Dungeons & Treasure, Card Game

I got a deck of playing cards, but you know what’s better than playing card games? Making it up as you go along until an idea forms! So here’s one of my games.

I got a deck of playing cards last Christmas, and for some reason I also have a book full of card games. But you know what’s better than playing card games? Making it up as you go along until an idea forms! So here’s one of my games: Dungeons & Treasure! This can probably be multiplayer, but I’ve only tried singleplayer.

Use a deck of 52 playing cards, without jokers. Shuffle it. Without knowing what the cards are, draw two cards face-down, one on top of the other, onto the table. Do the same again, placing these cards beside the first cards. Repeat until you have a grid of 4 by 3 cards. Draw 3 cards for yourself, which you may look at. These 3 cards are your manpower. Now the game begins.

Reveal the top card of any pile. If you have a card of same (to the pile’s card) or higher value (aces are low but are treated as higher against kings) or two cards of the same (to each other) value, you may sacrifice that(/those) card(s) to destroy that top card (sacrificing and destroying cards puts them in the graveyard) and reveal the card underneath. You can either repeat the process or take this bottom card for manpower. If you destroy this bottom card, you draw 3 cards from the deck, these 3 cards being added to your treasure. Treasure can be used as sacrifices just like manpower, but treasure is all that matters when you’re done.

If you cannot (or choose not to) destroy the top card, simply leave the top card face-up and start the process again with a pile that’s all face-down. Once only piles with face-up top cards are left, you may start the processes again with those piles. If the deck runs out, the game ends. If no piles are left, the game ends. If you cannot do anything more, the game ends. At the end of the game, add the values of all of your treasure to discover your total treasure. That’s your score.

I don’t know any neat strategies or odd side-effects or strange consequences or anything, so feel free to give feedback and point anything out.

Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic, and Numbers

I’ll give a load of backstory first, then I want to discuss the differences between the numbers of these games.

I’ll give a load of backstory first, then I want to discuss the differences between the numbers of these games.

My first trading card game (TCG) was the Pokemon TCG. I still have an okay collection of Pokemon cards, but practically no EXs, megas, darks, metals, psychics, dragons, or fairies. My deck consists of fighting and grass Pokemon. I’ve still had plenty of fun with my friend Ram back in elementary school. My elementary school was all into the Pokemon TCG.

Next, I wanted to get into Yu-Gi-Oh. To be honest, I think all that drew me in was wanting to say “you triggered my trap card.” I couldn’t afford any cards and I didn’t know anyone who played, so I simulated Yu-Gi-Oh on my desktop using LackeyCCG. I didn’t get far into this game.

Now my interest has been drawn to Magic: The Gathering. Neither can I afford these cards at the moment, so I simulate the game using Cockatrice. I’ve had plenty of fun with this game. Omnath, Locus of Mana, is my favourite card so far. He makes for an awesome commander because so many cards can work with him so well. I’m planning on being in the modern format.

Now for the numbers. In the Pokemon TCG, everything is in multiples of ten. You can’t find 1, 3, 5, 19, etc. health points. This may be to more accurately reflect the Pokemon core video games.

It seems that in Yu-Gi-Oh, all numbers are in multiples of one hundred. This gives a sense of extreme damage but can also make beginners overestimate their cards’ numbers.

In Magic: The Gathering, values are in multiples of one. The numbers are also very (relatively) low. A creature with 10 toughness (health) is on the stronger end of things. Very straightforward. I like this card game all the more for this. However, unlike in the Pokemon TCG, (and maybe Yu-Gi-Oh, I’m not sure,) a creature with high toughness can still be defeated with ease and a creature with high power (attack) can still be harmless if you have the right cards on-hand. Meanwhile, a creature with low power and toughness could be difficult to get rid of because of it’s abilities. Magic is a lot more than a pick-the-stronger-creature game. This is why I love this game over the Pokemon TCG.

Super Smash Bros. 4 and Project M

At some point, we played Super Smash Bros. Brawl on their Wii. At this point, I have never played Smash. Fast forward a few years. I get a 3DS for Christmas.

A handful of years ago, my dad’s 50th birthday was upon him. So, we visited some cousins to celebrate or something. I know nearly none of my many cousins, of which I am youngest second only to my sister, but we had fun. We played some sort of card game where you equipped equipment and fought monsters. It’s name was something like the word “monster.” At some point, we played Super Smash Bros. Brawl on their Wii.

At this point, I have never played Smash. I’m not even sure if I’ve heard of it. They handed me a controller (not sure which kind) and I mashed buttons because I had no idea what the controls were. I came away with an interest in the previously mentioned card game (which I haven’t been able to remember the name of since) and no interest in Smash.

Fast forward a few years. I get a 3DS for Christmas. This was sometime around the beginning of it’s life cycle. A beautiful bright blue shine, the colour was. This was probably the happiest Christmas of my life. I got a bunch of launch titles and gained more games for it later. I also had a good bunch of DS games beforehand. I was a bit confused on why it was missing a slot for my Gameboy cartridges because my DS had that. (I completely skipped the DSi.)

Later, I look through the Nintendo eShop’s demos to find the demo for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS (which is also known as Smash 4, in case you’re not in the know). I decide “hey, why not?” and get it. The introductory tutorial was exactly what I needed. I gradually learned things about the game. My friend, who I’ll call Ram, doesn’t have Wifi, so I get the demo for him and we both have plenty of fun. He gets Smash 4, I get Smash 4, and we play some more.

It takes me a while to get into a main. Then my main changes. And again and again, etc. Turns out, my main is whoever I feel like that week. I just can’t stick to one character in Smash 4. The thing about Smash 4 is that it feels, at least to me, more like a party game than anything.

So far, I’ve only played Super Smash Bros. for 3DS. But at my high school, the special education teacher, who I’ll call James, has this Wii. He only had Wii Sports, Wii Music, and Wii Play. Maybe also Mario Kart Wii at this point. So I ask him if he could get Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. He’s a great guy. He gets Brawl. So now, me and Ram start to play Brawl at lunch at school, which draws an audience and more players. It was epic, the atmosphere, although the game I didn’t find to be anything extraordinary in comparison. It still is epic, but things change at this point in the story. My Smash experience changes.

I learn about this modification for Brawl, which is called Project M. I look into it. I think the Project M development team stopped working on it by then, the latest version being 3.6. So I download Project M 3.6, throw it onto an SD card, throw that into the Wii, and start up Project M. This was a tough adjustment, particularly because I tried to spike offstage using Captain Falcon. Bad idea, that was, but getting into Project M was a magnificent idea. My Smash experience changes. I finally have a proper main. My main in Project M becomes, and still is, Squirtle. Everyone has fun until I start using Squirtle. Eventually we start having fun again because we often choose random characters and even when I am Squirtle, people are starting to find their mains, making it harder for me to win.

My current player landscape is this: at lunch in my school me and friends almost always play Project M. At first the four primary players, by which I mean players that almost always show up for the game, were me, Ram, and two other guys I’ll refer to as Griffin and Salamander. Now Griffin is off playing Magic the Gathering and I think we may have a new primary, who I’ll refer to as Spike.

Right now, in Project M I main Squirtle and secondary Mewtwo.

I’m planning, once this Winter Break is over, to mod the mod in the most insane way possible. Just for a single match or so. You know, to make them go “what in the good name of all hellspawn have you done?” Because I can.

My Spyro Experience

Let me go through the original Playstation trilogy of Spyro and give my thoughts.

My favourite game of all time is Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage. You may know it as Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer, as it’s known in Europe. For simplicity’s sake, I will refer to this game by it’s North American name.

The original Playstation trilogy of Spyro games were Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage, and Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon. These games were my childhood and shall forever remain wonderful. Let me go through this trilogy and give my thoughts. This post may also work as a review.

Spyro the Dragon was a collectathon. That is to say: the entire point of the game was to collect everything. You could go through the game while missing entire stages, but that defeats the point. Every time you start up Spyro, you go for 100%. (Better yet, 120%. *Wink.*) This first game in the trilogy was the most simple of the three and all the better for it. This did not mean that it wasn’t difficult or thoughtful; it was certainly a challenge at (very few) times, but even then it wasn’t any Crash Bandicoot. There are six homeworlds, which lead to realms themed after their homeworlds. Every world is filled with enemies and treasure. There are a few flight stages, oddities where you fly, trying to get some targets.

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage added minigames (besides flight stages) to the mix and spruced up the palette. The homeworlds now contain no enemies and their realms are not themed after their homeworld. This entry in the series is my favourite in no small part because of the second of the three homeworlds: Autumn Plains. You’ll see what I mean when you get there. The story is also upgraded and Ripto is a great villain.

Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon is very alike to Spyro 2. The difference is that this third game focuses far too much on minigames, in my opinion. I absolutely love a lot of the worlds, but the large focus on minigames sours my taste of it. Still, absolutely worth playing. Also, the stage that I love most here is Fireworks Factory, in case you were wondering.

After this great trilogy, the Spyro brand was handed off to another developer, exchanging hands many times for many different results. Speaking of which, let me make a PSA: THE LEGEND OF SPYRO TRILOGY AND SKYLANDERS SERIES ARE NOT SPYRO. Thank you for your time.

P.S. The Legend of Spyro is still pretty good imo, but I’ve only played the first in that series. Maybe if I manage to play the rest of those games, I’ll review those.

My rating for all three of the Spyro trilogy: 120%