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First Impressions: Uncharted: Fight For Fortune - A Smart, Made For Vita Card Battler

Got, got, got, got - NEED!

Bend’s work with the Uncharted franchise on Golden Abyss showed how the PS Vita could handle a proper, full console experience. It was a superb entry into the series: a lengthy adventure, gorgeous graphics and excellent controls. A sequel, then, shouldn’t be far behind, with Sony surely well aware of the pull of Drake and friends, regardless of the platform.

In the meantime, from the same developers (and with a little bit of help from One Loop Games) comes this surprise new entry: Uncharted: Fight For Fortune. This, as you’ve probably read since it was leaked a month or so back and then confirmed, is not a third person adventure – it’s a rather more sedate, cerebral card battler. It’s also, as far as I can tell, rather enjoyable.

The game is soaked in Uncharted lore, with all the main characters and weapons available.
The issue is that review code was only distributed yesterday afternoon, and the embargo was up today. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to really explore the intricacies of the mechanics behind the cards and the rules, but it does give us a chance to take a look at how it all works and give you some first impressions.

Those impressions are mostly entirely positive, and it’s far from the disappointment that first surfaces when the game was initially illustrated.

Card battlers are hugely popular, and despite an almost overwhelming brick wall of information and static help screens that do little to explain the system behind the graphics, Fight For Fortune is actually a pretty good use of the license, and an almost perfect fit for the Vita.

The game is based around Factions (which are characters from the Uncharted games – including Eye of Indra, nicely) split into three divisions: Heroes, Villians and Mercenaries. These Faction cards have health points, cost and attack points, and are placed on your half of a 2 x 5 grid, facing you but battling against your opponent. You play the Faction card first, then on top of that you add a Fortune card, and start to build a vertical stack.

Fortune cards are picked blindly from a random selection of three, and are used to increase your wealth (should the battle be successful) or can be cash immediately, for a smaller value. Resource cards (which cost Fortune) are added on top, and these act as modifiers – guns, or special abilities – to the Faction card at the bottom of the stack.

In the attack phase, the statistics are all calculated and health points are deducted appropriately. It’s far from flashy, but it’s functional enough and, once you’ve realised that you need to zoom in and out to read the text and numbers, presented reasonably well. It’s not a visual game – yes, the menu system looks like Golden Abyss, but don’t be expecting fancy effects. Even some of the cards look a little blurry, especially when you’re viewing the whole table.

The goal is to battle with the Faction cards to ultimately reduce the health of your main character, who hides behind the cards. Your first is Doughnut Drake, an easily dispatched foe who makes way for Drake proper in round two. Winning a faction battle removes their card from the table, and it’s best practice (at least from what I’ve gathered so far) to have a facing card as soon as possible to defend your character.

You won't be doing this as Drake, but if you like Uncharted, give this new game a shot.
Some Factions combo up if they’re related – which is smart – and artifacts found in the game (and those collected already from Golden Abyss) can be used in the battles once unlocked.

The game asks to scan the Vita for a Golden Abyss save from the LiveArea screen, so if you’ve been collecting the bounties you’ll have a bit of a head start, although new treasures do seem to come into play fairly frequently anyway.

Our review copy came with two additional packs of cards for Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 as extra (tiny) downloads – it’s not clear whether these will be additional DLC when the game launches, but apart from a couple of high powered Faction cards it seems the most these do is increase the variety available and offer up more combos – a further play will hopefully reveal deeper significance to these extra elements.

The game offers up a decent single player game, but also a few multiplayer options (and even a pass-the-Vita two player mode) and the option to fine tune your card sets should result in plenty of tactical variety for those prepared to invest some time in the rules and systems used here. It feels like one of those games you’ll play between the big hitters, and with that in mind (and assuming it’s price well) this could well be a sleeper hit for Sony.

Uncharted: Fight For Fortune is out this month for the PS Vita, as a download from the PlayStation Store (it’s only about 300MB, too). Our full review will follow.

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  1. Taylor Made
    Since: Oct 2011

    If you play GA, you also get treasure cards which am sure are part of this game when it comes out, also the power up to I crease their use.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:10.
  2. Bodachi
    Since: Jan 2010

    Sounds like the game I’ve really wanted for the Vita. Hopefully Magic The Gathering will come to Vita next year.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:10.
    • Bodachi
      Since: Jan 2010

      Just noticed the subtitle, love it.

      Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:45.
    • Kennykazey
      Since: Mar 2010

      A Magic game on the Vita would be so good!

      Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 19:31.
  3. Pesico
    Since: Sep 2008

    Have you guys seen the trophy list? I’m assuming no plat. Looking forward to this anyway though.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:16.
    • Alex C
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      There’s no platinum.

      There are separate trophy lists for each of the two DLC blocks too – one silver, one gold.

      Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:18.
      • Pesico
        Since: Sep 2008

        Cool, thanks for answering.

        Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:19.
  4. avengerrr
    Since: Oct 2012

    Sounds pretty solid, only issue is with how much to game will cost.

    Will certainly have to get on to getting that 16GB card as I got a plantium on GA and then sold it and deleted the save data, so I have much retrieving to do, and its a great game that I miss.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:18.
  5. Omac_brother
    Since: Nov 2011

    I deleted Uncharted GA along with its save file last week to make room for New Little Kings Story. I had all the artifacts. Bummer.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:32.
  6. colmshan1990
    Since: Apr 2009

    Sounds fun.

    Might be the first card game video game I play since Pokemon TCG on the GameBoy.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:45.
  7. Haydar
    Since: Mar 2012

    Just wrote it on Reddit, Vita lacks any kinds of strategy games so card, board, turn based whatever, all great additions for me.

    I’ll buy it day one.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:47.
  8. Kivi95
    Since: Oct 2009

    Well looks like it’s time to play some more Uncharted:Golden Abyss before this releases!

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 16:50.
  9. dude90
    Since: Nov 2009

    Isn’t it out tomorrow? US is getting it today.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 17:38.
  10. dave87fez
    Since: May 2011

    I love the Uncharted series (got all 4 platinums), but this doesn’t interest me in the slightest at the moment. Is that wrong?

    I hope there’ll be a downloadable demo on the store so I can give it a go before deciding.

    Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 19:24.
    • Bodachi
      Since: Jan 2010

      I don’t think that is wrong at all, it is a completely different genre of game to normal Uncharted games.

      Comment posted on 04/12/2012 at 19:58.

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