Marvel Trading Card Game

Format: PSP

4 012927 061435
Age Restrictions: 12+
08 June 2007

Marvel Trading Card Game features Marvel's complete roster of characters and allows players to take their game online with massive sanctioned tournaments, a virtual card shop and interoperability between the PSP system and PC versions of the game. Using the Vs. System Trading Card Game from Upper Deck Entertainment, players can learn the basics of the game as a super hero or super villain in the game's single player campaign mode....

Based on the popular trading card game from Upper Deck Entertainment, the Marvel Trading Card Game allows players to collect over 800 cards based on their favourite Marvel characters and compete in cross-platform online play in a variety of different modes. Players can assemble their own deck and take on different challenges to gain more cards based on legendary Marvel characters such as Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider and more.

In the game's single player story mode, players have the option to play as hero or villain, and select a series of enemies to battle. In between each clash, the game's scenario unfolds via comic book scenes as player moves on to the next adversary.

Each player begins the game with their own team of Marvel characters, and tries to defeat the cards of their opponent. Using an online network, the Marvel Trading Card Game allows players to play in an online community to compete across a variety of game modes and tournaments, trade cards with other players and even purchase new cards from the game's online store.

As reviewers, we seldom get instructions with review copies of games. Usually that's not a great problem - how many games have you actually read the instructions to? But with Marvel Trading Card Game you need to know what you are doing before you play.

There is an onscreen tuition facility, but it's not overly great. For starters sometimes the text on the instructions scrolls off the page. To read it all you need to use the directional buttons to scroll down. However, if you accidentally hit the "X" button thinking that this will take to the next page (which you generally have to do with most games) to read the rest of the text, it takes you to the next set of instructions. This means that you can easily miss out on the end text for some of the instructions. And as there is no option to go back to reread any segment of text, you will have to it wait until the end of that tuition (each one generally lasts for 5-10 minutes) before you are given the option to repeat that particular tutorial. So, if you mess up, you'll already want to throw your PSP at the wall in frustration before you've gotten into the game proper.

When I eventually finished the first three tuition sections I thought I'd have a go at a game. But for some reason I couldn't place any of my cards in the playing field (I was only given the option to turn them upside down). So go after my go the computer opponent would attack me and again, on my go I was unable to place cards in the battle area. After being beaten, I sat through the tutorial once again, and then started a new game. Now to be perfectly honest I did this because I am paid to. I certainly wouldn't have bothered if I'd bought the game - I'd be straight back to the shop to demand my money back.

At the end of the day I'm scratching my head trying to fathom who this game is aimed at. Those who like collectable card games may not be Marvel fans, and will certainly prefer to play against other people with real cards which they can win. Those who are Marvel fans, but have never experienced this kind of card game before will soon lose interest - the game developers don't exactly make it easy to welcome those unfamiliar with this sort of game.

Personally I found the whole thing to be a little boring, but I can see that if you fit into the category of "Marvel fan who likes collectable battling card games" you'll find it entertaining for a short while - that's if you can stand the poor visuals and hard (sometimes impossible) to read text.

Nick Smithson

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