the Playstation Eye is not a high resolution camera, so your average Joe could take a scan of a card, print it off and use it, both offline and online. Due to this Wizards of the Coast, dropped the game (I believe after the second set) Hasbro took over the third and final set, and the game was discontinued I believe literally the next year after it's release. Another problem was when the second and third set were released, you have to buy, BUY Eye of Judgment DLC in order to use those cards. Call me crazy, but spending $100's of cards, physical cards, to then say well you can't use this unless you buy these DLC is Greedy 101 and was a contribution factor in the game's demise since who would buy the DLC to then be able to use the physical cards?

With all of that said though, Eye of Judgment had a very nice run as a card game, spanned three sets, 10 different starter decks, with many different booster packs.

While I wouldn't tell someone to make copies of cards and sell them online or sell them to a person face to face as real cards, (because that would be an evil bastard thing to do) I would say that if you want to play certain decks, or certain cards.


Set 1 cards, don't print them. They are still super easy and cheap to find, I believe the five theme decks are about $40.00 on amazon for all 5. Booster Packs can be had for relatively cheap.

However set 2 booster packs are at least double what set one is, and the theme decks for set 2 (if you can find them, amazon has only one of them for sale as of this review) are going for $65.00 and UP.

Set 3 cards are even more expensive still and I don't see the need for it TBH.

In the end I give this game a 9 out of 10

I feel that they took a chance with this game, and did very well with it. They could have done a better job with how the cards work, or maybe only have a few real cards for a deck and when the game say you get this card, you can choose (in the game) which card to use and place a card done that corresponds to it. Similarity to how the action cards work, but have 5 action creature cards, and some action spell cards. If they did the game that way, they there would have been loss of money from people printing off the cards. However with them doing the game this way, at least you can play without the PS3, granting you make your own Eye of Judgment field.

Remember, if you want to piss about, print the cards. If you want to scam people and sell them, don't it's wrong and not cool!

Friday, June 14, 2013

RetroN 5 E3 update

Hyperkin unveiled their RetroN 5 at E3 this year and let me tell you, it looks fantastic!

Update time for RetroN 5, but first for those who didn't catch my posts a few months back,


Please check it out, it seriously will change the face of retro gaming for the good.

Basic rundown (for those who don't want to read all of it) RetroN 5 will play, NES, SNES, Genesis, GB, GBC, GBA, Famicom, Super Famicom, Mega Drive. For those keeping track, that 9 different forms of media, spanning many years of awesome games. No longer will it be hindered by lockout chips of any kind, and sound is as good or better than original (not kidding)

We now got some pictures of this thing! HUZZA!!!!!!!!!!!

Rest are from www.engadget.com
This little device packs a lot of retro goodness inside of it. and I can't wait for this tom come out.

My sources tell me that this should arrive by September and Hyperkin is still saying that this will be under $100


Monday, June 10, 2013

Sorry about the long absence + Mario Golf 64 Review

I've been working 6+ days a week lately and I really didn't have a lot of time for other things.

Now that everything is back on track in my life, it's time for some reviews!

First up this week is Mario Golf for the Nintendo 64:

Mario Golf 64 was the true first in line of the series. As of right now there are Mario Golf on the Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance (after this game was released) and Mario Golf on the Gamecube, and a 3DS version slated for release soon!

The reason why I said true first game is that there's Golf on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and NES Open Tournament Golf for the NES which both depicted Mario on the cover. However the name Mario Golf was first used on the Nintendo 64, and then on the Gameboy Color.

Mario Golf 64 was the first golf game I loved playing, it's addictive and it's hard, and it's super fun all rolled into one awesome package. The game had a variety of modes to play such as:
  • CLUB SLOTS - you use a slot
    machine to determine what clubs you can use on each hole. 2 to 4 players.
  • GET CHARACTER - This mode allows you play against a computer opponent. If you go against a character that you have not unlocked yet and you beat them in your match, you unlock them for use in the game! 1 player.
  • MATCH GAME - Just you vs a computer opponent, like Get Character, but you don't unlock them??? - 2 players.
  • RING SHOT - Rings hover above different courses in various patterns. Your goal is to hit the ball through all the rings AND sink it within par. For every completed hole, you earn a star.  For every four stars you earn, another course becomes accessible. Easier said than done, but for collesting 30 stars in any the 6 courses you unlock Donkey Kong for use in the game. 1 player.
  • SKINS MATCH - The player who has the fewest strokes on a hole wins skins.  When a tie occurs, the skins roll over to the next hole meaning that who ever wins the next hole wins twice as many skins. 2 to 4 players.
  • SPEED GOLF - The only competitor in this play mode is the clock.  You play 18 holes on any of the courses you've unlocked trying to minimize both your score AND in as little time as possible. 1 player.
  • STROKE - The winner is the player who has the best overall score (the lowest number of strokes) on the course. 1 to 4 players.
  • TOURNAMENT - You're in a tournament competing against 29 other contestants. The scoring can be a bit random, but (unless i'm mistaken) the better you do, the better the other people do as well. 1 player.

    BIRDIE BADGES - Birdie badges can only be awarded in Tournament play. For each Birdie you get on a hole (only 1 will/can be awarded for each hole) you get a Birdie Badge. You can unlock two characters:

    Maple       - Unlocked at 50 Birdie Badges
    Metal Mario - Unlocked at ALL 108 Birdie Badges
  • MINI-GOLF - Your putter is the only club you have to take on different courses shaped like numbers and letters of the alphabet. Seriously fun mode, I have spent way too many hours on this mode! 1 to 4 players.
  • TRAINING - This mode allows you to practice on any hole on any of the courses you have unlocked. 1 player.
As you can see, there are tons of modes inside of this game. There are many modes to keep you engrossed into something at all times and in doing so, not making this game feel overplayed and or boring, well unless you hate golf, then why are you even reading this review???

The different characters have different shot types and shot powers. There are broken down like this, Low, Standard, and High, with low being hindered by wind less, ans High, being severely hindered by wind strength. Further breakdown is: Straight, Fade, and Draw. Basically, if the ball will fly straight, more to the left, or to the right. The top characters will have either fade or draw, so it's better to get use to those characters early on.

The way you hit the ball is to press a button to start a power meter, if you get power all the way, and get it impact dead on perfect (after you select your power, the meter will fall down so you can select your impact) you will have a perfect shot.  On top of the normal shot, is a POWER Shot. A power shot is accessed by hitting the B button before you start your shot. You only get 6 Power shots before they are all gone, but if you get a perfect power and impact, then your power shot count does not go down and you can get infinite power shots if your good enough, so practice.

LIst of available courses to play on:

  • Toad Highlands
  • Koopa Park
  • Shy Guy Desert
  • Yoshi's Island
  • Boo Valley
  • Mario's Star
There are only 6 courses, which is the only drawback to me with this game. I would loved to have had a few more courses, but trust me, with these courses, and the amount of game modes that you can play, you really won't be missing out on anything too much.

In this end, this is my opinion a must have if you have a Nintendo 64, and while the gamecube one is good (it's a really good game) if doesn't have the Mini golf mode which I felt really bummed out about since it's easily the best mode (in my opinion) for more than one player.

I give this game a 9.2 out of 10

I feel that they could have added a few more characters to the lineup (there are 18 but I think they could have used a few more) and I think that 6 courses is the biggest problem with this game. 8 would have been really nice!