I’m not usually big into card fighting games, but I gave SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters DS a shot. The game starts out with Taiko climbing the card tower and learning the rules of battles. You use the touch screen to select opponents represented by red dots to battle. There isn’t much exploring since SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighter DS is really about card fights.
Each match starts out with the roll of six sided die. Whoever gets the higher number gets to pick who goes first. Then you’re given six cards out of your custom fifty card deck. See where the picture says “player cards”? That’s where you place your cards that are ready for battle. During your first turn you only have three white attribute points to use, which limits cards you can bring out. You have two real choices when battles start you either put up a few cards (one or two) or sacrifice some of your cards in your hand by dragging them to the discard pile to get different color energy. If you go towards the sacrifice route you might be able to bring additional cards in the attack position. However, these cards won’t be ready to attack until your next turn. The only exception to the rule is if you have a “first strike” ability and enough force saved up to activate it. There is an advantage to bringing more characters in your battle section early, each turn you gain colored energy for each on the field. There are five kinds of energy called “force”: red, yellow, blue, green and white. Since each card (battle, attack and counter) require different kinds of energy you want to maximize your store of energy to get an early upper hand. Also any colored energy can fill the requirement of white (colorless) energy, which is crucial for counters.
Once you place your cards on the field your opponent makes his/her move and does the same thing. In the third turn things get interesting because you can attack. Any card on the field can freely attack. If your opponent has any fighters they will block with them and protect the card holder’s life points. You can only assign one defending card to each attacking card, which means you can breakthrough an opponent’s defense by attacking with a lot of cards. However, you might not want to attack with your entire army. After attacking your cards cannot be used to defend, which leaves your life points open for attack. The exception is if you have a counter card, which allows some characters that attacked to defend. Most early counter cards use colorless force, so as long as you have extra energy saved you can activate them. Once you activate defenders the battle begins with punch marks, gun bullets and screen shaking on the top screen. Damage is dealt depending on a characters “BP” (battle point) statistic and if any card runs out of life they’re sent to the discard pile.
Those are the basics, but SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters DS is a lot more complex. If you save up energy you can do fusion combos, which can tear through an enemy. You can pull out attack cards to boost damage and heal with defense ones. Or if you want to boost your available force you can select the force option for a card, which gives up their ability to attack or defend in return for colored force energy. Even more complicated is how most cards have different “special attributes”, Rose boosts your force meter with extra energy and Trish gets a boost in her BP if she’s in battle longer. If you’re planning on importing this, don’t, unless you can read a good amount of kanji. SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters DS requires language skills even if you don’t care about the story. It’s also just a little more of a wait until SNK Playmore USA brings this over. We’ve heard it could be as early as the first quarter of 2007, but who is counting? Below are some pictures I took of the more surprising characters in SNK vs. Capcom Card Fighters. So far I’ve seen T Hawk from Super Street Fighter 2, Fiona Bell from Dementia / Haunting Ground, one of the Twinkle Star sprites, Nina from Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter and my favorite card (which some how I started off with) Mars People from Metal Slug.