The year in review will come later. Let's talk dinosaurs for a second.
I've always been a fan of dinosaurs and other ancient animals. Jurassic Park, the dino 'fad' that came with it, and living near Sue (the world's most complete T. Rex skeleton) all made sure of that. I was more than eager to check out two series, Dinosaur King and Fossil Fighters, because of this lifelong interest.
Yes, they are both pretty much Pokemon with dinosaurs. Yes, they are also both intended for young boys, which I am not. Screw that - there is no age limit for enjoying the idea of prehistoric beasts beating the crap out of each other!
That said, after picking up a couple of DK packs at Target one day, I decided to check out the game online. The rulebook made me dizzy. Sure, it'll sell regardless because it has dinosaurs, but I could never see this game becoming competitive; between turn counters, elemental types, and rock-paper-scissors, it's just a tiny bit complex. I can see what they were trying to do, but I bet it doesn't hold a candle to the Japanese card game. You know, the one that works with the Sega system...
...way to hold out integrated technology on us. Again. Does every card game that ties into a video game have to get horribly gimped when it comes over here? When will America learn that Japanese tech alone will sell? (Or vice-versa?)
So why, do you ask, am I pushing Fossil Fighters over DK? One thing is the cartoony aesthetic; instead of having CGI-realistic dinosaurs, the FF dinosaurs look like they would be easily animated. They also have truly wicked paint jobs- Krona has an especially creative one if you like wordplay. It would be easy to animate them via cell shading, even though the video game uses CGI.
It'd also be very easy to turn into a card game. Take a leaf out of Pokemon's book using Prize Cards and a sole attacker; pay using FP, represented by counters. Keep it simple - FF only has 5 elements which are all balanced by a straightforward, understandable system.
There's just one thing I would add: Collectible medals! Seriously, I'd love to wear a Shanshan around my neck. Insert them in the card packs for kicks. Ratios could be 1:1 for normal medals, 1:3 for parallel Lv12 (gold) medals, and 1:9 for Ignosaurus, Frigisaurus, the aliens, and the bosses. Hell, you could make a game scanning barcodes on the backs of the tags...arcade dinosaur fights FTW?
Your resident lover of weird creatures, foods, etc. Likes going outside and looking for faeries in whatever form they choose to take. Is fascinated by parasites, worms, snakes, and anything with wings.