I recently got to demo the new Final Fantasy trading card game at A-Kon and I must say, that I enjoy it. It does have it’s pros and cons though, which I will go into further details.
First let me go into the pros. The card stock on these cards is wonderful. It is a nice thick quality that doesn’t bend as easily as a Magic:The Gathering card or a Pokemon card. That may be in part due to the card having more of a matte textured finish on the back. They are the same size as a MTG or Pokemon so they fit in most standard sleeves. They do have similar mechanics for some cards like Magic does. Some mechanics being haste and brave(vigilance). There are only three types of cards in the game so far, which makes it a bit easier to pick up; Forward, Backup, and Summon.
Forwards are your attacking and defending characters, while Backups are your mana resource essentially. Summons are the instant/sorcery cards that can be cast on either person’s turns. There are no life totals in the game like with Magic, but instead a seven point damage system. The first person to cause their opponent to over turn seven cards into their damage zone wins the game. I like this aspect a lot as it keeps the game from possibly dragging on for a long time. There are six main elements represented in the game and each card has the appropriate color to go with it. Each element also works with certain mechanics or builds. Lightning has more of the haste mechanic in it where as Ice will be more tapping and freezing cards.
Most of the cards are represented by well known characters from throughout the series such as Cloud, Squall, Tidus, and Lightning. However they also have a good selection of characters from older games and are therefore not as well known such as Firion, Maria, Cloud of Darkness, or the Emperor. Then you have the non-named characters like Black Mage, Chemist, Monk, or Dragoon. These would be considered the pitch cards that let you bring out the bigger guns faster.
Now the cons. The rules at times are a bit fuzzy. The only thing provided rules wise is in a starter deck and it does not specify certain things when it comes to attacks and blocks. This was something that came up many times in my demos where I was asked if you could have multiple blockers like in Magic and this is just not stated in the starter deck rules. However, it was found online that you can only declare one blocker for one attacker. I would highly suggest visiting the Final Fantasy TCG website at https://www.fftradingcardgame.com/na for some clarity on the rules.
This one is both a pro and a con in my opinion. The system to cast cards is both interesting and a little frustrating at times. Every card has a cast cost located in the upper left hand corner. You have to have at least one Crystal Point of the same element to cast it, but nothing costs zero to cast. The lowest cost cards cost at least one Crystal Point, which gives way to their system of being able to discard a card from your hand to generate two crystal points of that color. Which is why many of the generic cards are looked at as pitch cards. overall this would be a good game for any fan of Final Fantasy and once you get some of the clarifications out of the way it is a fun alternative to Magi or Pokemon.
As a fan of the series and someone who likes card games, I enjoy the game and hope to see many local card shops picking it up and starting events. I encourage anyone interested to check out the Youtube videos that give a basic overview of the game.