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A Fun Licensed Trading Card Game

Reviewing: Destineer Fullmetal Alchemist: Trading Card Game  |  Rating:
Kevin Roman By Kevin Roman on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Hobbies & Crafts Expertise:
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This trading card game is fun to play. I like how there are a lot of useful (though some are useless, but not too many) cards and the unique playstyle it has. The story relates to the Fullmetal Alchemist anime (Edward and Alphonse Elric search for the Philosopher's Stone to restore the bodies they expended on their failed revival attempt of their mother) but it doesn't go into any depth compared to Marvel Trading Card Game. Basically you read a few lines of text between combatant characters and get a text ending if you choose character mode.

The graphics are nothing special unlike the Yu-Gi-Oh games; you just see the cards and there are no battle animations. However, they are drawn well. It is nice to see pictures of the characters from the show as well. I liked the music in this game. It also had some spoken dialogue from characters too which is nice.

Unlike Yu-Gi-Oh and Marvel Trading Card Game (based on Vs. System), this game is balanced and there are a lot of good cards. It takes a while to learn, but the game has a good tutorial. The game is original too. Basically, you have a leader and you play allies to the field. The leader gets experience as the game goes on and can go up levels, becoming stronger. I thought this was a unique aspect as well as the 3 forms of battling: Alchemy, Wits, and Strength. These are determined by the location card played at the beginning of the turn. The battle interface is nice, showing the stats of both you and your opponent and your cards are big enough so that you could never play the wrong one nor put it in the wrong place unlike Marvel Trading Card Game's stealth cards.

Also, you have attachments which are like equips but you can only play them without discarding cards on characters with a higher level and event cards that you play during battles. You can even attack together like in Marvel Trading Card Game's team attack, but the cost is very steep; you lose 1 of the characters you attacked with.

The best thing about this game is when you change the style in which you fight to counter them when they expect to fight by the style given by the location. Also, the locations have a goal to reach, which is usually win by a certain amount of points by alchemy, strength or wits. The game is won when you win 9 clues to the Philosopher's Stone, which are received by winning locations. The locations can also have a ruleset of their own too, making it important to read before formulating a strategy.

The only unavoidable problem I had with this game is the fact that accessing your card database and manipulating cards to put into your deck is a little sluggish because it takes a second or two to load the data from the card onto the top screen with the word interface that shows 7 cards at a time. Only use the word interface for choosing cards in your deck because the picture interface is buggy. It will choose the wrong card in the middle of a game even if you select the card and tap the check mark or if you double tap the card to choose when a card tells you to search your deck for a card and put it into your hand.

It can also freeze your game if you double tap the card in deck construction if you use the picture interface. The picture interface is not worth using due to these problems even if it shows 10 cards at a time. Fortunately, the default interface is the word interface, which lists the cards. Therefore, this glitch is completely avoidable if you only use the word interface; all other parts of the game such as double or single tapping cards to see what they are or view your opponent's cards on the field will work.

The game has wi-fi capabilities but I was unable to find any opponents for it. At least I was able to beat the computer with my cards and notice a lack of overpowered cards. The offline regular matches against the computer have various difficulties though the hardest one could be more of a challenge, but at least they put up a fight. The fantasy mode that lets you play with all cards unlocked is a good idea for a quick game.

I recommend anyone to buy this game. The cards are fair and the gameplay is unique and has depth. The only problems I had with this game were that the cards take a moment or two to load up and the picture interface glitches. At least the glitches are completely avoidable by using the word interface.

I'm glad to finally see a trading card game that is fun and fair. Too bad the physical card game that this game's rules were completely based on went out of production; it didn't make enough money to last in real life. At least they made a video game presentation of it that works well.