That is right; I'm back after a self-imposed exile
from writing. Fact is I was burned out and writing
like crap. So after working on some new fiction and a
nice little vacation to Gen Con the Mixdorf battery
pack has been slightly recharged. When I was at Gen
Con (a gaming convention in Milwaukee) I discovered
two new WWF games, one in development and one that was
a first time release at Gen Con. So I decided to
write up a review for you fine readers here at my
online home Slash Wrestling.
WWF: Raw Deal is a new collectible card game produced by Comic Images. Game play is very smooth. The game play goes as follows, you have a sixty-one-card deck that is customized for a wrestler, in this case lets use Chris Jericho. Each individual character comes with three different rankings: hand size (how many cards you start off with), superstar value (higher one goes first) and superstar ability (a special ability different for each wrestler). The Jericho character card has a seven-hand size, a superstar value of 3, and a superstar ability of 'Once during your turn, you may discard a card from your hand to force your opponent to discard a card from his hand'. Within the Jericho starter deck it comes with the Jericho character card, and three foil cards that can only be used when you use the Jericho character card. The objective of the game is for your wrestler to run out your opponent's wrestler of cards from his draw deck. There are three types of cards within the deck that help you accomplish this task: reversals, attacks, and action cards. Each card comes with a cost for using it called fortitude. Your fortitude is the added up damage you have done to your opponent. The higher your fortitude the more cards you can use.
A game would start out with the first player throwing an attack with a zero fortitude cost that could do a certain amount of damage, lets say five. If the attack is not countered then the second player would have to discard five cards from his draw deck into his discard pile. Then the first player would gain five fortitude and put his attack card in the successful pile. Now that player can use cards of five fortitude or less. Any successful attacks that he makes in the future would get added to his fortitude rating. The second player can only gain control by playing a reversal from his hand or when a reversal comes up while he is discarding cards for the damage. If this happens then the attack is considered successful and the fortitude is added on for the first player, but the second player now has control of the game and can start to launch his own attack. If a reversal is played from your hand the attack is considered blocked and is put into the discard pile. While this attacking is going on you can play action cards that enhance the game play. For instance they allow you to draw cards from your draw deck into your hand, make your opponent discard cards, and etc. That is the basics of how the game is played.
This CCG has a lot going for it. The cards look good especially the foil cards. The game play is smooth and quick. Games last on the average 10-15 minuets once you get the basics all figured out. I really enjoyed playing this game and picked up a bunch of starter decks. Some other cool stuff about the game includes its first expansion already in the works (featuring Kurt Angle) and terrific game support for tournaments. I was able to play in a sealed deck tournament and finished in the top four out of forty (using a Kane deck) and won two WWF attitude bears (Al Snow and Vince McMahon) and the WWF aggression cd. First place would have won the WrestleMania boxed set and a box of boosters but since he was from Europe he couldn't take the videotapes. Second place received a ten-card Smackdown trading card autograph set featuring The Rock, Steve Blackman, Al Snow, and others. I thought it was a very nice prize package especially when you consider the value of the fifteen tape WrestleMania boxed set.
The wrestlers currently available in the original release include Chris Jericho, HHH, Undertaker, Mankind, Steve Austin, The Rock, and Kane. The only drawback to the game is the rarity of the foil cards in the boosters. There are only 2 to 4 foils per box of boosters and since these cards are kind of necessary to build a good deck (especially since none of the wrestlers finishers come in the starter decks) it is a problem. Other than that it is a fine game that seems to draw in wrestling fans weather they played CCG's in the past or not.
The other new game was an online trading card game titled WWF: With Authority being developed by Genetic Anomalies. It pits your wrestler of choice against another person online and his wrestler of choice. It plays much like a CCG. You have an electronic deck that you construct to play against other people. You pound on your opponent until he is able to reverse your move then it is his turn to do the same to you. In this game there are hit points that need to be run out instead of an opponents deck. You can also try for a pin before the hit points go down to zero making the game feel more like a real wrestling match then the card game. You also have the option of what kind of match you want to play. For example a table match is one option that is currently being shown. I don't have much of the details for exact game play at this point in time because the game is still in development and there were several bugs that still needed to be worked out. It was still a fun game even with the bugs in the system. I managed to win my game by using Tazz against HHH.
It is an online game so when it is released you would have to buy electronic starter decks and electronic boosters, which would cost about the same as it would if you were going to open the packs up your self. This online collectible card market is still in its early stages with one or two successful games currently being played out there so it will be interesting to see if this game takes off. Thanks for reading and next week I might be back with an actual wrestling column!