Well, I finally got the Marvel Trading Card Game Online to work; you may recall my previous post regarding my difficulties in this area. Let me tell you, although the game actually works on my computer now, my opinion of it hasn’t improved much. The client teaches you how to play with the Vs. System through a series of tutorials, throwing loads and loads of information at you all at once. The problem is, once you’re actually playing the game, there doesn’t seem to be any way to get back at this information (perhaps, in a handy encyclopedia system as with the Civilization games) to refer to it. Which means you basically have to memorize all kinds of obscure rules in order to play a game that ostensibly remembers the rules for you, because the game itself is so unforgiving about the actions you perform that you wind up (or at least, I wind up) making all sorts of sub-par decisions throughout the game that contribute to your downfall. Interestingly, the game prompts you to ask if you’re sure you want to end each phase, and most of this is unnecessary. It’s the fact that you can accidentally double-click on the wrong character, committing him to an attack that he has no hope of winning and thus, costing you precious Endurance, that irks me. I also have suspicions that the computer cheats to some extent, or at least uses decks that are way better than the two that come with the game. I keep marveling (no pun intended) at the amazing hands that the computer player keeps getting, and the fact that it always, always has the exact card that it needs, while I keep on getting stuck with a million cards that I’ll never use.
Of course, I’ll be the first to admit that all of this might just be sour grapes because I lose so often. I might just not be that great at the Vs. System. And really, that’s what I’m coming away from this game with. As an advertisement for the card game and the Vs. System at large, it’s not stellar. I kept on thinking, “If this is what the Vs. System is like when the computer is supposedly handling a bunch of the rules for me, I never, ever want to play the game in real life.” I’ll probably give it another try, just because I really like Spider-Man (though I haven’t seen his card yet, just plenty of Spider-Friends), but I doubt this game is going to have much longevity on my machine.