Cryptic has been expanding their horizons quite often lately. CoH was a pretty risky idea that paid off – after all, a comic book MMOG in the world of space, fighting and mid evil popularity? The reasons why it was a success are probably many, and varied, and something I, frankly, don’t care about. Whats important is that they continued to succeed. Next came CoV, and a stand alone game that was also and expansion. Talk about a clever idea. Now they’ve wandered into the world of the CCG, or Collectable Card Game. Are they headed for success here too?

I have some CCG experience, having dabbled in Magic and played Legend of the Five Rings extensively. CCG’s are fun because you’re dealing with other people, usually across a table from you. It’s strategy and luck all mixed in together, and one card could make you, or break you in the game. Not only that, but it is a Collectable card game, so those cards are tradeable, buyable and sellable. And they often have pretty pictures on them! People play to win, or for the competitiveness, or just because it’s something to do. Either way, the CCG is a very big cash cow, and Cryptic is obviously bright enough to see it.

What about the game? Well, it’s pretty basic. If you’ve played the MMOG you’ll notice some differences, some powers don’t work quite the way you might expect and so forth. Over all, it’s not to bad. They have all the travel powers covered, they have all the AT’s slotted in, they have feature heroes all over the place and many popular power sets. They’re still missing a few things – like there’s no Empathy powerset yet, nor Super Reflexes, or anything related to the Stone powers at all. Hey, but not only can you play with the heroes you can get in the box, if they have the powers you can go print off a card with you’re heroes face on it and make a deck with him(or her)! Now thats a very good idea.

You don’t have to be a fanatic to buy yourself and a couple friends a battle deck or two and just play for fun, or to give it a try out. If you don’t want to be a collector, you don’t have too. Really, as long as you don’t try to play any crazed, deck building fanatics, you’ll probably have just as much fun as the guy with the tournament deck. Over all, at first, it’s quite easy to play. The rules are simple enough, with everyone taking their turn and performing their action and so forth. Later on things can get more complicated, once you get to the point of everyone playing with the full tournament style deck, and several rare and potent cards being used. My group and I tend to amuse ourselves by playing teams, two on two. It’s actually rather fun.

There’s even still inspirations in the game! Every card can also do double duty as the ever needed inspiration. After all, when don’t you need inspirations? They managed to get a lot of the little things that make the game what it is into the CCG: Status Effects, Inspirations, Missions – even Enhancements! And like real CoH fights, it’s either rapid-fire fast, or very, very slow depending on what you are playing.

What I do know is that even if you aren’t the card type, you might want to give the CCG a shot if you’re a fan of the game. The rules are clear enough, and if you have a casual group, or even the family, then you don’t need to invest a lot of money to just find a way to amuse yourself. It might be fun. Oh, I guess I would also like to see my Controller be as deadly and effective as they are in the CCG. Thanks! – Mialiah

Asherons Call: Where in Dereth – Mountain Syndrome

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