Hand of Fate (PS4) Review

Hand of Fate (PS4) Review

Hand of Fate is amazing.

It seems I need to write more to fill my contractual obligation to the magazine, so here goes. Hand of Fate is a game that seems to have achieved the impossible task of successfully blending  the genres of  Roguelike, Deck Building, RPG, and Action Combat. Typically, I tire quickly of digital deck building games as the physical experience of rifling through cards constitutes so much of the satisfaction for me. There’s something to be said for tangible media, but I’m also one of those weirdos who still buys literature that’s been scribbled onto dead trees, so call me old-fashioned. The reason I mention all of this, though is Hand of Fate has done what I always felt was missing from other card-based video games, which is mash in other non-physical systems.
handoffateinsert3You see, when playing Hand of Fate, you sit across from the Dealer, who doubles as the DM/ GM you would have in a tabletop RPG experience. In addition to shuffling and flipping cards, he also narrates your adventures. Even this small addition helps to make an adventure in HoF feels like a much more personal experience. Anyone who has played Bastion will know the feeling of immersion that accompanies the narration of seemingly mundane events and how much it can improve enjoyment.

The adventures themselves play out similar to a traditional Roguelike, as there’s certainly no guarantee you’ll survive the experience, and death is failure. The twist, though, is the adventure is arranged as a series of adjoined cards that are kept face-down until the player navigates over them. Even though the player has chosen many of the cards that can be used within the dungeon, there’s no guarantee which order they’ll appear, or where the adventure-specific dealer cards will fall. Each step consumes food, and if not enough is found or purchased when available, it can dictate a shorter, more direct route through an adventure, rather than a longer and potentially more rewarding one that may help to better equip the player for the inevitable boss battle that marks the adventure’s victory condition.

The dungeon cards themselves range from simple chance-based interactions, to challenge-based events, to actual combat. Here’s where I struggled with Hand of Fate at first. The combat takes place in an actual 3D battle area, which is a great idea, but it’s not actually very fun. It feels similar to the combat in Assassin’s Creed, where mastering the ability to dodge or block (assuming you’ve found a shield in your adventures) can render most battles a breeze. What I realized after a few hours with the game, though, is that the battles are intentionally easy. You see, the enemies you face in a battle are determined by randomly drawn cards which dictate their type and number, and barring poor equipment or getting blocked against a wall, should be simple. Rather than being some grand event, the battles are meant to be a more interesting version of a dice roll, where the odds are in your favour, though skill and chance have equal influence on the result. By that definition, I think this system is brilliantly integrated, and adds a refreshing break in the pace of adventures.

My only two complaints about Hand of Fate are that there’s no co-op to enjoy with a friend, and that there’s no physical card version of it for me to play at home like a cooler version of your grandfather playing Solitaire at the kitchen table. Beyond that, the adventure progressed to brutally challenging over the course of the game, in spite of my best deck-rigging attempts, the mechanic by which new cards are unlocked through the completion of the events in old cards encourages you to try every new card you receive. Most importantly, no part of the game, despite the reliance on chance, has left me feeling like I wasn’t in control of the experience. Whether you’re sitting down for a quick coffee break adventure, or an all-night binge, Hand of Fate delivers in spades.

SoulCalibur Unbreakable Soul Is A Deck Building Fighting Game

SoulCalibur Unbreakable Soul Is A Deck Building Fighting Game

Bandai Namco Games have finally shown gameplay of the mobile version of SoulCalibur.

SoulCalibur Unbreakable Soul is a deck building fighting game. Players will create decks filled with different weapons and attacks. By tapping the cards on screen, players will be able to perform attacks in the typical SoulCalibur fighting style.

Players will be able to unlock over 150 different avatars based on previous SoulCalibur fighters such as Nightmare and Cervantes. There will also be over 200 different cards to collect and to build decks with, each with it’s own element much like the elements in Pokemon.

SoulCalibur Unbreakable Soul is now available on the ios app store in US, UK, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, with launches in other regions later on.

Become Hunted in Magic the Gathering 2015 Duels of the Planeswalkers

Become Hunted in Magic the Gathering 2015 Duels of the Planeswalkers

Wizards of the Coast have announced the first details behind the yearly video game version of their popular deck building game Magic the Gatheirng.

In Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers, players will be hunted by one of the series most well known characters Garruk Wildspeaker, who’s mind has deteriorated after becoming cursed.

One of the goals that Wizards of the Coast is trying to accomplish is having players at the centre of the story, rather than having a series of random duels with AI opponents like in the other Duels of the Planeswalker games.

The game will also be the first in the series to allow players to fully customize their own decks, as well as having brand new cards from the Magic 2015 expansion. In previous iterations, player could only pick from a handful of pre-constructed decks while only being able to unlock a few extra cards to swap out per deck.

Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers comes out later this year on Xbox One, Xbox 360, iPad, Steam, Android, and Google Play.