Eminence: Xander’s Tales is one part TCG, one part MMO, and two parts creative and gorgeous.
Something I’ve always enjoyed about trading card games like Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic is seeing what kinds of things end up on the cards. What kind of mishmash of worlds will your deck have? Back when I played, my best Yu-Gi-Oh deck included a pair of celestial space dragons and a bunch of medieval warriors who drew power from sunlight. Other popular themes at the time in my area included a set of Beetleborg-esque insect warriors, and a bunch of disgusting worm monsters that all spells out the alphabet. Card games are weird.
Where I’m going with this little opening tangent is that the world of trading cards is no stranger to mixing things together, often with great results. Eminence: Xander’s Tales hopes to make a blend of its own, with fine ingredients including high-stakes TCG strategy, an MMO environment, and a storyline and narrative akin to an RPG. Stir until creamy, pour into an iPad-shaped baking pan, and bake at 350 degrees of fun. The end result is an intriguing and extremely visually appealing online multiplayer TCG experience, with a fair share of adventure to be had.
Eminence‘s card game mechanics are largely inspired by games like Triple Triad. In both player versus player and story mode, you can fight in a fast-paced card game that ends in the victor taking a card from the loser. At the start of the battle, cards are placed on a grid, and the decision of which of your cards can take out those of your opponents is all based on which of the numbers adorning each card lines of with which on another card. The battles can be one part strategy, and one part chance, depending on how things move around throughout the game. Each card you defeat is “captured”, becoming a card you can choose to take if the victory is yours.
Many rules can also be included in different battles, such as randomization and open hand modes. Then there’s Eminence mode, wherein the numbers on the edges of each card are replaced with colored gems. Attack (red) and Special Attack (yellow) gems will only affect your opponents, while Heal (green) and Defend (blue) will only affect other cards of your own on the grid.
Now then, what of this grand story? Eminence: Xander’s Tales takes place in the world of Artalys, a place locked in a sort of endless death and rebirth cycle every 10,000 years. (think End of Evangelion, but with fewer giant glowing naked people and more exploding suns) The nations of this universe have gained access to alchemy, a power discovered through ancient artifacts of civilizations past, and things are not going smoothly. Alliances have been broken and war is brewing, and in the midst, an alchemist who bore witness to the previous death and rebirth of the universe rises up to try and find salvation from the ending reset of the sun’s fiery wrath. You are a young student of alchemy, the last disciple of Xander, and a crucial piece in the war of nations and alchemy that is to unfold.
I could go on – seriously, I think this is the longest Kickstarter page I’ve ever seen – but where’s the fun in that? You’ll have to check out the Kickstarter for yourself for more on this vast TCG online game. In the meantime, let’s talk goals and rewards. The base goal for Eminence: Xander’s Tales is £50,000, enough to get the game on iOS. Stretch goals include launch on everything from Android to Steam and consoles. Reward tiers are pretty generous, gaining beta access from the start and moving up to tons of ingame items exclusive when the game is released, a special online tournament exclusive to backers of a certain level, and the ability to design your own castle, and a lot more. Just looking at the sheer amount of content on the Kickstarter page proves how much work Aeterna Studios has put into the project from their small studio in the UK. Check out the page for more, and get ready to build your own deck and stop the sun from ever wreaking havoc on Artalys again.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.heypoorplayer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/011.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]f danger had a face…oh, if danger had a face. Jay Petrequin started writing at HeyPoorPlayer in the summer of 2012, but has always been a writer, be it in the form of articles and reviews here at HPP or in that of fiction and articles written over at PkMnCast.com. Jay has been a gamer from a young age, first finding his legs on a GBA and a copy of Pokemon Sapphire. He enjoys a game with a strong narrative and art design, but also appreciates the retro stuff from before his time. Jay also has a passion for comics, movies and anime. He likes to yell a lot on his Twitter @extremesalsaing, which is only the coolest twitter in town. Favorite games: Okami, Bioshock, Shadow of the Colossus, Xenoblade Chronicles, The World Ends With You, Pokemon Emerald[/author_info] [/author]