I don’t think it is fair to say Universal Fighting System Collectible Card Game aka UFS CCG is a dead CCG just yet but it is definitely a dying one. There are still UFS CCG sets being released but most of the local gaming stores near me don’t stock them any more. The packs or decks I do find are usually for sale. I got 10 packs of UFS Red Horizon Tides of Vengeance and a Dr Wiley starter deck for $12.
What piqued my interest in UFS initially is their licensed sets like Megaman and Street Fighter. UFS mimics classic fighting games (like Street Fighter) and the goal is to land enough attacks to knock out your opponent’s character. What I think is the strongest element of the game is the push your luck mechanics. For example, each time you play a card you have to see if the difficulty is less than or equal the control number on the top card of the library (which you discard). If you don’t pass the check, you have pay the difference with foundation cards that you played earlier. Each additional card you played also increases in difficulty. This make you think about the order you play card and even how to build and balance a deck. I also like how fast you go through your deck. You draw back to the starting hand size every turn and you also discard a lot of cards because you have to make a lot of checks.
So why did UFS fail? UFS sets were released too fast and there were way too many broken cards. Their banned list is huge. It is no fun to see the deck you invested in banned and it is also not fun to play against broken decks every round in a tournament. Also there are a lot of Japanese/ anime theme card games that is has to compete against. Just to name a few: Weiss Schwarz, Dragon Ball Z TCG, Final Fantasy TCG, Force of Will and Buddyfight. You also got the big 3 when it comes to CCGs: Magic, Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh. It is tough for any CCG.
Also I have to admit I have not gotten to play a full game of UFS. I goldfished the game a bit but it is hard to find someone to play with. Everyone in my gaming circle would rather play either Magic or a board game instead. Learning a CCG is a commitment. Sure the rules could be simple but there is a lot of reading and a lot of ambiguity when you first start any CCG. I also find it takes a couple of playthroughs to just “get” the game. It is a tough sell for any CCG.
All in all I still like collecting lost or dead CCGs. They are usually super cheap and I kind of just like building decks without really expecting to play with them…
Is it just me? I kind of like buying those baseball cards repacks with a ton of bulk cards just because I like sorting cards. I would go through the cards a couple of times and put them in various piles. Perhaps there is one pile of cards to just throw away, one pile of cards to keep for futures trades and one pile of cards that piqued my interest (probably less than 1% of the cards). You just never you what you can find and I have found some quirky cards in the past that I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. Here are some interesting rookies cards and inserts I found in my most recent repack.
I like how Livan Hernandez’s rookie card is so blue and I like how Roy Oswalt looks pretty much the same in his rookie card compared to ones from further down his career. One card that immediately drew my attention was the Andrew Jones SPX card. Upper Deck used to make some really nice looking cards. I also pulled a Junichi Tazawa card I needed for my collection and I am too lazy to pull that card out.
If you are curious here are the rest of the cards which I deemed as bulk. To be honest I am very picky with what I keep. I recently cleared out my bulk cards and I don’t want it to pile up again.
There really is a wide range of cards in repacks and they usually don’t cost that much. Sure you never going to pulling anything really valuable but you just can’t get this kind of diversity in a regular pack of cards.
The 1990’s was sort of boom for baseball cards and there were are all sorts of companies trying to stand out from the rest which mean some interesting gimmicks. I was sorting through some of my bulk baseball cards that I have gotten from various sources (but a lot from repacks) and I came across some of these interesting 1990’s baseball card gimmicks.
The first gimmick comes from 1992 Leaf Triple Play.
It is a little mini game where you scratch out little blocks to see the result of an at bat. It is probably a lot of fun and I wouldn’t mind if they brought back this gimmick today. The problem of course is that you can only play this once which brings us to 1995 Topps Bazooka.
1995 Topps Bazooka cards look normal in the front but had another little baseball game in the back. Each pack came with a piece of Bazooka gum, rules for the game and a spinner. As you can probably guess you put the spinner on the back of the baseball card and spin it to see the result of the at bat. You can even play this game with your friend to see who get the gum. I am going to be 100% honest. I don’t have the full rules of the game but it is very intriguing to me. I am so tempted to buy a box of these cards to explore this further.
Finally the internet was a huge thing in the 90’s which led to 1998 Pacific Online baseball card set.
Why try and fit all the stats on the back of the baseball card when you can just share the URL of the baseball players profile page and you can have all the stats you can ever hope for! Unfortunately the URL is just sort of display across the top of the baseball card in probably the most unflattering way possible. But if I read it correctly 1998 Pacific Online as had web cards with codes for the Pacific website which gave you a chance to win prizes. I am not sure if they were first to do something like this but they were still way ahead of their time as Topps does this all the time nowadays.
The USA Olympic curling team is the ultimate underdog story and it is hard not to root for them. I was actually curious about curling a few Winter Olympics ago and I always look out for it during Winter Olympics broadcast. I would also have at least tried to play it if there was a curling rink nearby. It seems like a ton of fun and it is my kind of game. Anyways I found out about a last minute meet and greet with the USA Olympic curling team and I just had go.
As you can see the event was sponsored by Cheetos. I am very excited that my schedule worked out so that I can attend the event.
I hope the inevitable feel good sports movie about this curling team will be awesome! Maybe in the same class as Cool Runnings!
I found this 404 Not Found coloring book signed by The Oatmeal (or is it just Oatmeal) in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. It was only $3.75!
I am a big fan of The Oatmeal’s webcomics and I was actually very pleasantly surprised that his game Exploding Kittens was actually a lot of fun. So this is a big find for me and it shows how you just never know what you can find in the bargain bins!
Fantastic Gymnastics is probably the weirdest board game with a mass market release. It is released by Hasbro Gaming and you can probably find it in most big box stores with a toy section. The thing though with this game is it probably a huge flop for Hasbro if all the negative reviews you can find on the Internet is any indication. So why was it so negatively received and why do I think this game is so awesomely, awesome?
Well the first thing you have to know about this game is that it is insanely difficult. You have to press a button to rock the gymnast back and forth until it picks up enough speed and then when it goes round and round the bar you have to release him with another button just right so he can stick the landing. The game is not intuitive. Unfortunately it is marketed as a kids game and most kids (and probably most adults too) will probably lose interest fast especially since you won’t see much progress until you spend A LOT of time with it. But this game is wildly addictive and it SOOOO rewarding when you finally do stick the landing.
Similarly, is this game a dexterity/ party board game or is it an unusual puzzle to be solved? I really think this is not a board game you can bring to your next board game meet up since if you don’t practice the motions you definitely won’t score. So you will probably end up scoring 100 points while everyone else will be waiting for game to be over. But when you finally “solved” and “mastered” Fantastic Gymnastics, it has the same a ha moment that you get when you solve a good puzzle.
So I wonder if Fantastic Gymnastics was marketed as a solo puzzle and not a kids/ party game, will it help with the image of this game? Fortunately it has often been compared to Looping Louie, a kids game that eventually had a cult following. I wonder if Fantastic Gymnastics can do the same years down the road. Anyways it is listed as a board game and I love, love Fantastic Gymnastics.
By the way if you are wondering if I am any good at Fantastic Gymnastics well I am proud to say I can stick the landing generously 1 in 5 times but I am working on it!
The Royal Rumble is right around the corner and I haven’t opened a pack of WWE cards in awhile so I used some of my reward points to picked up this rack pack of 2017 Topps WWE Then Now Forever.
First off I don’t think I am sold on the name Then Now Forever as a name of a set. Second off these cards are kind of boring. There are no interesting gimmicks, no interesting inserts. But definitely the pull of the pack is the Shinsuke Nakamura “rookie” card.
Anyways is it just me in thinking that there are way too many wrestling card sets? The rosters don’t change as much as in say baseball or basketball so each set is churning out the same wrestlers over and over again. How many R- Truth or Curt Hawkins cards do we really need?