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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  Gaming Conferences and Conventions  |  The Schild Chronicles '06  |  Topic: Day 5 [4/14/06] - Culdcept (PS2) 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Day 5 [4/14/06] - Culdcept (PS2)  (Read 7014 times)
schild
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on: April 15, 2006, 03:26:15 AM

I apologize for only doing one game tonight. Monday's Chronicle is going to consist of...well... let's just say you'll be thankful I'm doing one game today, tomorrow, and sunday.


From Wikipedia:
Quote
Culdcept is a turn-based strategy videogame. It has drawn comparisons to other modern strategy titles like Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, and also shares features with non-video games Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering (the game is widely considered to be an even combination of these two games). The series of games saw a large amount of popularity in Japan, and an American version was released for the Sony PlayStation 2 in 2003. Despite low sales in America, the game continues to have a strong following among fans.

In Culdcept, the player takes on the role of a Cepter. Cepters are beings that have the ability to use magical cards to summon creatures, cast spells, and perform various other feats of wizardry. As the player advances throughout the game, they earn additional cards that they can use to create comomised "decks" with which to better defeat their foes.

On April 6, 2006, it was announced that a new entry to the series, Culdcept Saga, was in development.

That wikipedia article is a little misleading. In addition, that entry should be huge. How many games do you know about that have completely destroyed companies?

Yes, it destroyed NEC Interchannel. Or, at the least, it destroyed the US branch of it. That's not saying much though, as you can see by their Moby Games list of titles.

Quote
3x3 Eyes: Sanjiyan Henjou
Air
Altered Beast
Black/Matrix
Black/Matrix Advanced
Black/Matrix Zero
Bomberman '93
Brandish
Chew Man Fu
Culdcept
Desire
Doukyuusei 2
Emerald Dragon
Gunboat
Hexcite: The Shapes of Victory
Impossamole
Kanon
Kato Chan & Ken Chan
Moto Roader
Popful Mail
Street Fighter
Tube Slider

Altered Beast really being the big title there, despite the fact I'd have liked to see some of their other stuff (Popful Mail, k?). Anyway, Culdcept was published and let's just say it didn't do that "well." In a world where no gaming news or games really slip by the public eye anymore (go go team internet), Culcept turned out to be one of (what I'd consider) the top sleeper hits of the last generation - if not the top sleeper hit. For those of you that don't know how to play, let me give you a simple run down.

You start with a deck of 50 cards (that can be edited as you gain cards). You roll a dice. You move around a board. You purchase properties and try to amass wealth while getting the other player(s) to go broke.

Yea, it's monopoly. WITH MAGIC AND OTHER KICKASS SHIT[/B].

It's possibly one of the greatest party games ever made, particularly if you've got a bunch of experienced people playing (well, I'm imagining that, I've only ever played with one other person). Getting back to the "other shit," the cards you get consist of monsters, items, and spells (that affect the board, the other player, or their monsters). When you land on an empty spot in on the board, you can claim it with one of your monster cards. After you claim it, it's yours until the monster is killed. You can change the elemental basis of the square (probably where the Wikipedia comparison Disgaea came from, but that's fucking stretching there) or you can raise the value of the square (and continue raising the value to Boardwalk-style w/ 2 hotels horror).  Now that you've claimed a square, if an opponent lands on it, they have to either pay the property value or fight your monster with one of the monsters in their hand. If you win, you keep the property and they pay you money. If they win, they get the square, they put their monster on the square, and they don't take any money from you (at that point). Now, when you land on that square, the situation is reversed. When you do go into battle, you can choose one item/effect from the elgible cards in your hand with which to reinforce your creatures. Also, once out of battle, you can play cards that effect the enemy (force him to roll all 6s or 1s) or their creatures (does something have 20 hit points? there are spells that can kill them with one blow). Finally there are cards that are beneficial to your character (that generally come with a downside - destroy one of your creature cards, gain x gold, etc.

That's pretty much the whole game in a nutshell. Sure, there's a single player campaign you can play through to amass a huge library for your deck, but it's not exactly fair to the other players. When you play a two player game, both the winner and the loser get new cards and can trade with eachother. Of course, the loser gets less cards than the winner.

After the release of the PS2 title, NEC Interchannel disappeared from the American scene. Poof. Gone. In addition, Omiya Soft went quiet for pretty much three full years (four full years if you go according to their Japanese releases). Then, late last week came this bit of news:


That's fuckin huge! A 360 title with complete XBL support. This is the kind of things XBox Live dreams are made of. It is the_perfect_game for such a thing. Sure, do anything more than an 8,000 point game and you could be sitting on Xbox Live for 3+ hours waiting for people to make Very Important Decisions about a Very Important Ranked Game but I just don't see a downside to that.

       
Yea, click these scans to pop open a big-enough-to-see-the-screenies size.

So, why am I telling you all about this? I don't know. It's the sort of online gameplay that's an alternative to Dikustyle. It's important to explore every possible alternative also. The next Big Ideas we see in the online gaming sector are going to be about meshing ideas from one comapany's games with another. Innovation isn't dead so much as dormant. Right now we're floating in a world of mediocrity and yet there are enough examples of "other things" out there that the online gaming sector should be investigating rather than turning a blind eye. Ok, I'll admit, Culdcept wouldn't exactly translate to a fast paced MMOG environment, but there must be some middle ground.

Other alternative environments include the HoMM battle system, a more advanced form of Dofus (somewhere between Dofus and FF:T at least), and ring sytems or semi-twitch systems like Shadow Hearts or even other action based games. Maybe it's time to look around inside the box (like Granado Espada is doing) instead of reaching than reach outside of the box and grab a half-assed combat system (a la SW:G:NGE, DDO, AA).

This post has been approved by the fine mothers at MADD.
Trippy
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Reply #1 on: April 15, 2006, 03:43:26 AM

How does monster vs monster combat work? Is it twitchy or turn-based tactical style?
schild
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Reply #2 on: April 15, 2006, 03:44:04 AM

It's just stats against eachother. That part of it is very much statistics vs. statistics. As in, it's a card game at heart.
dusematic
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Reply #3 on: April 15, 2006, 05:56:51 AM

This looks cool.  If it's two players can each person save their progress and keep playing against one another with the cards they've earned?
schild
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Reply #4 on: April 15, 2006, 12:35:37 PM

Yes.
dusematic
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Reply #5 on: April 15, 2006, 12:41:07 PM

Is that fun, or does the person who wins the first time have a supreme advantage?
schild
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Reply #6 on: April 15, 2006, 12:47:00 PM

Actually, my friend and I played one day for like 8 hours, each starting off with a beginner deck. I won most of the time, but even when he lost he sometimes got much better cards than me. What you get is completely random and sure, everyone has a creature or two that can just mow the enemy down, something that is just unstoppable. I'd say I won most of the time because I played Magic for years and the math here was childsplay to figure out 3, 4 rounds ahead. My big problem was that you could see what the opponent had in his hand. Or in this case - player 2. Hopefully that will change on XBL. A real quick example, when you go into battle, you can see what items you each have. However, since it's just a button press, people won't know what item you picked to buff/debuff the creature in battle until it's played, but if there's only one card in the hand, it's not hard to counter. After that card is used, I know you have no item cards. I see the cards you draw every turn. Basically, I've memorized every card in your hand for the rest of the game. It's still amazingly fun despite that, but with XBL it should be Much More Fun.
dusematic
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Reply #7 on: April 15, 2006, 01:02:47 PM

Well is the deck sufficiently big that it keeps you entertained for that long?  And couldn't you institute a close your eyes rule at the draw?  Or is that impractical/worthless?
schild
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Reply #8 on: April 15, 2006, 01:10:44 PM

Ah, the close your eyes rule. Not that easy. You pick your item and the screen immediately changes to the opponents. It's ok though, there's more to the game than that. About 70% of the strategy happens on the board. Truly, it's a board game. This would be the easiest game ever to convert into a real life thing. Though there'd be a shitton of stuff to keep track of.

As for the deck, yea, it's big enough to keep you entertained. The first 5 or 6 matches with the deck, you'll get between ~20 and ~40 new cards. Doubling your library. So for the first few games you're swapping out all of your weakest shit and replacing it with the new and unknown. After a while you start coming up with a strategy in your head and start swapping out with purpose. Eventually you'll end up with something akin to a Magic deck. A couple colors, proper strategy, etc. After you play 10-15 matches, you'll have enough cards that you can make more than one deck. After you can do that the fun is cranked up a notch or two because you can swap decks in between matches. Also, there are more than enough boards to play on to mix things up heavily.

Oh, and I assume Culdcept Saga will be an MGS release or somesuch in America and that booster packs for expansions will be sold online (Omiya Soft deserves that kind of constant revenue). I'm going to take a stab at $1.99 for 8 random cards, 1 rare, 2 uncommon, 5 common.
Toast
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Reply #9 on: April 17, 2006, 04:58:23 PM

Thanks for the story. Very interesting title.

I've always wished for a large scale mmo with card strategic combat. The auto-attack level-based paradigm is so dead to me.


A good idea is a good idea forever.
Xilren's Twin
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Reply #10 on: April 18, 2006, 08:20:21 AM

Based on your write up, I swung by the local EB to see if they had this game yesterday and sure enough, snagged 1 used copy for $12.  Im a sucker for games with "MtG like" elements.  No manual but who reads those anyway? :)

It's not a bad little game, and I agree, and updated version of this for online play would be much better.  (Hell, if WotC would ever get their heads out of their asses and make a game with true MtG cards and gameplay for Xbox live services, they could rake in even more money then they do for MTGO, but I digress)

The one element I'm not thrilled with is there is a lot of randomness in the early games based purely on the dice rolls and card draws.  For example, im my very first game, my opening hand had only 1 creature in it, and i didn't draw any more for 2 more turns meaning I could only capture 1 land square while my opponent grabbed 4 right off the bat.  The die roll is more about not being able to move to pick your battles.  Sure, there are spells which basically are "move X spaces" instead of rolling a 1-6, but how many of those do you really want in a deck?

One important strategy note, combat in not a simultaneous resolution and it's only a single round.  So if you kill your opponents critter with an opening attack, there's no damage to your critter.  There are creatures with first strike, and last strike, and if both creatures survive the opening round, the defender wins (but you dont lost your attcking critter).  While it may be possible to whittle away an opposing critters life points, the inability to end up on the same square with any degree of accuracy, and the ability to swap out creatures on a square make that seem rather pointless to me.

Good find Schild!

Xilren

"..but I'm by no means normal." - Schild
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #11 on: April 18, 2006, 11:47:08 AM

I can't get past the third battle(either of them). I have tried a dozen time.  The starter deck is pathetic and it takes forever to build up cards. And the repeative music and voiceovers starts to grate on my nerves pretty quickly.

Do have the engrish edition?  My copy has a little bit of engrish, but my friend's is filled with it.

"Me am play gods"
Yegolev
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Reply #12 on: April 18, 2006, 12:45:15 PM

I find the battles can be hard but I suspect some grinding would fix that.  I'd give my left asshole for more time to play things like this.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
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