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View Full Version : My Unboxing - First Thoughts of the Game



TheAllyKat
12-21-2012, 04:58 AM
The art work going into this project was beyond fabulous. I started looking into comics for the first time in over a decade with the introduction of the New 52. Its been impressive. So, it comes with no surprise that the art for the game looks fabulous. It would be hard for that to be ruined.

The game is boasting this "Cerberus Engine: Heroes". Based upon reviews the mechanics for the Lord of the Rings variant it is obvious that these system types are designed for mergers. I have a suspicion that when you licensed DC Comics for the rights or when they contacted you it was with the knowledge that Upper Deck was granted with the Marvel Comics franchise. The system is obviously designed for the mix-n-match of franchises. This being said DC Entertainment's current animated Young Justice would be an obvious choice for the first expansion to the game.

The system seems heavily focused on rewarding players power to hinder other players. The heroes the players choose from are the members of the Justice League. This instantly creates the vibe that all the players will be working together. Victory and bragging rights to whomever can leave there mark as the best hero by having the high score. This concept of teamwork is further extended by having it so that when all players defeat all the Super Villains the game is over. So, the Justice League teams up to take down all the villains but wait the game rewards a player by providing them with cards that refer to those other heroes as their foes??? This might have worked with the Watchmen series being the focus of the same but not the Justice League.

I am not even going to look at the rules before making this post because there are already some key concerns that I was not expecting from an established company.

Female Discrimination
The regular Villain cards in the game feature mechanics that hinder the other players. In a Deck Building Game with a free-for-all theme, this component makes sense. Here less so. This is not my concern. There is a common issue that I am seeing again in the Cryptozoic line. I recently acquired the Epic Spell Wars game. I was willing to let this issue slide since it was an independent release. The DC Deck-Building Game is a licensed game from one of the largest literature publishers in the world. There is no need for discrimination here. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure once DC Comics receives my letter they will agree that you are no properly representing their product. After all, there was this issue surrounding the Women's Rights Movement back a while ago in which the company did not fare so well.

At the age of 29, I am not only a game but I am a female game. If I had a daughter in her teens, I would want to share this game with her. It seems that Cryptozoic disagrees. According to the trend in your games, girls do not play games or rather you would prefer that they do not play your game. If we look at the games both of the games mentioned refer to players of the game using male pronouns. I cannot begin to describe how insulting that this is.

You might want to take a look at this as a company. Just maybe! It only took me a whole minute skimming through random cards of my game to notice that every player specific reference used a male pronoun: "his hand", "his deck", "his discard", etc. This continued on to cards that referred to all the other Villain cards has being male because we all know that "Cheetah" and Poison Ivy are male. This is so obviously clear with their C-Cup or larger developed chests that the art for these cards feature.

In the future: Is it so hard for people to read the cards before they go to print? Cryptozoic must have beta tests of the game which would imply people are reading the cards to play test the game. I am only assuming the Cryptozoic was not intentionally sexually discriminating its potential customers by having all-male testing groups.

Card Storage
In the world of card-based games it is vital for the store of the game to fit into the box it came in. It seems to be expecting a lot of any company to allow for protection against wear and tear with protective card sleeves but that is another issue all together. The rounding of the indent in the plastic mold for storing the cards actually pushes at the cards causing wear and tear to store them. The logical solution would be to sleeve cards but considering the cards do not fit properly without the increase in the dimensions of the cards that is impossible.

The only space that was not too small was the only remaining space. One would be forced to assume that space is for the Super Hero cards. This is result of it being the only unmarked spot and those being the only type of cards left unmarked. Of course, its way too deep as it is capable of storing hundreds of over-sized cards. I would like to say it works except the indents created for a person sliding their fingers in does not go down deep enough.

This was a disappointment because this far from Cryptozoic's first card-based game.

Size of "Super Hero" Cards
Lets talk about these "over-sized" cards. I would have to agree with that description. These definitely are "over-sized" for every single protective card sleeve on the market. As a matter of fact, a rather strong up-and-company in the industry (Fantasy Flight Games) took it upon themselves to release card sleeves of all the major types of card sizes. This was because most companies use established guidelines for releasing a product onto the market. So, if 80%+ of the industry is saying cards should be certain dimensions that's what they go with.

The release of a Deck-Building Game is an acknowledgement that your product is being sold to serious gamers. These are consumers who buy protective accessories to enhance the durability and lifespan of the games in their collection.

Which brings me to the "over-sized" Super Hero cards that are larger than the largest established card size by industry standards (the Tarot Card size.) The art alone in this game makes it a collectible treasure which targets the comic reading audience. Just to be clear to any staff member of Cryptozoic, if you go into any comic shop and look at the old comics in the shop. You will see that all these comics are on protective plastic covers.

The worst part of it is that there is no actual reason for these cards to be so large. 26 is the number of words on the Super Hero card with the most amount of words on the card. This represents only two sentences. Both of which I have already far exceeded in this current paragraph. Most of the non-"over-sized" (or should "Standard Card Size" as Fantasy Flight Games calls them), have more text on the cards and it is clearly visible at the smaller print.

I am aware that protective measures against wear and tear does not represent every customer. Considering that Fantasy Flight Games seems to be having troubles keeping stores supplied with protective sleeves in the Standard Card Size format, I can say with concept that it is a large percentage of the market who like myself purchases enough protective sleeves with each new card-based game purchase.

No Game Board
I think I will keep this direct and to the point. For the price of this game, where is the game board?

Availability of the Promotional Card
I live in a greater metropolis. It is not uncommon for some of the key larger stores to receive direct from the distributors promotional material to ensure their customers are not at a disadvantage of having someone else pay for the postage costs. To my surprise, I was not able to find a single store in the Great Vancouver area that received any copies of the promotional cards. I discovered the promotional card after watching various online videos from reviewers bragging about the free promo card that came with the game.

Its disappointing as a customer knowing that people that are being giving free copies of the game are also being given the "limited quantities" promotional materials. Yes, I checked the Crytozoic store to see if I could get a copy of the game to increase the chances of acquiring one of the Martian Manhunter cards. I say increase because the disclaimer made it clear that ordering online would not guarantee one of the promo cards. Unfortunately, the store was sold out.

Normally, as a customer, I enjoy the sound advice of online (or otherwise) reviews of a product. I do not enjoy knowing that the reason that I was unable to acquire a special bonus with my game because they are being given away without purchase of the game to people who may only play it enough times to do their review and never touch it again.

http://www.cryptozoic.com/demo/dc
This is a bit more of a pet peeve than anything else. Cryptozoic, if you are going to post a website URL in the rulebook, it should not go to a page that is listed as "Coming Soon".

Stupnick
12-21-2012, 08:39 AM
Just a few things,

Using he male pronoun is the acceptable form in any environment that details something. Very few things use a female pronoun when talking generally. This includes 99% of the other games out there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neutral_pronoun



There are sleeves for the oversized heros. There is a topic a few posts down stating 3x5 fts



Regarding the promo card, it's the same as all the games tat they released. It's gauranteed for presales from their site. They also allowed local gaming stores to sign up for a Game da in order to receive a Few to give out. My local store did this and got 5 copes. They are still allowing online orders to get it while the have it, to just limiting o presales, however their first print run of the America was so well received it sold out, there are two more printings coming soon.

JesusChristMD
12-21-2012, 03:08 PM
Also : Hero cards should be larger to make sure they stand out and are never shuffled in to the main deck since they are "in-play" at all times in front of you.

This seems like a large amount of sour grapes over incredibly minor details.

Also : I've had no problems fitting everything into the box and I sleeved all my cards including the Heroes.

Edit: Also, I've never heard of there being a shortage of card sleeves. Ever. There are a number of companies who make them and there has never been a shortage of them available, except for that brief moment when Dragon Shields' company changed hands.

Overall the tone of this "review" is incredibly patronizing to anyone reading it. If you have some kind of blog/website I can only assume that your regular readers enjoy being talked to like they are both 11 and stupid, as that is the only audience you appear to be going for.

houjix
12-21-2012, 03:32 PM
Foe = opponent. Bad choice of terms, maybe, but not really game ruining.

Female discrimination - His, 3 characters. His or her, 10 counting spaces. You'd be surprised what a difference those extra 7 characters can mean in terms of design space and print cost. And as Stupnick pointed out, using his when the gendered is unknown is perfectly acceptable and actually the correct grammar usage. The womens rights thing at DC had more to do with female authors than unnecessary inclusive text. I think one would be more upset at the lack of female characters as there is only 1 Super hero and only about 5 different heroes and maybe 3 different villians (counting Suicide Squad) in the main deck. Then again the medium is tilted heavily male, so what can you do.

On the storage part. Yes the box is not perfect for all types of sleeves. I am currently using thicker Ultra pro sleeves. With those on, the punches fit fine in the punch slot. I put the main deck on its side in the big unmarked slot. The super villians and weaknesses in the main deck slot, and the kicks and vulberabilities in the other slot split up some so they aren't so tight. My Super heroes are in 3.5 X 5" sleeves. While the they slip around some as the card is only 3x4", they are protected. I put them on top of everything else and the box closes just fine.

If you use some of the not quite a penny type sleeves, they tend to run long. Even in games designed to fit sleeved cards don't handle these well. If you use Mayday Green standard or premium or something similar, they should fit fine in a configuration similar to what I previously mentioned.

In no way shape or form will this box be able to handle any expansions, but I'll cross that bridge when the time comes. Maybe they will use a different configuration with the next insert as so far this is the number 1 complaint about the game.

Promo card - Yep, it stinks. I ordered direct so I could get it, but I ordered early. Had to wait over a week after release due to shipping snafus. I would have loved to support my FLGS, but I wasn't missing this one. If you were late to the party on the order. I'm not sure what you expect them to do. And I don't believe it's the promo they are out of but the actual game itself. They are having Game Days as mentioned above that LGS can sign up for that will enable them to get some of the promo. Maybe contact your LGS about signing up.

Skinner
12-21-2012, 07:12 PM
Since you edited in more complaints after the above replies:

Re: Game board
The game hardly requires a game board. There are a total of 9 spaces required by the game (Main Deck, Line Up 1-5, Kicks, Super Villains, Weakness. Add a 10th if you want a dedicated spot for Destroyed cards). Why would they inflate the price of the product for something so trivial? Yeah, some other DBGs have a board, but many are largely unnecessary as well.

Re: Demo Video
Yeah, it'd be nice to have had it up before the game hit shelves. But as others have said above about other complaints here, this seems like an incredibly petty thing to gripe about.

TheAllyKat
12-22-2012, 02:01 PM
Why would they inflate the price of the product for something so trivial?

First off, you are correct in the aspect that technically no Deck-Building game requires a board. Its been my personal experience that new players learn the rules faster with a board as opposed to without a board. In terms of the price, the game is over priced. If we are to compare the game to Ascension. Both of the base games retail for the exact same price. There are a few less cards however game uses a point system that works into the scoring system so in place of those cards they have unique shaped pieces for tallying additional points. Not only does it come with a game board but it is beautiful material. Similar to compare the quality of the box between the two games. DC Comics Deck-Building Game compared to other Deck-Building Games on the market is not worth the price.


Using he male pronoun is the acceptable form in any environment that details something. Very few things use a female pronoun when talking generally. This includes 99% of the other games out there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neutral_pronoun

I have stated that the game is discriminate towards females. I find it funny that you would direct me to an artile that states:
"Gender-specific pronouns were also prescribed when one might presume that most members of some group are the same gender (although in recent times, such presumptions are seen as offensive)."
So, you just agreed with me that he is offense to female players since it assumes most players are male.


Yeah, it'd be nice to have had it up before the game hit shelves. But as others have said above about other complaints here, this seems like an incredibly petty thing to gripe about.

Its not petty holding up a company to a level of standards. Especially when this game represents such a huge label. World of Warcraft is tiny compared to the size of DC Comics. Its as simple as that. More to the point, the video should have been completed before the rulebook went to mass print or removed before it went to mass print.

JesusChristMD
12-22-2012, 03:17 PM
Guys : Don't bother responding to her. She's ignoring things you say and answering by adding words to your responses to make her look better.

Taking her seriously is making a mistake.

Grish
12-22-2012, 03:43 PM
Guys : Don't bother responding to her. She's ignoring things you say and answering by adding words to your responses to make her look better.

Taking her seriously is making a mistake.

I enjoy it's ignorance so I like when people respond to it.

I think my sister put it best when I asked her though and explained. 'The card isn't calling me a boy. I'm a girl and I know I'm a girl. It's just a card explaining something to me.'

aoineko
12-22-2012, 06:12 PM
First off, you are correct in the aspect that technically no Deck-Building game requires a board. Its been my personal experience that new players learn the rules faster with a board as opposed to without a board. In terms of the price, the game is over priced. If we are to compare the game to Ascension. Both of the base games retail for the exact same price. There are a few less cards however game uses a point system that works into the scoring system so in place of those cards they have unique shaped pieces for tallying additional points. Not only does it come with a game board but it is beautiful material. Similar to compare the quality of the box between the two games. DC Comics Deck-Building Game compared to other Deck-Building Games on the market is not worth the price.

How much do you think Gary Games and other companies pay in licensing fees for games like Ascension, Dominion, Thunderstone? If the games came with the same amount of stuff inside DCDBG would have to cost more to compensate for the chunk of the profits DC Comics is taking.

modnar
02-19-2015, 08:44 PM
Gender sensitivity is a valid position, more so given DC's spotty history over such.

Suggesting that preexisting social norms validate a decision is suggestive that society is static and de-facto correct - ie. doesn't need to evolve.

Gender identity is a topic culturally being bandied about, gender neutral Their/your or just designating "Foe" would be a fair choice.

I highly enjoy the game. Have been very happy with the Engine's ideology.

I however; agree with the criticism on prejudicial language TheAllyKat raises.


Please consider revising your policies around such Cryptozoic.

I do not see her point on the oversized Hero plaques/cards. They work fine, and in other releases you've made good use of them "Firestorm Matrix" storage vault under which cards are temporarily removed from play. resting place for VP tokens etc etc etc.

BenJazz
02-20-2015, 08:20 AM
I will say the best example of a company reversing the gender stereotype is Pathfinder. Look at any of their books and all the gender identifiers for players are female. It is nice to see this style being used by such a prominent company and it is a trend that I support.

I will say though that I can understand why some companies use this standard of male pronoun but I feel using a neutral pronoun over specifically male or female ones would be the best approach since there is more than just the two categories recognized in today's modern gender society.

DimeDrl
02-20-2015, 02:36 PM
You're better off going outside Cryptozoic for boxing, sleeving and game board.

It's dangerous to go alone! Take these.

Game board/Playmat (click image and use "original" size):
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1227382/dc-deck-building-game-playmat

Regular and Oversize Sleeves:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1284565/sleeves

Storage and more on sleeving:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/16103134

You can store the oversize cards in a 99 store poly index card case. I've got all 44 Oversize cards that are currently available in the semi-rigid sleeves and they all fit in one box nicely.
http://www.rainbowresource.com/proddtl.php?id=030728

That should cover your needs.