February 12, 2008

The Eye of Judgement (...and Culdcept Saga)


When we posted our story about Culdcept Saga last week - the Xbox 360 title that's TCG meets Board Games - we didn't mean to turn a cold shoulder the already established Eye of Judgment [Amazon] franchise on the Playstation 3. The Eye is something that any TCG should at least poke their nose into, because it really is a whole new world of gaming.

The truth of the matter is that none of us in our group actually own a PS3, and we didn't want to hype something with ground-breaking and potentially gimmicky mechanics (more later) when we very-well knew we'd never get to play and break down the gameplay ourselves. But then we got questions and concerns after our story last week: 'If you're covering Culdscept Saga, then you're ignoring the console-based TCG war going on right now!' And we have to admit, we were wrong to not to post at least one story on the franchise until now. Yes, we're admitting error - mark your notebooks. It was a poor editor decision that we hope to fix starting right now.

First and foremost some resources: If you need a full breakdown of the game mechanics then checkout the Eye of Judgment Wikipedia Site. It contains the key details of the gameplay. Also, check out this review from Game Trailers. Watch and listen as you read on.

Eye of Judgement is a TCG played on a 3x3 mat in front of your TV and PS3. The map is fought over as creature cards jockey for position across the field, moving and orientating themselves to guard against and exploit potential flanking maneuvers, and capturing spaces of verying colors. The game's 'thing' is a camera - called The Eye - that's included with the base set. When attached to the PS3 the Eye overlooks the special game board . And no, this is not photo-evidence device designed to prove to an online opponent that you actually have a card. Oh no, it's so much more.

When everything is setup properly you can see your cards reflected on the screen, and the mat is replaced on-screen with the map of the match. Because the game board is a filled-in version of the mat on screen, the PS can skin the board any way it likes.

Here's the kicker - each card, sold in stores in booster packs, contains a special visual pattern encoding on the card. When shown in front of the camera the game unlocks a creature shown in 3-D on the TV, hovering over the card in real space. In front of you is a 2D board with cards, and on your screen is a mix of reality and virtual creatures akin to R2D2 and Chewbacca playing chess in Episode IV.

The Eye of Judgment is one of those crazy idea elevator pitches that just might work. It's different and new, and it looks [em]really[/em] cool. We'll let the VG review sites fill you in on how well the game pulls it off.

How does it stack up against Culdscept? Well here's the deal: Culdscept is one bundle of 450 cards at a price tag of 40 bucks. Currently there aren't any expansions slated for release, so it's pretty much one shotgun blast of balanced cards meant as a single stand alone release. Meanwhile, The Eye of Judgment comes with a stock of 100 cards, and will be expanded by new set releases and booster packs of random cards of varying rarities, just like a standard TCG / CCG release.

One is a game release, the other is a new way of life. Should these games be compared head-to-head? We think: no. They each have their own place in gaming.

Read More in: Collectable Card Games | Gaming Culture | Gaming News

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at February 12, 2008 3:45 PM

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