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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's not stupid, it's ADVANCED!





What is happening and why? Seriously, I know this is for the super special awesome movie coming in 2010, which has a pretty cracked plotline as is, but gosh...the wings just SUCK on Blue-Eyes. At the very least, they fixed some of the major anatomy issues with BEWD, especially on the forelimbs. Red-Eyes was not so lucky, and given that the premise of the movie is pretty cracked up already, I have no idea how it'll fit in.

Update:



Update 12/9:



There is no proper word that can describe the facepalm that I'm restraining.

Predictions:
~Elemental Hero Neos
~Dark Magician
~Red Daemon's Dragon
~Buster Blader

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wait a sec...what?

It occurred to me yesterday that, fir whatever reason, Isis doesn't have a card in YGO. A game that has a shitload to do with Egyptian mythology doesn't have the principal goddess that managed to get worshiped across the Hellenic world, by both sexes (which can't be said for the Greek goddesses, 90% of the time), and appears in at least 3 of the ancient romance novels I had to read. They did her darker, lesser-known sister Nephthys, but not her.

That bugs the hell out of me.

The only reasons that I can think of concerning her absence in the game:

1. The series has a character named Isis. This could be dodged in any number of ways; the pseudo God Cards (Horus the Black Flame Dragon, The Creator, Phoenix God of Nephthys, and End of Anubis) are never seen in the series, and if Wikipedia is telling the truth, "Isis" is actually a mispronunciation anyways. O.o


2. She's not patriarchal enough. Fertility goddesses tend to get the short end of the stick in this game, but I've seen Isis equated to every goddess in the Greek pantheon. She has magic (and a HUGE cult in later times) going for her, and could no doubt make for an interesting Winged Beast or Beast card. Reptiles are also a possibility; Isis is sometimes shown handling the cobra of Wadjet (another very powerful, feminine goddess). You can imagine how thrilled I get at the mere mention of snake handling. XD

3. Her worship DID come into prominence later. This doesn't daunt her status as an Egyptian icon at all.

Oh, well. This just makes me dislike Konami more...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hatsune Miku.



You're probably wondering why a virtual singer, Hatsune Miku, is appearing on a blog devoted to card games. The idea first occurred to me because of the second video I'll be posting up here, but this little news report revealed exactly how much of a miracle Hatsune Miku is. If you listen to the news report, then you can see how much thought went into Miku's character and aesthetic - her artistic appeals. They also used social networking sites, such as NicoNico, to promote their work, and even got the song played on the streets of Tokyo.

Given my own status as an artist, this naturally struck me as being necessary for card games as well. A card game should have a distinct aesthetic and character just like any other art form. For example, Pokemon generally has very light, cartoony art; this makes sense, as it is intended for children. You would NEVER see that kind of aesthetic in Magic: the Gathering- it has a far more mature feel, almost like D&D in card game form.

Manga-style series like "Battle Spirits," "Digimon," and "Yu-Gi-Oh!" have the hardest time getting their aesthetic and character shown to the fullest - with manga-style art, they are almost immediately slated alongside Pokemon, but that's a mistake. They are far edgier than Pokemon could ever be, sporting full teeth and nails instead of Sugimori's dulled points. The only reason that they are ever mistaken for Pokemon is that, for whatever reason (probably money) the companies try to market them like Pokemon - a decision that can be either epic fail or epic win. There is no in-between.

Oh, and if you ARE planning on making your own CCG, but think you're too much of an introvert...Hatsune Miku was made by people who first met on the internet. You have no excuse. Human pop stars, your days are numbered.

The end result was something that should be the goal of all card games:



YGO, you should be ashamed of yourself for making crappy spin-offs instead of investing in greatness.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gen III and beyond - Why, exactly, the gap happened.

Many of you who know me know that I have a few bones to pick with Pokemon beyond Generation II (G/S/C). More people consider this an unfair judgment than a fair one; some don't see exactly why this gap has occurred.

I thought I'd clarify exactly why some people didn't like the Gen III designs or games too much. If you started with the Gen III games, it's just a tiny bit hard to understand.

First thing's first - the designs. Although some people really don't see the difference between 1-251 and 252-493, there is, off the bat, one thing that sticks out to me:

A fair amount of the Gen III Pokemon look like Digimon. I like Digimon, but when Pokemon started copying it, a little bit of both franchises died.

Cases in point: Combusken, Beldum, and the overall amount of black around the eyes on the Gen III legendaries. Who can look at how Rayquaza's eyes are shaded and NOT think 'Renamon?' Moreover, the designs got increasingly mechanical, and almost too simplistic compared to the previous generations. Go on, tell me that Latias looks like a plausible organism. Dragon my ass.

Second, Team Aqua and Magma are double-edged swords. Yes, they are more terrorists than petty criminals (like Team Rocket), but they also started the trend of "organization has big plans, then bites off more than it can chew." You'd think that, if they were more competent than Team Rocket, they would have been more prepared to handle a giant crayfish with hugeass claws (or, in the case of Kyogre, an orca whale with prominent digits). It's a bit annoying that the organizations from Gen III on lead you directly to the legendaries. Gen IV is extra guilty of this.

I suppose it's kind of like what happened to artists like Shakira and Jewel: they did what they wanted for a few albums, then suddenly changed style. Compare "She Wolf" with Shakira's earlier stuff; the analogy is so similar it's really kinda scary. Hooray for mainstream compliance?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Geek Fight: A business card game?!

Diving Dragon Games presents " Geek Fight." Because it's about damn time that someone made a card game for teh lulz.

In all seriousness, this is a card game that pits one internet celebrity or meme against another for great justice. The starter deck has Nostalgia Critic VS Angry Video Game Nerd - how can you go wrong with that? I mean, I'd love to be immortalized on a trading card, wouldn't you?

The only flaw I see in this (without buying anything yet) is the pack structure. Static packs can be a good thing, but really...part of the fun of card packs is pulling a rare, shiny card that no one else on your block has. There is no chance for uniqueness in these packs; I can understand their logic, but I can't imagine that collecting these cards would be much fun, y'know? When a set is that easy to get, it's not gonna appreciate too well on the secondary market.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My game shop sucks.

I was at Borders today in hopes of getting the latest xxxHOLiC, but another thing caught my eye: A Garchomp (Pokemon) card tin. To my knowledge, this is the first time I'd seen Pokemon cards at Borders, and with a coin toss to decide between the the cards or the manga, the tin became mine.

The thing is, this made me realize exactly how much my local game shop, The Zone, sucks. There are a number of reasons that I say this, but the one that really gets under my skin is that they do not carry Pokemon.

Yes, you read that right. They do not carry a card game tied to a multi-million dollar franchise that has a fun video game, a T.V. series (practically an advertisement), and is from Japan. The only CCGs I've seen them sell are Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and the odd box of Duel Masters (maybe Naruto, once). They have some old Pokemon cards there from retired players, but that's it.

There is absolutely no reason not to sell Pokemon packs, at the very least. Not selling the tins I can understand - they take up space. Not selling anything from the franchise, however, may as well be a sin. The games still sell well; newcomers to the franchise want the new Pokemon; Pokemon has an extremely high nag factor, and the cards make great Christmas, birthday, or anytime rewards.

By not selling Pokemon, The Zone is failing to keep up with other retailers. Not only do Target, Wal-Mart, and other non-hobby stores carry this popular series, but they have more variety than the local hobby store. That is NEVER a good thing; hobby stores need to offer something that huge retailers can't.

Thus far, they are failing to do that. Hard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New blog is new.

She said, "Let there be Card Games...AND THERE WERE CARD GAMES!"

I told you all I would make this someday. This will be where I post my miscellaneous card game information - about, well, pretty much anything worth a rant. Some people have already seen my card game marketing article - that and a prequel to it will be posted here as well.

Yes, you heard me right. Prequel. It'll actually be posted first...even though the marketing article was done first. Does that make it technically a sequel, or...?

Eh, I dunno. Enjoy whatever you wanna call it! I'll be seeing you soon! ^_^