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Vs. System

Money for Nothing

By Pook


            Greetings all.  Well, it was bound to happen Ė Iím actually writing a 2nd article!  Iíve been out of the VS. loop for a little while (mostly due to work related issues), but recently, my interest has been greatly re-sparked.  Mostly, this has been due to my anticipation of this summerís Spider-man 3, the new Marvel Team Up set (which, unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Sneak Preview event), and the new Marvel Trading Card video game installments.  This week, Konami finally unveiled the first edition of their online card-battle game, and as excited as I am to pick up copy for the PSP, Iím finding myself in a tricky situation. 

            Now I plan of giving a full review of the actual game once I get my hands on it Ė at this point, Iíve played about 10 minutes of the online-only PC version, so I have no real thoughts one way or another just yet.  But in doing my research for the product, I have come to find out that we will not just be shelling out money for the actual game, but for the virtual cards themselves.  Initially, I was lead to believe that cards obtained in the single-player campaign could then be used for the online mode Ė this is not the case.  It turns out that the game is essentially two different versions in one Ė the single player mode, and the online mode.  The cards won in single player donít carry over into your online account, and to make matters worse, all of the cards you are given online are a pretty standard 60 card starter deck.  So how to you get new cards?  You have to buy packs.  With real money. 

            When Konami announced that this game would be online, some people speculated that there would be some sort of monthly fee to play, a la MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft and the like.  But then Konami assured the fans that this would not be the case.  They told us that you would be able to purchase cards online to use in your decks, but they neglected to mention that this is the only way to get new cards (that is, aside from trading).  Their online store sells ďpointsĒ, with their going rate of $10 for 40 points, and roughly 10 points per pack.  The packs you buy will contain the cards from the appropriate set, and they will be transferred into your account.  This idea just doesnít sit right with me.  We will be paying real life money for virtual cards for about the same price that we can buy real cards.  So essentially, we are paying for nothing. 

            After I heard that this was the case, I tried to rationalize using my hard earned money to buy virtually nothing.  In the past, Iíve been burned by monthly fees for MMORPGs (damn you, Everquest!), but at least with those sorts of games, youíre paying for the service, and in doing so, you are free to go ahead and play the way you want to.  Similarly, their Yu-Gi-Oh! Online was available as a free download, and the points that you bought were your entry fee (1 point for a single duel, 3 for a match duel), but you were at least SKU#: 110882260001awarded cards for winning.  I almost feel like Konami is bilking us for even more money by insisting we buy virtual packs, with no assurance that we will eventually get the card or cards we desire.  Iím not claiming that they are going to cheat us out of rare cards, but at least with the actual packs, we have some sort of odds printed on the foil.  And if you want to make a trade for a harder to obtain card, youíre going to need more to offer than just your starter deck, so it looks like youíll have to pitch in a little bit of money for packs, even if it is just for trade fodder.  My question is simple Ė are we really paying for nothing?

            Now donít get me wrong, Iím dying to play this game.  Konami is being good enough to offer a free PC download that contains the full realm of online play, but a severely limited single player mode.  But Iíve been planning on picking up the PSP version since the game was announced.  So this means that Iíll have to pay not only for the full game, but additional costs on top of that for online purposes Ė is that too much of Konami to ask of us?  Does anyone else feel as if weíll be paying for nothing concrete?  Let me know how you feel about this Ė emails are always appreciated.  Until next time. 


SKU#: 111112830001
Online multi-player Wi-Fi support through Nintendo's Wi-Fi network on DS Sku


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