Sunday, December 9, 2012

Check out what I found!

To the person who asked me my opinion on Hasbro "Ruining Beyblade 4D", My answer is now officially "...Huh?"

Friday, November 2, 2012

Kohdok Reviews Micro Chargers!

A new video! This time, I review Moose's new toy: Micro Chargers! Giveaway included!

And, of course, the Rafflecopter

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kohdok Reviews Monsterology

So I was recently sent a new game to review which is made by Nuko Toys called "Monsterology", based on the popular series of "ology" books such as "Dragonology" and "Wizardology". Monsterology is a turn-based strategy game for smart devices such as the iPad and Android similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. In order to unlock the various monsters, you purchase some real-life trading cards to input them into the Monsterology app which you can download for free.

Now, trading cards interacting with video games is certainly nothing new. These sorts of things have been around for at least a decade and for a while were all the rage in Japan. I stayed in Japan for three months and discovered some very interesting input methods.

There are, of course, scan cards such as Scan2Go and Swypeout which use barcodes and swiping mechanisms in order to work with the game or device. Some arcades in Japan used QR Codes to recognize the cards, such as Zoids Card Colosseum, but are mostly aimed at young kids as a simple rock-paper-scissors game, such as how Dinosaur King started out. Even more primitive is the use of one-time-use input codes which act as copy protection as seen in Chaotic, Bella Sara, and Bakugan Dimensions. Another game, Spectrobes, used an overlay card over the DS touch screen to input the card (again, only once per game)

Gundam Card Builder
Getting more technical, there are games that use optical systems which recognize the cards by sight, such as Eye of Judgement and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. One of my favorite optical arcade games in Japan was Gundam Card Builder, which used folding card sleeves in order to customize the machines you were about to send into battle. You then move these actual cards on an optical table in a Real-Time Strategy game. There were others, such as a soccer game by Panini, a wrestling game, and some sort of Japanese feudal war game which I can't make out the name of.

Quest of D
Even more fancy, games like Sega's Quest of D and Key of Avalon have cards which you assemble a complete deck out of and stick into a slot. The machine then reads some barcodes on the top edge of each card which is printed in florescent ink! Wild! Sadly, I doubt we'll ever see any of those games stateside aside from Yugioh Duel Terminals, since arcades here simply do not hold the sway that they do across the pond.

Now, these Nuko cards use a different mechanism from all of those. Inside each card is actually a series of contacts which trigger responses with the touch screens of various smart-devices! The app reads the input of these contacts in order to figure out which card it is. Once it identifies a card, it adds the creature to your inventory so you can use it. Other cards provide items or traps which assist the monsters in combat.

In the actual game, you are trying to stop an evil wizard from, you guessed it, taking over the world (Of course!). In each level, you build a deck from your card collection. If you have no cards, you get a few monsters and a wooden catapult to start you off. Once your deck construction is complete, it's time to engage in combat! Your goal is to capture the portals which the evil wizard is using to unleash his forces.

 You can spawn monsters around your starting location or at any key location you have captured. Monsters have a different cost depending on their power, and the cost really does matter at higher levels. 1s and 2s are hard to tell apart, but each level after that (up to 5) really is a change in level and the monsters really are worth the higher costs. The Dark Hippogriff(Cost 1) you see here is really no match for a Leviathan(Cost 5).

 Once your monsters are out, you can tap them so they can advance to anywhere in the blue circle or attack anything within the red circle, with each of those actions costing one point. The Dark Phoenix you see here can fly, so it has a lot of movement power. You can only move a monster once per turn, but you can attack with them as many times you can pay for. However, keep in mind that the enemy will launch a counterattack each time you hit them without defeating them.

This is where Items and Traps come in; the great equalizers. My Dark Phoenix is no match for a Behemoth, which is where the Wooden Catapult comes in. Wooden Catapults are played near a monster and are used to fire flaming rocks at foes up to three times per turn without fear of reprisal. There are other items with random effects, such as "Egg of the Water", "Vial of Malodorous Bunyip Breath", and "Creature Catapult". There are also traps which behave like land mines and can disable a monster or do other effects.
The game has a fair amount of strategy to it and the environments and monsters look really nice. The cards don't look to shabby either, boasting a unique shape meant to help the contacts hit the screen properly. It's not all guns and roses, however, as the game is a bit buggy. Some bugs cause monsters to vanish or be unable to move and others risk crashing the game (Hint, on levels 8 and 9, use only 19 cards, not 20). Fortunately, several of the bugs are beneficial and balance out the bad ones, such as Wooden Catapults not costing anything to deploy or attack with, and others where you get things other than the card you scanned, some of which are better than what you swiped! These bugs will hopefully get worked out in time, but it adds an interesting challenge when you find your cost-free catapult shots slamming into an invisible terrain barrier, forcing you to change your tactics.

The cards mostly serve the purpose of a unique form of copy protection, but not the best copy protection; you can scan each card as many times as you want, giving you an unlimited supply of each card you have (though the point system helps balance this out) Also, the Animal Planet Wildlands cards, meant for the Animal Planet Wildlands app, can also trigger responses in the game, sometimes changing whether the card is face-up or face-down. While unintentional, it can be fun to explore the possibilities.

So, that's Monsterology. It's a promising start to an interesting idea; you can get a three-pack of cards for between $2 and $4 at Toys R' Us or the Apple Store. It will be interesting to see if any of the other "Ology" books become an expansion pack for this game. You can try the game for free and can actually get pretty far with the pack-in monsters, but a pack or two can make a massive army and make the game much easier. If you try the free version, you've got nothing to lose, so have at it!

Until next time, this is Kohdok signing off!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Predasaurs: DNA Fusion!

So now for a quick look at a new series which has been out for a while in Europe but has had a lukewarm reception here in the States, so far only tucked away in Toys R' Us.

Predasaurs is a series created by Dracco, makers of such creative and original franchises as "Filly Princess" and "Dracco Spin", which totally aren't ripoffs of anything.


Anyway, this series is a lot more original (or, if it does copy anything, it's of something I've never heard of). "Predasaurs" is a line of soft vinyl figures in the shapes of various dinosaurs. As opposed to traditional dinosaur figures, Predasaurs are instead biological mashups of two dinosaurs and have traits of both of them. They are also smart enough to carry bronze-age weaponry like clubs or axes which are held in a little notch in their hands.

Oh, and did I mention the teeth? The really, really, really big teeth? True to their name, even the Predasaurs which consist entirely of plant-eater dino DNA sport a keen row of rail-spikes jutting from their mouths in sizes that border on insane. With the figures being about three inches long at most, some of these teeth are over half-an inch long!

 The teeth also have a gimmick where they glow in the dark, something emphasized with the highly-reflective foil packaging they come in.
I guess that makes them Radioactive along with being mutant dinosaurs. "Radioactive Mutant Dinosaurs"; I can't think of a single part of that which doesn't sound totally awesome. It's not terribly scientific, but at least it's cool.

Anyway, the dinosaurs are divvied up into the various parts of the Mesozoic; Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. Dinos fall into each category based on which time period the majority of their DNA comes from. Each tribe has a leader dino with seven underlings. The leaders are the biggest and carry the weapons with special "power stones" on them.

And then there's the big daddy "Vulltarex" who is mostly T-Rex and part Stegosaurus and gets a tribe all his own: "Volcano". Okay, so now we're up to "Volcano-dwelling Radioactive Mutant Dinosaurs". Add a catchy theme song and we'll blow those silly turtles away! Vulltarex is only matched in size by other leaders or special dinosaurs and has a gaping maw filled with sharpened telephone poles the length of his head.

 Since the dinos are in soft foil packs, it's possible to figure out who is inside by feeling their heads, tails and weapons while within the package without opening it, like how many hunt for Lego Minifigs or Gormiti. I've managed to get all of the Leader characters (Hwaron, Enok, Hawa, and Vulltarex) this way without error.
Each dino also comes with a card which gives their combined species name, given name and battle stats., with Leader and Special dinos getting a foil effect, as well. Oh yeah, like every other boys toy out there right now, there's gotta be some sort of a battle game. Sheesh... Anyway, the idea is that you toss a dino out there and name an attribute you want to fight with, as well as the tribe you want to fight against; whoever wipes out their opponent's team wins.

But, the game isn't all that balanced. Jurassic is capable of making a perfect wall with a "10" in every category between Enok, Kallan, and Naum while Triassic's defense is full of holes. And what of Vulltarex? Does he count as a wild card which can be used as a pinch-hitter or does one have to call out "Volcano" in order to fight him? He's not that good, anyway, having only one "10" score versus Enok and Hawa who sport tens in two categories each.

However, the expansion "Insect Invasion" looks promising if it ever reaches the United States. In it, the three Dino tribes must team up in order to fight an invasion of half-dino/half-bug monstrosities! Dinos now come packed with helmets and tail-weapons as well as a new card spread. Vulltarex has much more threatening stats thanks to an infusion of Scorpion DNA, having a "10" in three categories.

There is also the Insect Invasion online game (*ahem which I currently hold the high score in *ahem*) Where you grab a Predasaur and single-handedly fight-off the Insectasaur invasion! It's a fun game once you get the hang of it and there is actually some strategizing and preparation involved.

Other products seem to exist as well, if the Powerpoint I dug up is any indication: There's combo-packs, playsets, carrying-cases, battlefields, and a huge sales display with a TV installed in it. The limited USA release makes the chances of anything beyond the double-pack seem dismal, but I think they're kinda fun.

More info about these toys can be found a

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kohdok Reviews Scan2Go!

And now for that MGA product scoop: This time it's their imported series Scan2Go!

Now a Editor's Pick! 

And, of course, the giveaway (USA Only, please):

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kohdok Reviews Monster Marbles

In this episode, Kohdok goes over Wowwee's foray into the world of blind-pack toys with Monster Marbles.

The rules for the additional Monster Marbles games:

Monster Bowling:
Build a triangular group of "Monster pins". Slam another marble into them. Any marble that gets dislodged counts towards your score(Use the monster's point value). Both players use the same pin set.

Monster Golf:
Create a Golf Course with a starting point, hole, rough and fairway as well as sand traps and water hazards. Hit your Monster Marble until you slide it over the hole, lowest number of hits wins. Rolling over a sand trap adds 1 swing, rolling over a water hazard adds 2.

Monster Mash:
Each player gets 5 marbles. Each player fires one Monster Marble at their opponent's Monster Marble in a super jousting match. Whoever manages to knock their opponent over in the exchange gains the point values of both Monster Marbles used in the bout. If nobody falls over, joust again. If both fall over, neither player gets any points.

Monster Retirement Planning:
Get your Pension, Investment Options, or 401K information from your employer. Consult with your Monster Marble and see if you are making the right decisions about your future.

Monster Croquet:
Each player needs one marble. Draw up some starting posts two feet apart as well as six "wickets", which are a pair of dots about one Monster-Marble's length across, between them in a swerving path. Players take turns giving their Monster Marbles a single tap to try to get through all six wickets, hit the opposite post, then get through all six again. Getting through a hoop or nudging another Monster Marble gets you another shot.

And, of course, the Rafflecopter.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Kohdok Reviews Air Storm!

And now for another outdoorsy toy, this is Air Storm by Zing Toys! With all the archery movies coming out lately, these are actually pretty fun!

And, of course, the Rafflecopter:

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Kohdok's Bratzillaz Review

In order to get the chance to review MGA Entertainment's new Boy-skewing franchise, Kohdok must face a challenge even greater than the Justin Bieber Keytar: reviewing the new Bratzillaz Dolls on Friday the 13th! Enter for a chance to win one for yourself straight from MGA(USA only, please)!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Five Things I Hope To See in Skylanders Giants

Okay, so just a little update on my Skylanders scenario: I got the game at Christmas and have been playing it on and off for a while; I own 15 Skylanders and all of the level packs and am getting ready to send in for a couple of the Sidekicks through the Frito Lay Promotion (Whisper Elf, I've got my eye on you!)

I have also done some research on the new game and found to my joy that the level cap has gone up to 15. I found I leveled up awfully fast in Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and would often hit Level 10 before clearing half of my powerups, especially while doing Heroic Challenges or anything other than money-grinding on Perilous Pastures (You average about 1,100 Skybucks each time through). Thus, the increased level cap is a welcome addition. There will also be a streamlined edition for those who already own Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and thus already own a Portal of Power.

Still, there are a few things I would like to see happen and pretty much expect from Skylanders Giants.

1: A Longer, Bug-Free Game.
Let's face it, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure was short. Even with the added content from the level packs, it only took me a couple of days of casual playing to complete the story mode. Fortunately, the rule of Video Game sequels is the opposite of the law of Movie sequels, that being that Video Game sequels tend to be better than the first one. I mean, really, is there any comparison between Street Fighter and Street Fighter II? Since a lot of the work done on the first entry involves developing everything practically from scratch, there is less time to develop content and work out the kinks. In the sequel, most of the time is spent simply generating content and level design. With the unique technology and programming for Skylanders already finished, hopefully Giants will have a longer and more engaging storyline.

  2: Skippable Cutscenes
Man, even all of the kids I talked to hated this. In the first Skylanders, it was not possible to skip many of the cutscenes, particularly if this was your first encounter of the game. This became especially grueling when trying to play the Heroic Challenges. Step on one land mine and it's back to the top for 30 seconds of exposition about the Scepter of Nort before blowing yourself up again 5 seconds later. A good rule of thumb: All cutscenes and dialog should be skippable with the push of a button at any time. If someone wants to watch them, they simply won't hit the button.

3: At Least One Lady Giant
I was pleased to find that there were actually a lot of female playable characters in Skylanders, with Stealth Elf and Hex being of particular potency while Sonic Boom is actually required to complete the Enemy Goal challenges on several levels where the goal is set higher than the actual number of enemies in the level (When her little birdies bite it, they count towards the total). In the case of Air and Undead, ladies made up half the roster and none of them were disappointing.

I hope to see at least one female giant in Skylanders Giants, as that would only be fair to those who like the female characters of the series. Most franchises have their obligatory girl character and tend to deteriorate when they lose that idea (See: Bakugan) So, who's our lady giant gonna be?

 4: More Actual Boss Fights
 That's another thing that bugged me about the original Skylanders: There was only one real boss fight (The final one against Kaos). Otherwise, it was little mini-boss rushes against evil Skylanders or puzzle bosses or, in the case of Vathek pictured here, just one huge tease that went nowhere. I hope to see some gut-punchingly awesome actual bosses in Skylanders Giants. They can be plenty hard and require a bunch of Skylanders to defeat, they just need to be there.

By the way, speaking of Bosses...

5: Kaos As A Playable Character!
Come on, There is no reason for this not to happen! Based on the fate that Kaos meets at the end of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, it is more than plausible to release a Kaos game character for use in the Skylanders game. I can just imagine him popping up and spouting one-liners as he unleashes his dark magic and attacks with his "Giant Floating Head Of Doom" (I can imagine it would be his "B-Button" Move). Players love the chance to play as the Final Boss, and I think having Kaos come out to play would be a hilariously awesome cherry on the Skylanders Giants cake.

So, will any of these predictions come to pass? We'll find out in the future when Skylanders Giants is unleashed. I'm asking for the chance to feature it on my channel and we'll see where it goes from there.

Friday, July 6, 2012

5 Free Kid Friendly Apps Update: Superhero AR and Webslinger

Well, I checked my App updates recently and found that SuperHero AR now comes with all characters unlocked! It's a move in order to help promote the DVD release which now has a date of September 25th. Now you can enjoy this app for free without a trip to Walmart to try to find the elusive unlocking signage. I've also gotten to take a better look at the Webslinger app now that the other features have arrived.

Well, you can go to the DVD display in Electronics and get a photo-op with Spidey, where he appears on your phone when aimed at one of the display panels. Spidey also spouts some one-liners and will shoot web at you if you touch him on the screen.
Within said display is a reproduction comic book for sale featuring Spiderman's first ever encounter with the original Lizard. The book itself is actually quite good and an indicator of how Marvel became so popular. The book also comes with a preview DVD.

But the real fun happens when you hold the cover up to the app. Spidey and The Lizard come to life and fight on top of it! The building they fight on moves with the cover, so you can recreate the Adam West Batman effect by turning it on its side!

There was also a van tour a while ago where you could use the app to see Spidey and The Lizard have the same fight as the comic cover, only atop the tour truck instead of a building.

But, of course, there's the Webslinging game, the real attraction of the App where you can blast people with Spidey's webs. There is a basic "practice" mode which involves simply firing your webs around for a fun effect by tapping where you shoot.

But then there's the game, where you use your webs to deflect various lab equipment the Lizard hurls at you. However, then the Lizard appears and breaks Spidey's web spinners! (Yeah, the original Spiderman used mechanical web-slinging devices; they weren't biological until the movies. Peter Parker is a genius, after all.)

So now You've got to trot around the store taking pictures of the displays to repair Spidey's web shooters. I've found three of them, but the Kellogg's sign has yet to be found. Apparently you can play with just one shooter repaired, but I haven't tried yet.

A word of advice, this game is many, many megabytes big, so I'd say download it through the iTunes on your computer, rather than trying to grab it in the store, as mobile devices don't like having to handle more than 20 mb at a time.

Either way, the effect on the Comic Book which you can take home and show off is fun enough by itself and well worth the $3 needed to buy the book (Though you can try it out in the store for free) and you get a decent comic and preview DVD for the deal. All in all, "Webslinger" is a pretty fun app and I hope to see variants of it more in the future.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Video Review: Monsuno Wave 2

And now for a quickie Monsuno Wave 2 Review. Wave 2 doesn't have much to it aside from a few new Monsuno(and better quality control) but hopefully something bigger will happen in a month or two...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kohdok Reviews Light Strike!

And now for my Light Strike review!

A note to watchers: If you do the "Comment On The Video" entry, the comment must be on Youtube, not here.
And, of course, the Rafflecopters:

For the Continental US only (International is the next one)
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 Anyone can enter this one!
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kaijudo, a Second Impression.

You guys remember how I made a blog post about a card game called Duel Masters and how Hasbro has rebranded it as "Kaijudo" for some reason and now has a TV show starring some kid with Shego's lips? Well, I went to my local hobby store this morning and bought myself the special pack they put out for the game to see what it's like. My impression is... mixed. While I am pleased that the shield system and other rules appear to be completely intact, there are still a few things I am not clear on and a couple of other things that bug me through my nostalgia goggles as a Duel Masters player.

 The Kaijudo case is $20 and comes with a pair of these boxes. They are made of a nice cardboard and are obviously meant to look like books. Each one is held shut by a magnetic flap and opens up to reveal a 40-card deck held in a space that can carry two such decks(sleeved, even), a simple playmat similar to those found in the Duel Masters Starters, and a code card which I will try out later.

In addition, each box has a picture of one of the monsters on the two special cards rendered in all their foily glory. Still, I have to ask, why does Tatsurion have a shoulder-mounted cannon here when I don't see him use one anywhere else? I guess someone at Hasbro was fed-up waiting for the G. I. JOE movie and felt it needed more GUNZ!

Razorkinder, on the otherhand, looks plenty epic in its case artwork; gininning sinisterly, it lashes out its hands in a blurred motion to get you! Between the two boxes, I definately like the Razorkinder box better.

 Each one has a different half-deck, with the fire box holding a Fire/Nature deck and the Dark box holding a Darkness/Water deck.

I am a little peeved that there aren't any Light cards in here, since they were my favorites in Duel Masters. I wouldn't have a problem if it wasn't for the fact that they were the only tribe left out. Yellow just can't seem to catch a break.

I usually don't like it when the game's rules are printed on a single sheet of paper. However Duel Masters, and by extension Kaijudo, is an amazingly simple game to play and actually doesn't need that much space to learn the rules. It's one of the reasons I liked Duel Masters and the rules seem to have arrived mostly intact. They don't mention blockers or shield-triggers here, but the cards themselves do and give the rules, so it's easy to pick up.
However, there are no deck-building rules on here. Since I didn't get more than three copies of each card, I wonder if the rules have changed at all? (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure Duel Masters allowed 4 of each). Thanks to the amazingly simple rules, they could have printed deck-building rules on the back, rather than the the mini-poster they put there instead. What if someone buys more than one of these and wants to build a deck? They mention a website where you can go find these rules, but why not right here?

Speaking of websites, there is also a code card in each box that supposedly unlocks something on there with a code which I will try later.

And now for the cards. There are a few things that have changed: "Shield Trigger" is now "Shield Burst", "Power Attacker" is now "Powerful Attack", etc. Others like "Slayer" and "Double Breaker" are still the same. The cards detail each keyword, so that's no big deal. Also, it seems like now every ability has a keyword. I see abilities like "Hungry!"(Yes, with the exclamation point) and "Grab and Stab". Magi-Nation did the same thing and it was beneficial to the flow of play, but they also added a sense of humor to it and made pop-culture references (Like "Karak Necklace", which referenced an old Twix commercial). Might we see that sort of humor in Kaijudo?

The rarity system has also changed. While a star used to mean "Rare", now a star means "common", two stars means uncommon, three means rare, four means "Shiny" (There is one in each half deck) and five means "Super-Duper-Shiny" like the special Tatsurion and Razorkinder cards

There is one confusing thing, though. "Banish" is the new term for "Destroy" when a card is sent to the graveyard, as opposed to removed from play like in Magic.

But now we get into the things that I as a Duel Masters player find iffy. First of all, that nice little circle that marked Mana is gone for reasons unknown. There is still a big, empty spot where it could go and they were handy to help indicate that they were resources, similar to how the naming of every ability helps clarify things.

Also, the names seem to have been De-awesomeized a little. I keep hearing this character get called "Tatsurion, The Unchained", but in the game he's just "Tatsurion". Kind of a waste not awesomizing your main character's card title in a series with such enigmatic names as "The Immortal Baron Vorg" and "Hanusa, Radiance Elemental".

Another one is a card formerly called "Fire-Sweeper Burning Hellion" which one could get in every starter deck and also in foil form on the Duel Masters tour. The otherwise intact card has the more blah name "Pyro Trooper". Then again, this is a mild case; I can understand parents wouldn't want their own little hellions running around with cards sporting that kind of language. As long as they bring back "Super-Explosive Volcanodon" completely intact, name and all, I won't fret about it.

What I fret about is the juggling of names and abilities between cards. For example, "King Nautilus", the four-star holo in the Darkness/Water deck, is the same as the Duel Masters version in name alone; its cost, power and effect are all different. Not even its artwork is the same. King Ponitas has gotten a similar treatment, losing its fantastic deck-control ability in favor of becoming unblockable.

"Deadly Fighter Braid Claw" seems to have given up its mantle to something called "Blaze Belcher", the card with the "Hungry!" ability. In the case of Flametropus, it now has the cost, power and effect of Galsaur for some reason.

But by far the worst thing to happen in this card juggling is...

Look at what they did to poor Gatling Skyterror!  What was once a cost 7, 7000 power double breaker that could attack untapped creatures is now a simple cost 3, pow 3000 mook. Shobu in the original series got so excited when he pulled the original Skyterror from a booster pack and now it has been reduced to such mediocrity...

Yes, they brought back some Duel Masters cards, but they have changed a lot of them, from the name to the power to the ability to the cost (Bronze Arm Tribe and Terror Pit have gotten a bump in cost), few have come through unchanged in some way. Forgive me for saying this, but smushing around old favorites like Gatling Skyterror or King Ponitas into inferior models doesn't seem like the best way to invite Duel Masters fans into Kaijudo; It makes the game seem like it wasn't all that careful with its legacy. My advice would be that, if they bring back any more older cards, unless they are the same or roughly the same (A bump in cost on a really good card like Aqua Hulcus isn't bad, changing the name is fine, too, as some made no sense) then just don't. There may not be many as many Duel Masters fans out there as Yugioh or Magic, but if there's one thing I know as a reviewer, it's that angry minority groups are often very loud. Duel Masters fans are a possible instant fanbase to this game, and I'd say you don't want to make them angry.

Now we take off the nostalgia glasses and stop quibbling about details and what do we have? Kaijudo still copied the most important mechanics of Duel Masters. It is still just as easy to play and has those important elements which made Duel Masters good. It's a good system that resists the snowball effect (Imagine getting to draw a card every time you are hit with an attack in Magic or Yugioh) and doesn't need any funky counters, dice or coins to be playable.

However, I noticed a lack of deck control and King Ponitas losing his deck control ability makes me worry that they might have taken deck control out of the game. Deck control is an important element in every successful game and Duel Masters certainly had it. The threat of its removal is a bit worrying.

The only redesign I have a real concern about is the lack of a mana spot on the base of each card as they actually helped the flow of the game and made it clear how much mana each card could generate. Like the ability text, it was a helpful reminder of what was going on.

Otherwise, the card game is a familiar and otherwise unchanged adaptation of the original; no silly additional rules or anything like that. Bring in a couple of the elements introduced later in Duel Masters, like Evolutions and Shield Repair, and we're in business.

Oh, and a Light-Civilization starter deck to make up for the lack of them here.

Well, now I gotta tackle the TV show and codes. The hobby store I bought these at is quite picky in what they will pick up and carry and the owner told me he was shown an episode and thought it wasn't bad, so I'll take a look at it. I'll also see what the codes reveal.

Until next time.