Through the use of the newly released Playstation Eye included within the package, players are made to experience something wonderful from a realistic card game experience unlike any other. In its own respect, the game makes certain elements of previous strategy card game iterations come to life, and slightly misses the strategic depth, which can make it wonderful.
There are winners and there are losers, but the main objective is not to make your opponent lose by destroying their units. Instead, the aim is to control five squares out of 9 fields represented on the wonderfully crafted battle mat. In the Eye of Judgment, the main game mechanic consists of controlling areas with cards featuring specific directions of attack. With such a concept as the main primary thought of play, gamers will be left defending themselves on every corner and every move. There is a depth of strategy than a simple 5 way tic tac toe game.
Biolith fields are primarily neutral areas, where on is always near the center of the field on the mat. The mechanical biolith units are more flexible than element and turn restricted units. To make for a nice little twist during battle, there is a summoning lock, which can’t be broken. Within this time, players are unable to summon Biolith units, but as soon as it’s over interesting things come to take form. For players to truly experience this magic, they will need to optimize their deck as such. So, let’s turn our attention to the main focus of the game by starting from the beginning.
Every turn gives a player two mana, so it’s not wise to stuff the deck with the strongest cards. It is here where the game mechanic takes on a strategic element and moreover provides a fun interface between player and deck. The White Cubic, included in the starter deck, only costs one mana to play, and if it lives for a full turn, can be sacrificed for one more mana to summon any creature from your hand into play, although it doesn’t get to attack on its first turn like most other creatures.
Primarily, players will want to have a variety and a blend of different unit types since the objective is to control a majority of the field—and one type of the same monsters won’t do justice. Through having this interconnection between themselves and the deck, the players get the same experience they do with any card building game such a Yu-Gi-Oh.
To play offline, gamers are pitted against a CPU opponent with the same starter deck that’s included with the game’s purchase. Through defeating the CPU, players can unlock additional CPU-only decks, which are pre-constructed decks. Having these pre-constructed decks as unlockables against the CPU is actually a smart decision that can bolster sales of cards. After seeing what certain cards can do, players will most likely be more inclined to go out and attain them.
What fun would unlocking the power of such a dueling game be without any human interaction? Online competition is the major factor of the Eye of Judgment. The leaderboards take an interesting twist. There are multiple regions online and each has their own leaderboards and one that encompasses the whole map. The rankings are in no particular ladder system, which highly involves the players to play more games, as losses don’t affect the player score negatively.
Playing against human players who actually encompass a sense of logic and reason in their matches unlike the AI, is definitely the most gratifying and fun experience anyone can have with the Eye of Judgment—whether through online play or two players from one system.
Despite the excitement of the experience, Eye of Judgment has a considerable number of negatives that skid the mark of a perfect collectible card game experience—elements left in the dust. One of the biggest gripes any card game lover will have is there is no card draw online. Instead of a random card draw, the computer states which card from the player’s registered deck pulls up on each turn. It’s interesting to note that although there is an interconnection element between player and deck in the Eye of Judgment, there is a severe disconnection between the player and the process of drawing cards. Sorry Yu-Gi-Oh fans—no “Heart of the Cards” here.
Thankfully, the interface of the Eye of Judgment is great. The mat is intricate, being dabbled by fanciful icons that are representative of the PS Eye collaboration and the video game. The menus are easy to browse through and the descriptions of the cards are easy to access and utilize. The only possible downside to the Eye of Judgment is that some of the ultra rare cards are gained only through unlocking them—and most of them don’t contain any game information or card artwork at all.
The visuals in The Eye of Judgment are unique as the monsters spring into life when the player puts a card in front of the Eye. Watching them becoming realistic monsters on-screen feels like a great step towards making a link between paper-based gaming that is based on imagination and videogames that catch a person’s eye on graphics. The character models aren’t incredibly detailed, but the very fact of seeing them come to life is more than appeasing.
Despite all these oddities in gameplay and interface, Eye of Judgment remains remarkably an amazing card game experience—even if not a complete one. Players will have an extraordinary time playing through the game, and moreover have fun seeing the cards come to life and interact with them in front of their very eyes.