Author > Brian Chan

Former Lecturer. Gamer. Idea Generator. Tournament Organizer. Loves Kairosoft games. Lived in a box twice in Recettear. Never turns down a Catan challenge. Cheats in Monopoly. Broke Skyrim. Sucks at Dance Central. Plays a fem Shep. Heavy bow-gunner in MH3p. Completed Persona 2 Portable 4 times. Well, he’s just too damn free.

Posts by Brian Chan

Gameloft’s new TCG, Order & Chaos: Duels

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The Order & Chaos(O&C) has just expanded to a new genre on the Android and iOS platforms. Today, the Order & Chaos franchise has added another title into a new genre to their list, the trading card game Order & Chaos:Duels. While the TCG genre isn’t new to the mobile platform, let’s have a look at how Order & Chaos: Duels fares against similar games.


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The Gameplay

The game is based on your traditional trading card game(TCG) with options of expanding your deck beyond your starting packs. O&C:Duels is a unique as you will be able to choose between four(4) different factions to play; Human, Elf, Orc and the Undead. Each faction has their own unique heroes, minions, weapon, armors and spells to cast. The tutorial is fun and easy to follow, so starting off isn’t too difficult.
The tutorial will eventually lead to the single player campaign or a Player Pillage mode and Multi player modes. The goal of each duel is to eliminate your opponent by reducing their heroes vitality to zero (0) before he eliminates you. As you progress, you will level up with your hero card which will increase its vitality.


The Mechanics

At the start,  a deck of cards will be made available to you, beginning with 30 cards. As you progress in level, you can purchase extra card slots or purchase in-game premium cards via their in-app purchases. You will also have a library where you can keep your excess cards to use in the future which can only be accessed before or after the duel.

Understanding the card is quite simple. Like any other trading card game, it will naturally have the cost of casting attack power, vitality/health and its unique spells or skills attached to it. Unless it is a spell, the casting cost, attack power and vitality of the card will be revealed. Tap on the card and more details of the card will be shown; creature type, activation skills or a closer look at the amazing artwork this game has.

Casting the card will consume mana, which can be increased with a card sacrifice each turn. You may cast any amount of spells or creatures if you have sufficient mana to do it. The hero card you possess will also allows you to activate hero abilities which needs to be charged. You also may equip your hero with your equipment card at a mana cost to further protect you hero.

Also, do note that you cannot play cards that are not meant for your faction, like example: If you have an Orc Deck, you cannot play Human faction cards.

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The Game Modes

As you play O&C:Duels, you will start off with the campaign mode. In the campaign mode, you will be given access to a variety of cards to play and choose from. As you progress, you will be awarded with coins and battle runes, which can be used to exchange with cards in the shop. The story progression in the campaign varies from the faction you choose to start and it is based upon the lore of the Order & Chaos series.

The multiplayer mode allows you to enter a Ranked Duel or a Custom Duel. The Ranked Duel mode follows a ranked ladder system, you increase in rank if you win, it decreases if you lose. Custom Duel on the other hand, allows you to create or search for a a match that fits your requirements. are good at it. This system works for searching and creating a game in it.

If you’re a fairly competitive player, there’s a leaderboard to check where you stand globally.

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The Cards

O&C:Duels has a variety of cards to buy or trade with what you have. Mainly, the cards value is divided into several rarity levels, Common, Uncommon, Rare and Epic Cards. Players will start off with 30 Common cards with the options of purchase better ones as they progress. A total of 250 cards are available at the moment, but like many other trading card games, that will definitely expand.

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The Verdict

In comparison to many digital trading card games out there, this takes the cake. This game may feel overly simplified if you’ve played trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh or Duel Masters, however, it’s easy to pick up, and its free to play. Unfortunately, this game requires you to have a constant internet connection available, meaning no offline mode. You’ll also have to use real money to buy the really good cards.

Despite these problems, Order & Chaos: Duels manages to balance great artwork with simplified combat mechanics, suitable for the mobile platform. Besides, you won’t have to shuffle your deck after each game, so that’s another plus.

Order & Chaos: Duels is available FREE on the iOS and Android platforms.

Note: If you have a Gameloft or Facebook Account, it would make the logging into the game much easier.

Review Unit used: iPod Fifth Generation, 64GB on iOS 6.1.2

Issues Faced: None

 

 

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Electronic Arts CEO steps down

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EA is probably THE most hated company right about now and has been so ever since the tenure of John Riccitiello. His tenure will end March 30th 2013. With EA being voted the Consumerist’s “Worst Company of 2012″ award and also being noted a creativity killer, centralized around acquiring and closing fairly popular franchises with their games, Riccitiello was also responsible for introducing Origin, which led to much grief and frustration of new age gamers.

The Origin

The EA Platform, Origin was introduced in his tenure; a clear competition to Steam, receiving the ire of fans which took the time adapting to Valve’s Steam back in their day. Clearly, they weren’t happy with another online DRM platform, whatever the name companies decide to give them. While competition is good, EA’s approach definitely had some backlash. This may not have reflected on the sales chart, however, it clearly affected consumer views on the company, which were already upset with their recent deployment of games, notably Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age 2, which received huge amounts of criticism in comparison to each their predecessors. Star Wars: The Old Republic which started off pretty well, is now a Free-to-play MMO. Battlefield 3 has quite a successful launch, selling over 15 million copies.

Riccitiello’s reign also introduced micro transactions and in-game stores into their games, again to gamer’s dismay. While it may seem appropriate to some, particularly EA when it comes to profitability, gamer’s have always had a problem with the idea, particularly when they pay ‘full’ price for what they think or know as a ‘full’ or complete game.

With more recent issues such as the Mass Effect 3 fiasco including its plot holes, day-one DLCs and the slew of problems that surrounded the much anticipated Sim City Launch, it’s pretty obvious that customers aren’t happy and aren’t afraid to speak out about it. Search up SimCity in Google and the next in line after the official website is a host of reviews stating how the horrid the state of the game is. As gamers delve deeper into the game, the more issues they find. It’s also fairly certain that some form of micro transactions will be introduced into the game, assuming their ‘vision’ (and you should read that article by Erik Kain from Forbes) is the same once John Riccitiello steps down end of March.

What’s Next?

It’s rocky. At least for the future of EA and their titles. This comes at a time where the next generation of consoles are coming; an entirely new and unexplored opportunity. While I do not foresee an issue of EA making that transition, you may see EA being more conservative after Riccitiello’s tenure, with less acquisitions and even less creativity.

We’re yet to figure out how much of a hand did EA have in the development of their games, but John Riccitiello may not be the only one to blame. Corporate entities have a board of directors, which usually shares a vision of what they want the company to become. While EA is on a manhunt for the next CEO, Riccitiello’s duties will be handled by Larry Probst CEO of Electronic Arts from 1991 to Riccitiello’s appointment in 2007.

Will EA be next in line to go bust? Probably not, despite gamer’s everywhere hoping and praying for that to happen.

Image Source: Industry Gamers 

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SAS Malaysia to Offer Visual Analytics Solutions to Malaysian Businesses

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Kuala Lumpur, February 21, 2013SAS Malaysia, the world’s leading business analytics software and service provider announced that it is offering a new self-service analytics solution during their press conference in Le Meridien, Kuala Lumpur. Queenie Wong, Practice Lead for Information Management and High-Performance Analytics for SAS Malaysia together with Damian Lim, Senior Consultant for Information Management, Sales Support for SAS Malaysia headed the presentation and introduced the solution to the media.

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