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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Yu-Gi-Oh! - first impressions

dj sugar by Apogee Photography from flickr (CC-NC-ND)

I'm back from Hyper Japan and one of the things I've done there was a demonstration game of Yu-Gi-Oh! I had no idea what the game is about, other than the thing Magic: the Gathering players make fun of.

They gave away free demonstration deck and one booster.  I am going to open them right now as I'm writing this post, and describe my impressions.

Just a reminder - I have no idea what I'm talking about. This is a first impression post. I'm posting this without even checking Wikipedia, so hilarious misunderstandings are very likely to ensue.

Demonstration Deck

It's 20 cards. Surely you must play "real" Yu-Gi-Oh! with more than that right?

There are 12 monster cards, 3 spells, and 5 traps.

They have types in upper right corder and different colored borders. For spells and traps there seems to be 1-to-1 correspondence between frame colors and card types.

For monsters the symbol says dark/earth/light, but frame color seems to be unrelated to it. It seems that one color is for vanilla creatures, other for non-vanilla creatures. I bet there are more types, just like with Pokemon.

There don't seem to be any rarity indicators, no idea yet if it's also true for cards from the booster.

Art is pretty crappy, and there are no artist attributions. It's probably drawn by Chinese prisoners or something like that.

One thing I really like about it is very high numbers it uses. First card has attack 2500, defense 1200. I thought they're all multiplies of 100, but there's another with Attack 450, defense 600.

Magic really suffers a lot from not being able to use fractional numbers for power, toughness, life, mana and so on. The chasm between 2 and 3 is just too vast, and forcing Thragtusk to have toughness 3 while every single first striker in Standard has power 2 at best is part of the problem with current meta. If Thragtusk had toughness 2.5, and at least some of these first strikers had power 2.5 - it would have been a very different story. Or if Snapcaster had only power 1.5. Now fractions look silly, but if Magic started alpha with all numbers x10 (or otherwise wider scale), it would have saved itself a ton of problem.

Here's contents of demonstration deck:

  • Summoned Skull
  • Dark Blade
  • Sabersaurus
  • Gene-Warped Warwolf (yes, that's exactly what it says)
  • Man-Eater Bug
  • Hayabusa Knight
  • The Fiend Megacyber
  • Marauding Captain
  • Exiled Force
  • Des Koala (featuring literally a koala, meanwhile Magic creative is too much serious business to get even one squirrel...)
  • Majestic Mech-Ohka
  • The Calculator (I so fucking hate cards with "the" in name, like The Mimeoplasm, nothing about card names get me more annoyed than "the Something" cards)
  • Fissure
  • Upstart Goblin
  • The Warrior Returning Alive
  • Mask of Weakness
  • Secret Barrel
  • Threatening Roar
  • Rising Energy
  • No Entry!
I really hope it all sounds less ridiculous in Japanese.

Oh, and three more things come to mind:
  • Does Yu-Gi-Oh! have anything like (or even its crappier official equivalent Gatherer - which I'm not going to link to because it sucks too much)?
  • Does it have anything remotely like Comprehensive Rules? I've noticed a few people with real decks play, and it seemed pretty thoughtless as well, but then this wasn't exactly a high level tournament.
  • Templating on Yu-Gi-Oh! cards sucks so hard. I'm a huge fan of legalistic precision of modern Magic templating. What I see here reminds me of alpha's "let's vaguely describe what it does" templating style. But then if Yu-Gi-Oh! is so much simpler than Magic, maybe that's enough.


Now I'm going to open "Return of the Duelist" 1st edition booster.

It says that it includes 9 cards, and full set is 48 commons, 20 rares, 14 super rares, 10 ultra rares, and 8 secret rares. I already hate the fuckers. Mythic rarity was such a massive mistake for Magic - and the main reason they gave was "every other card game has more than 3 rarities, so we'll introduce mythics to force players to buy more boosters".

Anyway, opening now.

First, art quality is a lot better. Madolche Chouxvalier and Madolche Lesson are adorably chibi, instead of crappy shonen dark bleh.

For some reason Madolche Couxvalier has foil label. The rest of the card is nonfoil. Does it have something to do with rarity?  My prediction that there will be more types than Dark/Light/Earth so far isn't working.

Judging from text of cards, they are parasitic as hell. Just these 9 cards refer to "Madolche", "Xyz", "Spellbook", "Machine-type", "Chronomaly" cards - and how many are just from this particular set? Magic managed to avoid this parasitic design, mostly.

For reference, the cards:
  • Madolche Chouxvalier
  • Amores of Prophecy
  • Damage Mage
  • Chronomaly Mayan Machine
  • Madolche Lesson
  • Lucky Punch
  • Chronomaly Pyramid Eye Tablet
  • Generation Force
  • Spellbook of Power
tl;dr I'll stay with Magic.

PS. Kakigori is delicious.


Noumenon said...

I find your writing interesting even about games I don't play. By the way, do you have anything new to say about industrial food and vegetable oil?

taw said...

Noumenon: No plans for that right now, but then a lot of posts aren't really planned in advance (this one wasn't).