Marvel: War of Heroes - TCG at its Finest!
By Vincent Haoson, OnRPG Journalist
Marvel War of Heroes is an action card game made by DeNA through the mobage platform for smartphones. The game puts you in the shoes of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who has the capacity to use “character cards” within the Marvel Universe.
Welcome to the Marvel Universe!
As part of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s pool of agents, you are tasked to head out in missions where you face off against super villains within the MU itself. You’ll be up against the likes of Hammerhead, Doc Oc, M.E.D.U.S.A. and S.W.O.R.D. agents and almost every major antagonist you can think of within the Marvel Universe continuity.
You take down your enemies by using your main hero/villain. You have the capacity to level up, and increase stats on your attack, defense and energy points.
Marvel Cards Anyone?
Marvel War of Heroes is a trading card game in its core. Each character “card” you have has its own set of attack and defense power, levels, points cost and rarity. Much like in TCGs you have the option to buy themed “packs” where you get a random set of cards that you can use for your team.
Teams in MWoH are separated into two. You have the attack and the defense teams. Each team can be composed of a maximum of five cards. The cards you are allowed to put in each team is determined by the attack/defense points you have since each card has its own cost.
Aside from the primary attributes for each card, there are designated alignments for card types which would determine the effectiveness of each card against each other. The tree types are the Brute, Speed and Tactic alignments and have a rock-paper-scissors effect when pitted against each other, where one alignment is weak/strong against another alignment.
Aside from increasing your card’s level as a means to powering up said card, the game provides two more options for you to use which are namely: fusion and boosting.
Fusion allows you to remove two identical cards from your collection to create a strengthened version of that card. The outcome of the fusion would be a higher rarity and stronger version of the card.
Boosting on the other hand allows you to remove cards from your collection to strengthen a card of your choice. The amount of experience earned through boosting varies on a lot of factors but I won’t be elaborating more since that’s part of the discovery process.
MWoH allows you to see your Marvel Universe dream team in action by setting up your attack and defense teams (much like in American football). While you have the capacity to make your own custom teams (such as Spiderman, and 4 of the members of the sinister six) certain team-ups provide your line-up the extra punch (or in the defense’s case another wall for your enemies to take down).
While your defense team retains its setup once it was attacked, the attack team won’t be able to keep itself intact at every succeeding attack you do. Each offensive attack done by your team requires them to expend points which then dictate if they can remain in the team setup or not. This gives you some additional strategic decisions when planning your attack since you won’t have your full offensive team 100% of the time.
I gotta hand it to DeNA for Marvel War of Heroes, I did not expect that a marvel universe card game can be this addicting. With the constant slew of updates, added changes and or freebies for those who are playing the game, MWoH’s replayability is as high as it can get. Also, since the Marvel universe is huge (without even considering the animation and movie adaptations), I highly doubt that they would run out of “packs” for the months (or years) to come.
I also liked the variety of the artwork that was put into the MWoH’s cards. Being a card game player myself, I liked that DeNA was able to use all the existing character artworks to provide the variety of the cards you get. The game was actually able to transport the feeling of exhilaration of booster pack opening into the game when you get new packs.
I find that remarkable enough since the game lacks one major element which is the lack of any sound effects. I don’t know if this is a recurring theme of either mobage run games or DeNA developed titles, since this would be my second time playing a game from both mobage or DeNA (the other one being Final Fantasy: Airborne Brigade) I can’t say until later if this is limited to mobage or to DeNA (you guys might shed some light on this). The lack of any sounds can definitely and will kill the gaming mood it tries so hard to set up.
With that set aside, the one feature that really shone through all the fluff in MWoH is the intricacy of the card enhancement system. You are given a lot of options for increasing your card strength which dictates on how you “enhance” your cards. So with this in mind, you have the option to play brainlessly or, you can play a more “tactical” approach on how you improve the deck you’re with.
Overall, the gameplay is rock solid. Its newbie friendly and you can just jump in immediately after you finished the tutorial. I also liked that they factored in team bonuses (similarly to “another” Marvel themed game at Facebook). I actually would be disappointed if MWoH didn’t have this which is one of the staples for any comic-book themed game. The fact that you can bunch heroes and villains up together for either attack or defense is a cute game feature that the more explorative players out there could capitalize on. I also loved the fact that you are under the mercy of your attack points when it comes to PvPing instead of allowing players to use their strongest attack team in every PvP battle. It keeps things interesting and equalizes players all throughout since even if you have a powerhouse team, you can only use it once or twice (unless you spend on energy replenishment items).
All in all, I’d say that if you’re looking for a Marvel game that you can play with a bunch of your friends, then MWoH is a great game to spend time on.