Social Games

These past few days, I have been having fun with two smartphone online card games. These are the same type of game as Rage of Bahamut (apparently the most famous one in English-speaking world). They are:

Metal Gear Solid Social Ops

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and

Galaxy Dungeon

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For iOS, they can be downloaded for free from Japanese App Store.

They are powered by GREE. GREE is apparently a platform that hosts user data, handles purchases and (I think) even hosts some of the game data and mediates the network messages.

These games are actually not my first experience. My first game was Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls powered by Mobage, which is a competing platform to GREE. I dropped Cinderella Girls because I couldn’t verify my account (need Japanese phone number) and ended up unable to receive gift items and was thus severely handicapped.

Compared to Cinderella Girls, these two games are CASUAL. In Cinderella Girls, leveling up is tricky because there are rules you have to follow if you want to maximize stats (in the two games, AFAIK the max stats are determined and there is no ‘new card synthesis’ from combining cards). Also in Cinderella Girls, if you don’t keep your deck strong, you can easily lose items for being defeated by other players. I had to keep earning the items back only to lose them again etc.

In fact, Galaxy Dungeon is probably the most casual one I’ve ever played. There are no PvP battles, it’s just dungeon explorations and battles ala RPGs. Your cards form a party of 10 members, and while the battle is in most part automatic, the cards have Active and Passive skills.

As a Metal Gear Solid fan, I’m sad to say that Galaxy Dungeon is more fun than MGS SOP. MGS SOP reaches a state where your progress crawls to a slow very fast (this is where they persuade you to buy items to replenish your action points and stuffs). Also, MGS SOP is stingy about giving rare cards. I’ve been playing for a while and have only received 1 Rare+ card. In Galaxy Dungeon, I’ve obtained 2 Super Rare cards (2 levels rarer than Rare and yes, their rarity naming is AFAIK standard: Normal, Normal+, Rare, Rare+ and beyond). In MGS SOP you would get sick of receiving Normal soldier cards. The non battle part of MGS SOP is also very boring, only requiring you to touch the screen to have cutscene animation of Snake infiltrating a location. In Galaxy Dungeon, at least you can choose your paths in the dungeons.

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In Galaxy Dungeon, battles occur inside the dungeons and they are frequent and you can easily find out how your cards contribute in the battle. In MGS SOP, it’s very rare to meet a battle except PvP, and even in PvP they actually have a gameplay element (Fever Time) that discourages you from taking your time to watch how the battle unfolds (instead you would want to just skip it and find a new battle).

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Also, because Galaxy Dungeon is mostly 2D, it’s somehow more responsive than MGS SOP.

I’m gonna keep playing both of them. I’m getting irritated by MGS SOP but as a MGS fan I got to give it more chance.

p.s. if you ever decide to try Galaxy Dungeon, I would appreciate if you use this referral code: 0X8AT

It will give both of us bonuses. Then I think I will also be in your contact list and we can help each other out. Thanks and I hope you enjoy this game as much as I do ;)

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