Mental images can be funny things, but if you’ve always imagined card-playing sessions to involve a collection of knifescarred underworld hoodlums smoking cigars in the backroom of a seedy nightclub, then the bright, neon-lit, up all night world of Card Fighters’ Clash will fulfil your every fantasy.
It has to be one of the most addictive and original games ever to grace any console, with an engrossing mix of RPG and card game that gradually gets its hooks into you and won’t let go.
Basically, your character travels around the Card Fighters world collecting different cards, playing mini-games and battling other players with a pack featuring characters from SNK and Capcom games. If you defeat an opponent, you receive more playing cards to add to your collection.
Initially, the game can be daunting and quite bewildering, with a set of rules to learn and cards that have hit points, soul points and actions. But after a few battles you start to pick up the game and become determined to collect more powerful cards to build up a deck that can take on the hardest of Card Fighters.
The graphics are large, bright and colourful. All of the cards are plastered with comic book representations of videogame stars such as the lovely Jill Valentine from Resident Evil and gangly Dhalsim from Street Fighter 2.
The role playing game bit involves visiting numerous worlds, including Capcom Plaza, Neo Geo Land and Lost World, which features a very silly dinosaur exhibit that roars when you pull a switch. There’s even a spooky Resident Evil mansion in SC Park, full of cute zombies, hidden bonus cards and evil Card Fighter opponents.
The single-player game is superb, but also included is a twoplayer link-up, enabling you to battle against or trade cards with your friends. Card Fighters’ Clash is one of those rare titles that seems to appear from nowhere, but surprises you by delivering a game that’s fresh, fun and incredibly addictive. This is Top Trumps for the new Millennium.
Credit: SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters Clash | Retro Gamer