The Eye of Judgment Review

I admit, I’m not the biggest TCG fan in these parts. (I believe that honor falls to Frank?) That being said, Eye of Judgment still surprised me in that it was not only easily accessible, but more fun than just about every traditional TCG I’ve ever been coerced into trying.

Setting up the game takes little time. Placing your playing cloth on a flat surface, you position the new PS3 Eye on one of the four sides, tell the game which side you put it on, and get to work. Quick warning for those of you concerned about your image: it’s impossible to look cool while setting this up. If you’re reading this that’s probably not your concern at all, but after a lengthy session of testing, I’m convinced it just can’t be done. (If you can do it and send me pictorial proof, I’ll buy you a drink or something.)

Once you get things going and stay awake through the horrid tutorial(s), you can get right into the action; I’d recommend playing against the computer to start out, just until you learn the intricacies of the game.

If you’ve ever been confused by Magic or other games, this is the game for you. It uses only two mana points gained at each turn regardless of owned or active cards, and there’s no breakdown in terms of type of energy or anything like that. To play you place your cards on the 3×3 field and use your mana to bring creatures to life; you can also use it to attack or cast spells before the summoning phase.

To win the game, you have to control 5 of 9 squares. If you’re playing an idiot like me in their first game or two, that’s as easy to do as just putting out 5 cards. Most of the time, though, you’ll have to use strategy to defeat your opponent’s forces and take control of a field. Strategy isn’t as abundant in this as other similar games I’ve played, but it is there. The biggest concerns strategically (outside of what cards to use) deal with the element of cards and the element of the field. Place a fire card on a fire field, and it gets +2 to health; place it on a water (or blue, as I like to call it) one, and it gets -2 health. Each field also has an opposite side which can be flipped over through a variety of means, so things can quickly change for the worse.

How the cards get registered by the camera may be one of the biggest problems. For starters, you really need a bright room with a light almost directly over the camera and playing field to have no issues registering cards. Even once they’re on there, though, the game will frequently pause to re-read them, or ask you to move them back into the Eye’s sight.

Online play is certainly where it’s at, and it’s ingenious how they implemented the anti-cheating in this game. You have to register your entire deck with the game, and it tells you what card you drew while playing online. That means you can’t “pretend” to draw your best card and pull a Yu-Gi-Oh every game, because the game knows what you can and can’t play. Try as I might, I also couldn’t fool it. (Unless you count the experiment with fake cards… But that’s an issue on its own.)

Ultimately, Eye of Judgment is a fun game that brings an aged and dedicated niche to the gaming scene in full force. While it won’t turn a lot of hardcore TCG players into Eye of Judgment fanatics, it’s a great first attempt at truly trying to blend the two formats, and the closest we’ve ever been to the real-life world of Yu-Gi-Oh. Whether that’s good or bad is entirely up to you, and your answer will largely determine if you’ll like this game or not.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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