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Review: Eye Of Judgement

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I was never really into the old Playstation Eye. The technology was there but the games being developed for it didn’t really exploit the technology to it’s fullest. I didn’t really see the appeal of looking at myself punch and swing at invisible objects. If they were really going to take advantage of the technology, they needed to do something ground breaking. In comes the Playstation 3 and Eye Of Judgement.

Eye Of Judgement is a highly advanced card based game that utilizes the Playstation 3 Eye and technology. Unlike traditional card games, you are given a visual representation of your cards on the screen. What you get with these two formats is the tactility of a card game mixed with next generation graphics and technology. It’s a great combination because I’ve tried many times to play games like Yu-Gi Oh, Magic The Gathering and Pokemon with my son and just didn’t get the appeal. However, with the Eye Of Judgement I’m completely addicted.

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The EOJ kit comes with the game, 1 starter and 1 booster deck, a cloth playing field and a tower to house the Playstation Eye. The setup is self explanatory. Place the mat down, setup the tower and adjust your camera settings. Make sure you have plenty of even light on your game board when playing. Shadows will screw with the optics and make card recognition difficult.

When you first turn on your game you are required to register your whole deck. You can register 4 cards at a time so it’s pretty quick. Once your deck is registered you can start playing. Like most card games, the cards with the most HP usually win the battles. That is of course unless you drop a rare card with insane abilities. The object of the game is to occupy 5 spaces on the board. The first player to do this wins the game. Another way to win is if your opponent runs out of cards.

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The computer AI in this game is no joke. It’s setup to counter pretty much everything you do. You must be very strategic when placing cards. The White Cubic for instance, allows you to sacrifice it for any card in your deck for the low cost of 1 mana. The White Cubic has only 1hp and if it’s dropped, the computer will make sure to target it right away. I played about 8 games before I was able to beat the computer. The games can go over really fast or they can take as much time is needed to use an entire deck.

In order to play online you also have to register your deck online. An early problem found with this game is that you can pretty much copy any card you want and use it. I don’t know if people are taking advantage of this, but at the time of this writing I had to wait for the Playstation update to download before playing online and didn’t finish doing so yet. The download was taking too long and I really wanted to play.

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The luster of this game will come from inviting a friend over that has his own deck. What’s even cooler is you don’t need a PS3 or the Eye Of Judgement to get your own deck to play with someone that already has the game. The decks are produced by Wizards Of The Coast. Now I have a reason to go to that store and buy booster packs.

I was impressed with the games graphics, but it could have easily been done on the Playstation 2. In fact, I’m surprised there isn’t a PS2 version of this game given the installed base. The creatures on the cards are animated well and are fully colored and textured. One of the cool features is being able to hold a card in your hand while a creature spawns. You can move your hand around and it’s as if the creature was just sitting there in your palm. You can even smack it with your other hand and the creature will react to it. This technology is truly amazing.

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The one thing that I love about the Eye Of Judgement is that it’s a first gen title that truly is in a class of it’s own. Titles like this will put the PS3 on the map. I would love to see Yu-Gi Oh or Magic ported to a game like Eye Of Judgement. This is something that could be achieved effortlessly. If you have a PS3 and want something different to play, EOJ is the game to get. Eye Of Judgement is the best example of innovation I’ve seen this generation.

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