Card games offer a ton of strategy and fun for a small price. It’s why they’ve withstood the test of time, continuing to entertain players, whether it’s casino-style card games like poker or blackjack, or even collectible card games such as Magic the Gathering or even the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
For the latter, it seemed like a no-brainer to merge collectible card games into the digital world. Here, there’s no need to have a physical binder full of cards. Instead, you just need a gaming system and a game disc or card to play them.
However, rather than talking about video games that straight up are digital versions of collectible card games, I thought it’d be more interesting to take a quick look at three video game series that used cards in an interesting, atypical way.
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Metal Gear Acid series (PSP)
When Sony’s first handheld, the PlayStation Portable was announced with support from Konami, gamers started dreaming of the Metal Gear Solid franchise hitting the system, pondering the possibilities of the series on new hardware. What they didn’t expect for the first game in the series to hit the system was a turn-based card game. That’s exactly what they got with Metal Gear Acid. Thankfully, the actual final product was a wonderfully done one, offering cards based on elements like weapons and characters from the Metal Gear series. The cards give players the opportunity to either move or use their abilities in offensive and defensive scenarios. Deck customization is an important factor to Metal Gear Acid, giving players the ability to outfit their deck as they see fit for the mission ahead.
Baten Kaitos series (GCN)
A turn-based role-playing series that saw two releases by Namco, exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube, Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean (2004) and its prequel, Baten Kaitos Origins (2006), utilized a type of cards known as Magnus. There are four main types of Magnus, which affect various aspects of the game, from interacting with NPCs in order to complete quests to being used in battle, equipping each party member with their own deck outfitted with a variety of cards. As you can no doubt tell, the world of Baten Kaitos is dependent on the usage of Magnus, offering lots of strategy and cards to get for the collector and completionist in players.
Lost Kingdoms series (GCN)
Another game series that used cards in a non-traditional way was the GameCube’s Lost Kingdoms games, which had two releases on Nintendo’s sixth generation system. Lost Kingdoms and its sequel, Lost Kingdoms II, were known best for having real-time card-battling gameplay. The main character Katia used cards for her offense, each having a specific element type, whether fire, water, earth, or wood. Each element was weak and strong against another element. For instance, wood elemental enemies were weak against fire cards. New cards could get bought, sold, traded, and collected to build a powerful deck of cards to use on enemies. Also notable about the Lost Kingdoms games is that the developer would go on to make games for a little-known series called Dark Souls.