Back in 1995, I would describe myself as a skinny boy. My parents probably attributed that to my high metabolism as I was rather active in sports. But the truth was, I would spend only $0.20 out my daily $1 allowance on biscuits everyday. At the end of the week, I would have saved $4 and guess what I spent it on?
Yup. A Magic: The Gathering booster pack.
Ever since, Trading Card Games (TCG) have come a long way. Booster packs for Magic: The Gathering has gone up in prices and some single cards are selling for astronomical prices. If only my parents had not thrown away the bulk of my cards, I could have been a very rich man today.
TCGs are still going strong today, with Pokemon, Vanguard and Magic being probably the 3 most best selling titles. As of late, there are new entrants to the TCG scene and today, we are going to look at both of them, Final Fantasy TCG and Star Wars Destiny TCG.
Final Fantasy TCG
If you are really peculiar about history, the Final Fantasy TCG has been out in Japan since 2011 but it is not only until late last year, that we got a localized English edition. Ever since its English release, sales have been really good for the publishers and new expansions have been coming out steadily ever since.
The artwork in Final Fantasy TCG is great, being colorful and vibrant, just like any good JRPG characters. Fans of the Final Fantasy series would be glad to know that they can find most of their favorite characters in the game, including Cloud (FF VII), Yuna (FF X) and Lightning (FF XIII).
And a bonus, the back of the card has this matte feel with the Final Fantasy words being hot stamped on the cards, giving the cards a very good feel. So good in fact, you will be tempted not to sleeve your cards.
Next, this is probably my favorite part of this game: it’s probably one of the easiest games to understand. Maybe it got something to do with my expensive history with Trading Card Games. I spent 5 minutes reading the rules, another 5 looking through the cards and I completely understood the game.
It’s indeed that easy. If you break it down, there are only a few categories of cards in the game, backups (sort of your mana generators), forwards (your creatures that attack and defend) and events (your spells).
Each time you deal unblocked damage to your opponent, they take 1 damage by flipping their top most card from their deck to their damage pile. Whoever deals 7 damage to their opponent wins the game.
But.. That’s always a but, isn’t there? Final Fantasy TCG feels a tad too gimmicky to me. For me, Final Fantasy was always about exploring new places and immersing into storylines while meeting new characters. Understandably, this is hard to translate to a TCG but with such said experience removed, it feels very much like any other Japanese TCG (think Vanguard or Yu Gi Oh).
With that being said though, I will still be playing and collecting it casually as it’s one of those games that is easy to teach but hard to master. And also, it doesn’t have about 1,000 keywords that I have to memorize.
Star Wars Destiny TCG
Let me be upfront with you guys. Star Wars Destiny TCG is the latest revenue generator from Fantasy Flight Games, period. The Star Wars series has always seen great success, from Imperial Assualt to X-Wing to Rebellion. Ultimately, you are still playing Star Wars, just a different variation of a board game or card game.
And you know what.. It’s actually kind of a good thing. I always talk about the artwork first because many times, it makes or breaks a game. The artwork in Star Wars Destiny is partially new and partially reused from previous cards found in other Star Wars games.
Experienced players would feel a sense of familiarity when playing the game and new players would feel a sense of awe when cycling through the many beautiful illustrations found in the game.
The most important component in the game would be the dice and each of them has artwork printed on each side of the dice, ensuring that the artwork does not peel off even after multiple usage and abuse of the dice.
Unlike the Final Fantasy TCG, Star Wars Destiny TCG would take a slightly longer time to get into and I highly recommending just checking out the tutorials on the official Fantasy Flight Games Youtube channel. It will help to clear ambiguous wordings found in the rule sheet too. (Above is an example on how to play a card and attaching a dice to a card)
But.. What if my dog ate my dice? Yeah.. That could be a problem. With both dice and cards, it can be a headache when a particular dice goes missing, which would hinder your deck. As such, if you are not a typically organized person, I feel for you..
So far, it’s been a blast playing Star Wars Destiny TCG too, with the dice adding an element of luck and added strategy.
At the end of the day,if you would like to get into a Trading Card Game, ask yourself if you are getting into it as a competitive player or a collector? If you are a casual player, go for something that you can relate to, whether it be Star Wars Destiny TCG or even something like Pokemon TCG.