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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Hands On: BlazBlue Battle Cards 1.02.02 (iOS)

Hands On: BlazBlue Battle Cards 1.02.02 (iOS)
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MacNN Staff
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Jun 7, 2015, 05:19 AM
It seems that every day, digital CCGs are hitting the App Store, in no small part due to the success of Hearthstone. Most of these games play off of the Magic the Gathering model, where you largely use creatures and spells to do battle to the player you're fighting. Newcomer BlazBlue Battle Cards has decided to turn that idea on it's ear by emulating fighter games, rather than existing real-world card games.

Unlike Hearthstone or Scrolls, you don't control creatures or spells, which makes sense seeing as BlazBlue is a popular fighting game. Instead of defending yourself with a field of creatures, you face off in hand-to-hand combat against another person. The flow of the game is much quicker than other CCGs we've played. The games that we played with the starter decks were often won or lost in five to ten minutes, versus the 10-15 for Hearthstone, or 30+ for higher levels of Scrolls. Like other CCGs, you can expand your decks by opening packs. As usual, the game features the ability to buy packs with real world money, or in-game currency which can be won by completing daily quests.

BlazBlue Battle Cards has been getting panned by critics for being another Hearthstone knockoff (which, lets face it, is just based off of Magic the Gathering), but the game has enough original mechanics to stand on its own. Compared to other CCGs like Hearthstone and Scrolls, BlazBlue Battle Cards is a lot more restrictive about what you can do. The basic flow of the battle is dictated by two resources: reach, which denotes the order that cards can be played in, and heat, which can either be gained or lost when playing attacks.

The reach mechanic sets up the card order your battle will go in. You have to progressively play cards with higher reach, meaning that if you open your attack with a reach of three, you can only play anything four and above. If you start with a zero, however, you have far more options. Heat is similar to mana or resources in other games. Playing certain attacks will gain you units of heat, which can then be used for other attacks and maneuvers that require heat. These are generally stronger or have some benefit over heat-generating cards.

We wish the game looked a little better, though, as it feels far too "busy," likely a byproduct of attempting to emulate their fighter's scheme. Even after playing for a while, the game still felt like it was fighting for where to pull our attention. We think that it would benefit quite a bit from a facelift and a good paring down of screen clutter -- and we have a plea to the developers: We'd like a rulebook that could be accessed from within the app's menu, rather than having to go back through a full tutorial. It wastes time if you're just trying to confirm or refresh your memory on a specific rule, especially because the tutorials are slow-paced.

If you're into CCGs and you're willing to spend time with another, BlazBlue Battle Cards is certainly one of the more interesting ones to check out. We liked the fact that the game wasn't just attempting to be a reskinned version of Hearthstone, but carve out its own niche by bridging the gap between fighters and CCGs. BlazBlue Battle Cards is available as an iPad exclusive for free.

Who should download BlazBlue Battle Cards:
Fans of CCGs who are looking for an original twist on the genre, as well as fans of BlazBlue.

Who shouldn't download BlazBlue Battle Cards:
If you don't like CCGs, or if you're a MtG purist, this isn't going to tickle your fancy.

-- Amber Neely (@SurferAmber)
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