Just bought the first Playstation, in the far 1996, I made my two titles: Castlevania Symphony of the Night and Final Fantasy VII; needless to say that on the second I spent about a year and that, when Cosmic Games proposed me to review final fantasy 7 rom, I did not hesitate a moment, despite the promise I made to no longer touch a collectible card game.
Each player has a deck built with exactly 50 cards and can have at most 3 copies of the same card.
Each card has a cost in Cristal Point (from now on called CP): it is possible to get two by discarding one card from one’s hand or one by dulling (tapping, tapping into the terms of Magic) and, at least one of these, must be in the same color as the card to be played.
The cards are divided into Characters of Vanguard , Retroguardia and Evocazioni : the first two are played in their turn, while the latter at any time, in the same manner of the instant Magic, with a lot of effects that go into the stack and resolve from from the last played.
Avant-garde characters are used to attack the opponent and defend themselves, they have a Strength Point value which establishes the damage they can inflict and which they can suffer and, once an attack is made, the character is dulled and cannot be used neither to attack again nor to defend; the Guard provides support and generates CP.
Each round is divided as follows:
- Active Phase: characters in dull (plugged) are placed in a vertical position.
- Draw Phase: two cards are drawn (the first player will only draw one in his initial turn).
- Main Phase 1: characters, summons or abilities are played.
- Attack Phase:
- The turn player attacks with a creature or team of creatures that add up their Strength Points and dull them.
- The defending player can decide whether to block, using a non-dull character inflicting and taking damage equal to his own Force points and those of his opponents, or whether to let the attack pass by taking damage; in this case, the defending player will put the top card of his deck in the Damage Zone face up and if it has the Ex Burst icon he will use the effect.
- The current player decides whether to continue attacking or move on to the next phase.
- Main Phase 2: characters, summons or abilities are played.
- End Phase: The damage inflicted on the Avant-gardes still in play is canceled and if you have more than five cards in your hand the excess ones are discarded.
The goal of the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game is to defeat the opponent and this is possible in three different ways: inflicting seven damage points, if he can no longer draw or if he is dealt damage when he has no more cards available in the deck.
I performed the tests thanks to the material sent to me by Cosmic Games, using the basic sets of Final fantasy tactics advance rom, IX and Type-0 and convincing Clack – a lover of the FF saga – to be my challenger.
After several games, systematically changing the decks, I found the game and its simple but not trivial mechanics: the structure of the turn is easily learned in a flash but to master the use of characters and abilities it is necessary to spend time.
I had a lot of fun thanks to the rules that force you to plan your moves well: should you attack by leaving the board at the mercy of your opponent or entrench yourself in defense, sinking an attack from time to time? I can assure you that since the first tests, it seemed to me to play a game of chess and I found myself thinking often about which strategy to use and this means that Final Fantasy Trading Card Game has convinced me and involved me.
A very long applause, almost as a standing ovation, goes to the graphic realization and above all to the material with which the cards were made: before inserting them inside the protective bags, I admit that I tried almost a physical pleasure to touch them.
I know that treating a TCG is always complicated because the first note that is moved is always the same: but how much does it cost me?
My advice is to start by buying a couple of basic sets and playing with a friend, because Final Fantasy Trading Card Game deserves to be in the homes of fans of TCG and Final Fantasy thanks to a quick and fresh regulation and a background that I would call it respectable.