Friday, December 27, 2013

Kayarath's Adventures In Horizons

"CURSES! I HAVE SIX VIDEO GAME WRITERS AND NONE OF THEM HAVE TIME TO WRITE ABOUT ALTEIL HORIZONS!" KANA EXCLAIMED FRUSTRATINGLY. "I'll write about it" Kayarath responded, volunteering himself for the cause. Glad to finally have someone perform the task, she quickly gave Kayarath a pre-alpha key and told him to write a first impressions article, posthaste.

MY FIRST IMPRESSION WAS COMPLETELY OFF AS I THOUGHT ALTEIL HORIZONS WAS A COMPLETELY NEW GAME. In actuality, it's a reboot of an existing game called Alteil. Like many online games, it eventually came to an end, but the developers loved it so much they bought the license, slapped another word on the title, and set about resurrecting it. They went to to raise the needed funds but canceled it halfway through because it wasn't working out. While they were disappointed, they were not deterred and succeeded the around with a lower goal and better marketing.

WHILE ALTEIL HORIZONS MAY NOT HAVE THE BRAND POWER OF SOME OTHER CARD GAMES, IT DOES BOAST AN IMPRESSIVE STABLE OF ARTISTS. There's Katsuya Terada, known for his artwork in Zelda; Shunya Yamashita, who did stuff for Fantasy Fantasy X; and Yuji Kaida, drawer of Gundams. They even got Christopher Hastings from Dr. McNinja to draw a card or two! The only bad thing I can say about the card art is that I can't view it in a larger size.

Did I mention they have a Facebook page? Click the pretty pictures to check it out!

I PLAYED THE GAME FOR A BIT AND FOUND THE EXPERIENCE SHORT. The game is far from beta; which is all the rage these days. In betas, the game is incomplete and requires adjustment, but it generally functions, and you can get a good idea of the game. Alteil Horizons is not there yet. It is pre-alpha, meaning that only a fraction of the tutorial is ready to play. It's like trying to judge a baby's looks by its sonogram! While I hesitate to write about a project so early in it's development, I am reminded that I only need give my first impression and work with what I've got.

WHAT I HAVE TO LOOK AT IS A FUSION OF CARD GAME AND STRATEGY RPGS. The cards represent your units and run the fantasy gambit from knights and magic users to pixies and monsters. They all come with several stats and special abilities. Mechanically, they're more complex then what you'll find in many card games, and are closer stat wise to units in a strategy rpg. While you do make decks of cards to play with, it really acts more like a loadout. You never draw a card; you just select the card you want whenever you need it.

THE GAME PLAYS OUT IN A STRATEGY RPG STYLE. Units take turns hitting each other and/or using special abilities with the goal of breaking through the enemy units to kill the person playing the cards. You have to take into account many things like the day night cycle and unit positioning. What really strikes me is how your life points are determined. Instead of simply being given a set number of points, you select a number of cards that give you a variable amounts of life and special abilities. Some cards will give you a powerful ability but little life and vise versa. You can customize it to fit whatever strategy you have in mind. That's both an original and good idea and I hope more games copy that concept in the future.

Look at all those numbers!

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS IN STORE FOR ALTEIL HORIZONS, I CAN'T SAY. While it does have a few things going for it, I really do want to put it through it paces. It's like being shown a cool sports car and then driving around the parking lot for a lap for two. This game looks like it can go places and I want to see how hard I can push the engine!

WHILE WE ALL WAIT FOR THE GAME TO REACH A MORE PLAYABLE STATE, WE CAN PASS THE TIME BY LOOKING AT ALL THE . There's gonna be a thousand cards at launch which is an impressive number. That's roughly the same number of cards that are used in Magic The Gathering's Standard format which is a good guideline to follow. If you want some of these cards to call your own, you can still pledge money via to get in on the ground floor. Lastly, you can try the game yourself! We're giving away pre-alpha keys like water, folks! We got some nice connections with the Alteil Horizons people and can hook you up. Kana even one of the leads! Hopefully, I'll be facing you in a future game one day. Until then, keep your eyes on the (Alteil) Horizon.
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