Culdcept - PS2 - Preview
Do not pass go, do not collect 200 magic points.
Get ready for a learning curve, some familiar attributes and game play and a language all of its own.
The name of the game is Culdcept, and it is a pending PlayStation2 release from NEC and OmiyaSoft. The game is, essentially, a card-based strategy game. You battle with cards and set defenses with them as well, but only in the portion of the game that plays like Monopoly.
Culdcept is purportedly the book of creation and destruction made by the absolute goddess, Culdra. Those who control the power can acquire the power of god. Ceptors are those individuals who can summon special forces and abilities from within the book, and it is their task to battle for control of the book.
In the history of the Culdcept, those who controlled the book became gods and worlds were both created and destroyed. Culdra has looked into the future and foreseen one (guess who) who shall break this chain and ultimately destroy the entire universe. The fate of the universe hangs on the battle that is about to begin.
Ok, so far so good.
After creating an avatar, the game whisks players along to meet Goligan, the magical staff of God - he looks like a walking stick with a wizened wizard’s face. Goligan has been tasked with finding a ceptor, but his search for a month has been in vain. Resigned to his task, he is about to continue his search of Soltaria when a bounty-card hunter named Ryvern appears. Ryvern has been tracking Goligan and is bent on his (its?) destruction.
Will no one appear in time to save Goligan??
Oh, wait, here comes someone now, and it just happens to be a ceptor.
This marks the beginning of a tutorial-based battle that will guide players along the central core of the game - one that bears a remarkable similarity to Monopoly.
The object of the gameboard play is relatively simple: the Cepter who raises total magic power to the set level and then reaches the castle first is the winner. Each lap awards magic power by returning to the castle after crossing all forts. The castle is the starting point and the forts are, essentially, checkpoints. Think of it as Go and Free Parking. In the space between, there are squares that players can land on and control. You can set up monsters to guard your tiles and should the opposing player land on it, they can either pay a toll (rent) of magic points, or go to card war. While the player controlling the square does not get to pick their defending monster (the play attacking can), you can fortify your mob with a card from your hand.
While players can only carry a finite number of cards in their hand, there are 480 cards available. The cards are quite wonderful to look at - more so than the game itself.
Graphically, and sound-wise, Culdcept is a GameBoy Advance title that has transitioned to the PS2 without much in the way of graphical or audio updates. This game looks, sounds and plays like a GBA game. While that may be good for a GBA game, it might not be so well received on the PS2 platform.
The game does have its own style and almost confuses the situation by throwing a bunch of its own terminology at the player from the onset. Weed through all that and you will find a game that is not that hard to learn to play. The card structure, die rolling, movement and overall gameplay is simplistic. The game is, after all, geared demographically for boys 8 and older.